As the latest federal rules to track “ghost guns” take effect in the U.S, police in Minnesota are dealing with the increasing number of shootings in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In April 2022, president Joe Biden and the Justice Department stated new regulations that would aim to conduct gun crimes. It included a rule that targeted the production and sale of “ghost” guns which typically lack serial numbers.
Under the new rule that came into effect on August 24, ghost guns sold as assembly kits or made out of 3D printers would be treated like other commercial guns. Anyone buying a kit to build their firearm at home will need a background check. The homemade kits will also have serial numbers like other firearms.
Through a statement to the police, William McCrary, the St. Paul Field ATF Division special agent, explained that the new federal rules didn’t aim to stop gun enthusiasts from building their firearms at home. They are after helping track firearms mostly found at crime scenes in the Twin Cities.
“If you want to make one on a 3D printer, you’re still allowed as long as you’re not federally prohibited,” he said. “We have recovered double what we recovered last year, which was about double from the previous year. If they were not turning up at crime scenes, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal,” added McCrary.
The regulations came into effect as planned even after one of the federal judges turned down a legal petition by a North Dakota gun owner. Several Republican Attorney Generals were also not in agreement with the regulation and accused the agency of “exceeding its authority” and limiting the constitutional rights of many American citizens.
In an August ruling, Judge Peter Welte concluded from his findings that ATF could delineate firearms meaning as deemed fit. Peter Welte’s judgment suggested the agency was rightful to enforce the new rules as it was in the interest of public safety and law enforcement.
Corresponding with the new ATF rules, the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus vice president, Rob Doar, said the rules wouldn’t trouble any legal firearm owner. In his statement to 5 EYE WITNESS NEWS in early August, he failed to acknowledge the impact the rules would have in curbing crime.
“If we are looking at this as some sort of a solution to a public safety crisis we are experiencing, we’re going to be setting ourselves up for tremendous disappointment,” Said Doar.
Project Minnesota, a nonprofit fighting for gun reform, said the regulations were a step in the right direction through its Executive Director Rashmi Seneviratne. Rashmi suggested that we can do several minor things to reduce gun violence.