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Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Biden’s Limits on ‘Ghost Guns’

U.S.Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Biden’s Limits on ‘Ghost Guns’

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a challenge to the Biden administration’s regulation of “ghost guns” — kits that can be bought online and assembled into untraceable homemade firearms.

In defending the rule, a critical part of President Biden’s broader effort to address gun violence, administration officials said such weapons had soared in popularity in recent years, particularly among criminals barred from buying ordinary guns.

The regulation, issued in 2022 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, broadened the bureau’s interpretation of the definition of “firearm” in the Gun Control Act of 1968.

The new regulation did not ban the sale or possession of kits and components that can be assembled to make guns, but it did require manufacturers and sellers to obtain licenses, mark their products with serial numbers and conduct background checks.

Gun owners, advocacy groups and companies that make or distribute the kits and components sued to challenge the regulations, saying that they were not authorized by the 1968 law, which defined firearms to include weapons that “may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive” and “the frame or receiver of any such weapon.”

Judge Reed O’Connor, of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas, sided with the challengers and struck down the regulation in July, saying that “a weapon parts kit is not a firearm” and “that which may become or may be converted to a functional receiver is not itself a receiver.”

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