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OR – GUN CONTROL – Oregon joins coalition seeking federal regulation of untraceable ‘ghost guns’

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general urging a federal court to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to properly regulate untraceable, partially assembled “ghost guns.” In an amicus brief filed in Syracuse v. ATF in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the coalition argues that since 2015, the agency has relied on an improper reading of the Gun Control Act to allow unlicensed online retailers to sell nearly-complete firearm kits that are easily converted into fully-functioning firearms. Because the guns are unregulated and untraceable, they put the public’s safety at risk in the amici states and hamper the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminal activity, the attorneys general claim. “Untraceable, easily-assembled ghost guns make it too easy for people prohibited from having guns to skirt the law,” Rosenblum said. “They pose a grave danger to our communities. It’s time to require the federal government to regulate these lethal weapons.” From the 1980s through the early 2000s, ATF classified the core components of handguns and rifles—frames and receivers—as “firearms” subject to federal regulation if the components could be quickly and easily converted into functioning guns. In 2015, however, the agency reversed course without explanation and issued an interpretive rule stating that these rifle receivers and handgun frames were not considered firearms under the Gun Control Act. The about-face has spawned an unlicensed and unregulated online industry in which these ghost guns, so-called because they have no serial numbers and leave no identifying marks on bullet casings, can be sold to any consumer without a background check.  [full article]

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