US Supreme Court Blocks Sales of ‘Ghost Guns’
Supreme Court Halts ‘Ghost Gun’ Sales
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against two Texas-based manufacturers, preventing them from selling products that can be easily converted into firearms known as “ghost guns.” This decision comes as a response to President Joe Biden’s administration, which requested the court to overturn a federal judge’s order that favored the manufacturers.
The Supreme Court’s ruling has lifted the injunction imposed by U.S. Judge Reed O’Connor on September 14. The injunction prevented the enforcement of a 2022 federal regulation aimed at curbing the availability of privately made firearms. The regulation targeted the sale of “buy build shoot” kits, which allow individuals to assemble firearms without undergoing a background check or obtaining the necessary serial numbers required by the federal government.
Second Intervention by the Justices
This is the second time the Supreme Court has intervened in this case, previously halting Judge O’Connor’s decision that blocked the regulation. The court reinstated the rule while the appeal process is ongoing. The Biden administration argued that the judge’s decision to grant an injunction in favor of the ghost gun kit manufacturers disregarded the Supreme Court’s authority.
Cracking Down on Homemade Weapons
The rule issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) broadened the definition of a firearm under the Gun Control Act of 1968. It now includes parts and kits that can be easily transformed into functional guns. The rule mandates that manufacturers and sellers be licensed and requires background checks for purchasers. By banning these untraceable ghost guns, which attract criminals and individuals prohibited from acquiring firearms, the ATF aims to curb the rapid increase in their usage.
The United States, with the highest gun ownership rate globally, remains deeply divided on how to tackle firearms violence, including frequent mass shootings. In response to the ghost guns rule, plaintiffs, including parts manufacturers, gun owners, and gun rights groups, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texas. They argue that the policy threatens the long-standing tradition of legal private gunsmithing in the United States.
Awaiting the Appeal
Despite the Supreme Court granting the Biden administration’s request to halt Judge O’Connor’s decision, the manufacturers sought an injunction from the judge while the appeal continues. The judge issued the injunction, which the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to pause.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to block the sales of “ghost guns” highlights the ongoing debate surrounding gun control in the country. By intervening in favor of the Biden administration’s request, the court aims to address concerns regarding the increase in untraceable firearms. This ruling brings attention to the need for stricter regulations to combat gun violence and protect public safety.