Federal government cracks down on ghost guns, continues battle on gun control


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On Apr. 11, President Joe Biden made an official ruling on ghost guns across the U.S. Biden stated that commercial manufacturers must incorporate licenses and serial numbers, run background checks, and reserialize formerly sold firearms.

Tracking of ghost guns began in Boston in 2019, where the city saw an increase of 280% in the confiscation of these firearms. In 2019, 15 ghost guns were recovered in the city, but just two years later, in 2021, that number reached 58.

On Apr. 11, the Biden Administration formed a federal ruling on ghost guns. Because more than 20,000 ghost guns were part of criminal investigations in 2021, it became clear that the problem was only going to get more out of hand. Under the Gun Control Act, the official ruling bans all manufacturing and selling of ghost gun kits. It states that commercial manufacturers must incorporate licenses and serial numbers, run background checks, and reserialize formerly sold firearms.

Junior Jack O’Brien, who hunts in his free time and is a member of SPA’s Trap Team said, “I think that the ban on ghost guns is generally good. It will hopefully help track firearms used in crime and will hold people accountable for their actions. As a gun owner, I have no objection that the government is taking steps to crack down on this particular part of the firearms manufacturing industry.”

A federal crackdown on ghost guns will likely lessen the persistent debate on gun control as only registered, background checked, and verified individuals will receive the right to purchase a firearm. While this is a good start for the Biden Administration and their hopes of adding more obstacles before a firearm purchase, they believe there is still a lot of work to do. In the 2018 Small Arms Survey, it was concluded that there are roughly 120.4 firearms per every 100 people in America. This number doubles Yemen, the next highest country, with 52.8 firearms per every 100 people. Even though this number could have fluctuated over the past few years, the gravity of the situation has not.

Junior Lucy Murray said, “I am very glad that this ban has been put in place. It seems like it will limit the number of crimes or murders with guns, and will make Minnesota and America in general much safer.”

With more guns in circulation across the country, the likelihood of deaths by firearms is increased. For example, in 2013, just over 10% of adults in New York owned guns, resulting in less than five gun deaths per 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, roughly 65% of Alaskan adults owned a firearm in 2013, resulting in 20 deaths per every 100,000 residents. Even though this problem may be much more prevalent in some states rather than others, as a whole, the U.S. posts the worst gun ownership and gun death numbers around the world.

As the Biden Administration rolls out new laws and federal mandates, the debate on gun control will continue. Within the coming years, the topic may flow from the front page of the New York Times to an informal political conversation, but will always contain significance in American politics.