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Sunday, August 21, 2022

Lawsuit Targets ‘Ghost Gun’ Regulation

The battle over untraceable guns


A North Dakota gun dealer and Republican state prosecutors in 17 states are using the recent Supreme Court decision on guns to try to invalidate new federal restrictions on ghost guns.

The federal lawsuit filed in North Dakota by Morehouse Enterprises, gun owner Eliezer Jimenez and the prosecutors asks a judge to declare the rule unlawful and issue an injunction prohibiting the ATF from enforcing it.

“The legal tests on which the final rule relies have been resoundingly rejected by the court,” attorneys for the gun dealer wrote.

The rule, which is scheduled to become effective Aug. 24, would require manufacturers of kits to build guns to be licensed. It would also require them to put serial marks on the weapons and keep records of who buys the kits and would make the kits firearms under the Gun Control Act.

Guns made from kits are called “ghost guns” because they don’t have serial numbers used to trace them. Police found 45,240 suspected ghost guns at potential crime scenes from 2016 through 2021, including 692 homicides or suspected homicides.

In June, the Supreme Court threw out the two-part test that federal and state courts have used since a 2008 Supreme Court decision to reject most Second Amendment arguments of gun rights activists.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the 6-3 decision that relying on history is a “more legitimate” way to make a ruling, especially given a “lack [of] expertise” by judges about firearms.

Trump’s three NRA-approved judges all voted to throw out a 111-year-old New York law that limited who can carry guns on the streets.

Jake Charles, the former executive director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law, said the Supreme Court decision will have a huge impact.

“The court changed the entire standard for evaluating Second Amendment claims,” Charles said.

Sarah Okeson is correspondent for DCReport, reporting on the environment, gun control and the COVID pandemic. She is a former staff reporter for the Springfield News-Leader, Joplin Global and Florida Today ; and her work has also been featured by Salon, Miami Herald, Washington Times, Barons and more.