April 22, 2021
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ plan to regulate “ghost guns” is starting to take shape. A 107-page internal document was leaked yesterday which included a number of proposals specifically targeted at manufacturers and sellers of 80% receivers and component parts, often referred to as “ghost guns.” These proposals surfaced two weeks after the Biden Administration issued an Executive Order on April 8, 2021 directing the Department of Justice to propose rules that would curb the availability of “ghost guns.”
Significantly, the proposal seeks to broaden the definition of “firearm” to include “a weapon parts kit that is designed to or may readily be assembled, completed, converted, or restored to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.” The definition of “receiver” would also be broadened to include “partially complete” receivers that are “clearly identifiable as an unfinished component part of a weapon.” There will likely be much debate over what “readily assembled, completed, converted, or restored” means with respect to specific component parts.
In accordance with these revised definitions, any entity selling 80% receivers and parts would be required to obtain a Federal Firearms License, mark the unfinished parts with serial numbers, and perform background checks on buyers. Any party that continues to sell 80% receivers without obtaining a FFL could face felony charges. The document includes numerous other proposals such as changes to regulations on silencers, a requirement that licensed firearm dealers keep background check records for longer than the current 20 year minimum, and a provision allowing gunsmiths to make serial number markings on privately made firearms. The document is subject to revision however it is expected that a final proposal will be released within the next two weeks and will be open to public comment for 90 days.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor the Biden Administration and ATF’s attempt to impose new federal firearm restrictions. If you have any questions concerning the potential impact of these proposals, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.