President Joe Biden held a brief talk at the White House in which he announced new executive orders aimed at strengthening gun control. The orders would tackle the issue of “ghost guns” which are guns that are legally assembled for personal use without serial numbers. The lack of serial numbers makes them nearly impossible to track. Biden’s executive order would also classify the typical “AR-style” pistol with arm braces as short-barrelled rifles, which are currently illegal without the purchase of a tax stamp from the federal government.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Department of Justice, along with others in the administration, have put forth the guidelines for the forthcoming executive orders. Although Biden brought up the Colorado mass shooting as an example of the damage that pistol braces can do, the reality is that there has long been discussion over whether pistol braces turn an “AR-style” pistol into a short barrelled rifle.
Pistol braces are meant to be worn over the arm and not up against the shoulder, although it is not illegal to shoulder. However, since the brace can legally be shouldered, there has long been a debate over whether that makes it an SBR. Now, that debate appears to be resolved and any pistol brace will be treated the same as a rifle stock. Currently, the law says that attaching a rifle stock to a pistol makes it a short-barrelled rifle and that is illegal under federal law without a tax stamp.
“Ghost guns” simply refer to legal parts that are purchased and/or made at home which are then machined and/or assembled into working firearms. This process is totally legal for personal use. If a person decides to sell and/or distribute these weapons without proper paperwork from the federal government such as an FFL (federal firearms license) then that is a felony offense that will result in prison time. The Biden administration wants to outlaw that process, even for personal use, because these guns do not have serial numbers and cannot be tracked.
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