Washington, DC – President Joe Biden announced a crackdown on “ghost guns” on Monday and called on Congress to ban assault-style rifles and pass universal background checks and other anti-gun legislation that has stalled.
“They call this rule I’m about to announce ‘extreme. Extreme,'” Biden said at a press conference in the Rose Garden on April 11, according to ABC News.
“But let me ask you — is it extreme to protect police officers, extreme to protect our children, extreme to keep guns out of the hands of people who couldn’t even pack a background check?” the President asked.
“I know it’s controversial but I got it done once — ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines!” he demanded from the podium.
The President told a story about how he had been hunting and encountered a hunter who was upset about the gun laws that he wanted to pass.
“What do you think the deer you’re hunting wear Kevlar vests?” Biden said he asked the man. “What the hell ya need 20 bullets for? You must be a hell of a terrible shot. No, I’m serious. Think about it.”
BIDEN: "I know it's controversial but I got it done once—ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines!"
"What do you think the deer you're hunting wear Kevlar vests? What the hell ya need 20 bullets for? You must be a hell of a terrible shot. No, I'm serious. Think about it." pic.twitter.com/lZDZo4c7qP
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 11, 2022
Biden demonstrated with props at the podium how a ghost gun could be bought online, arrive in parts, and could be built into a weapon without any trace, ABC News reported.
“It’s not hard to put together,” he explained. “Anyone could order it in the mail, anyone… Terrorists and domestic abusers can go from a gun kit to a gun in as little as 30 minutes. Buyers aren’t required to pass background checks because guns have no serial numbers.”
Biden’s executive order expands the definition of “firearm” in the Gun Control Act to cover “buy build shoot” kits for guns, ABC News reported.
He said his order would make “ghost guns” subject to the same federal laws that apply to other firearms.
Officials said the goal is to stop untraceable weapons from getting to the streets and keep them out of the hands of people who aren’t supposed to have them, ABC News reported.
“We call them ghost guns because they can’t be traced, but make no mistake. They are real. They can shoot to kill, and they do,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco explained.
“For years criminals have sought out these unmarked guns to murder and to maim,” Monaco continued. “That’s why the attorney general has signed a rule that updates our regulations to keep up with changes in technology.”
The survivor of a high school shooting in Santa Clarita, California introduced the President at the Rose Garden ceremony, ABC News reported.
Mia Tretta called Biden “the strongest gun-sense commander in chief ever to hold office.”
“If you can put together an IKEA dresser, you can build a ghost gun,” Tretta told ABC News. “Unfortunately, it is that easy to get a weapon that has not only changed my life but has done the same thing to thousands of others. Finalizing this rule is a critical step to making sure no one else has to go through what my family has had to go through.”
Biden said his executive order would help keep students safe, ABC News reported.
“Starting today, weapons like the one used in Saugus High School and to ambush deputies that are here with us today are being treated like the deadly firearms they are,” Biden said. “If you commit a crime with a ghost gun, expect federal prosecution.”
“This rule is an important step, it’s going to make a difference, I promise you,” the President added.
Under the executive order, commercial manufacturers of gun-building kits will have to be licensed, ABC News reported.
Manufacturers will also be required to engrave a serial number on the kit’s frame or receiver.
Commercial sellers will be required to have a license to sell firearms and will have to run background checks prior to selling a kit, according to ABC News.
“At its core, this rule clarifies that anyone who wants to purchase a weapon parts kit that can be readily be converted to a fully assembled firearm must go through the same process they would have to go through to purchase a commercially made firearm in short weapon parts kits that may be readily convertible into working fully assembled firearms must be treated under federal law,” a senior White House official explained.
Biden’s executive order also addressed “ghost guns” that are already in circulation, ABC News reported.
Going forward, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will require federally-licensed gun dealers to etch serial numbers on any unregistered weapons they receive before they are resold.
“This requirement will apply regardless of how the firearm was made, meaning it includes ghost guns made from individual parts, kits, or by 3D-printers,” according to a fact sheet handed out by the administration at the announcement.