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Advocacy for Ghost Gun Regulation at the Supreme Court

Attorney General Anthony G. Brown, along with 24 other attorneys general, has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to maintain federal regulation on ghost guns by upholding a rule that treats them like other firearms. This rule, challenged in the case Garland v. VanDerStok, requires ghost guns—often untraceable and made from kits—to have serial numbers and undergo background checks, similar to conventionally manufactured firearms.

The rule was introduced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under the Gun Control Act of 1968, applying to gun kits and partially completed frames and receivers. It was designed to close a loophole that allowed individuals prohibited from owning guns, such as felons and domestic violence perpetrators, to acquire these weapons without regulation.

Despite being struck down by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the rule remains in effect pending the Supreme Court’s decision. Early evidence indicates that the regulation has led to a decrease in the recovery of ghost guns in various jurisdictions since its implementation in 2023. The coalition of attorneys general argues that reversing the rule would undermine public safety and hinder law enforcement efforts.

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Vincel B. Flasher 1950-2024

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