The Biden Administration cracks down on ghost guns


Zenil Koovejee

Ghost guns are an easy–and dangerous–way for criminals to acquire firearms.

Zenil Koovejee, Staff Writer

This past week, President Biden has introduced new firearm legislation in response to the increasing presence of ghost guns in crime-related incidents.

“A ghost gun would be a firearm that is custom-made probably by an independent person, and not by a firearm manufacturer… The ghost gun generally would not have a serial number, which is why it is a ghost gun. There is no way to track it. There is no way to identify if it even exists,” said Pleasanton Police Officer and Amador SRO Matt Harvey. 

In simple terms, a ghost gun is a privately made and largely untraceable firearm that lacks a commercial serial number. Moreover, when such a firearm is utilized in a crime scene, law enforcement officials find it exceedingly difficult to trace the gun back to an individual purchaser. 

“What people can do with 3D printers nowadays is 3D print parts for guns, specifically like the frame… They can either make it out of 3D printer materials or aluminum parts that they custom make… This is partly why they are so untraceable,” said Harvey.

Due to its relatively simplistic nature, a ghost gun can be purchased and assembled with a buy build shoot kit, ultimately allowing consumers to privately manufacture a working firearm within 30 minutes of their original purchase. 

“Very commonly in the years past, there has been a ghost gun loophole, as I would call it, because people could build these rifles called 80 Percent Lowers… The owner or the purchaser would have to complete the remainder of the 20 percent [of the rifle],” said Harvey.

Specifically, the newly introduced legislation promotes background checks for ghost guns, bans the business of manufacturing unserialized buy build shoot kits, and strives to better the record-keeping process for such firearms. 

“I think [the new legislation] is important for a lot of reasons. Number one – it’s a right to bear arms in this country. But, for everyone’s safety, there needs to be some regulations and/or accountability for these firearms,” said Harvey.

On April 3rd 2022, six victims were killed and 12 were injured in a downtown Sacramento mass shooting. It is believed among many that ghost guns were a prevalent force in this shooting, especially in regards to the reported casualties. 

“Ghost guns have become the weapon-of-choice for criminals, because they can access them easier – I am sure they are easy to buy and probably a lot of cheaper,” said Evan Lucero (‘23).

Consequently, at its nucleus, the Biden Administration’s ghost gun initiative paves the way for gun-related legislation, and strives to protect real people around the United States from the increasingly dangerous nature of the bullet and its shell. 

“In my profession, being somebody who carries a firearm as well, I do not want there to be ghost guns or guns in the wrong hands out there, because that puts at risk the ability for me to potentially not go home at the end of my shift… That could be very traumatic for everybody involved,” said Harvey.