Brady Applauds Release of Historic Rule on Ghost Guns and Nomination of Steven Dettelbach to Lead ATF

Washington, D.C., April 11, 2022 - Today, Brady applauds President Biden and the Biden-Harris Administration for nominating a common-sense law enforcement professional to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and announcing the finalization of a rule to stop the proliferation of untraceable ghost guns across the country. This new rule will stop the spread and sale of these dangerous weapons, which have become a desirable avenue for gun traffickers and prohibited purchasers, when they seek firearms for criminal activity. This new rule will help to save lives across the country and will need to be successfully implemented by ATF, further underscoring the need for a Senate-confirmed director. President Biden’s nominee, Steve Dettelbach, is a prudent choice who will steward the agency well. Brady urges the Senate to confirm him without delay.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

The rule addressing the supply of ghost guns is the most impactful gun violence prevention action in over two decades. It will save lives and will address a clear and growing threat to public safety and to law enforcement. Since 2016, over 25,000 ghost guns have been recovered across the country, with 10,000 recovered in 2019 alone. These guns have been used in school shootings, mass shootings, domestic violence incidents, and community violence on our streets and in our homes. This rule will stop this growing threat at once, provided that ATF and local law enforcement agencies are properly supported to implement it. While we know there is much more to do in order to address the urgent needs around gun violence Americans face every day, today’s announcement will have a real impact in stopping the proliferation of these weapons and preventing gun violence.

Brady urges the Senate to confirm President Biden’s nominee to lead ATF. The announcement of this rule highlights the important regulatory and enforcement role that this agency plays in overseeing the gun industry, as highlighted by Brady’s Gun Store Transparency Project. Steven Dettelbach is a proven leader in law enforcement and a prudent choice to steward and modernize ATF so that it can enforce the nation’s laws and keep our communities safe.”

About The Department of Justice’s New Rule:

The Department of Justice has amended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) regulations to provide new regulatory definitions of “firearm frame or receiver” and “frame or receiver” to include components sold in kits and below specific thresholds that can be quickly and easily converted into a functioning firearm.

The Department likewise amended the ATF's definitions of “firearm” and “gunsmith” to clarify the meaning of those terms, and to provide definitions of terms such as “complete weapon,” “complete muffler or silencer device,” “privately made firearm,” and “readily” for purposes of clarity given advancements in firearms technology. Finally, the Department updated ATF's regulations on marking and recordkeeping so that ATF can properly and effectively implement these changes.

About Ghost Guns:

Ghost guns are unserialized and untraceable firearms that are often made from "ghost gun kits," that can be bought online, at gun shows, or at gun stores and assembled at home. "Ghost gun kits," include all of the parts and often the equipment necessary to build these weapons at home. These kits are widely available and can be purchased by anyone, including prohibited purchasers such as domestic abusers and gun traffickers, without a background check or any paper trail.

Several states including New York, Hawaii, New Jersey, Maryland, and Nevada, as well as major cities such as Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and San Diego have already instituted bans on ghost guns or parts and kits used to assemble these weapons. Several other states, including California, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, have passed laws regulating ghost guns.

About Brady’s Gun Store Transparency Project:

Beginning in 2017, Brady filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain federal inspection reports where ATF took administrative action against gun stores cited for violating the law. Ultimately when the records were not produced by ATF, Brady took action in court to force production and has received over 2,212 reports. Brady’s Gun Store Transparency Project, found at GunStoreTransparency.org, makes these reports available to the public, where users can visually explore this data, viewing documents by geographic location, by violation type, and by year. This database is the most comprehensive and detailed collection of ATF inspection reports ever released publicly, and will continue to grow as Brady obtains new reports from ATF.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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