The Biden administration on Monday announced new rules targeting so-called “ghost guns,” NPR reports.
Ghost guns have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing users to assemble untraceable functional firearms from parts and without a serial number. Some companies sell kits or parts online while other users 3D print parts for the guns.
Under the new rules, background checks will apply to all ghost gun kit purchases, including 3D printing kits, just like all other gun purchases.
The new rules will also require kit makers and sellers to include a serial number on each firearm.
The new rules do not actually ban ghost guns or increase penalties.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said that law enforcement recovered 20,000 ghost guns in criminal investigations, a 1000% increase from 2016.
The new DOJ rules will also target ghost guns already in circulation, requiring dealers who take in firearms without a serial number to add the serial number before selling it.
The DOJ said between 2016 and 2021, the ATF received "approximately 45,000 reports of suspected privately made firearms recovered by law enforcement in criminal investigations — including 692 homicides or attempted homicides.”
New ATF director:
The rollout of the rules came as President Joe Biden nominated former federal prosecutor Steve Dettelbach to serve as the new director of the ATF.
The White House touted his two-decade record as a DOJ prosecutor, where he targeted gang violence, domestic extremism, and gun violence.
Dettelbach most recently served as a U.S. attorney in Ohio in the Obama administration and ran unsuccessfully for Ohio attorney general in 2018 on a platform of expanding background checks and banning assault weapons.