Technology is truly incredible if you stop to think about it, affecting and improving many products including firearms. Now, it is possible to use a 3-D printer to construct a firearm or purchase a kit through the mail to construct a firearm. These types of firearms, referred to as “ghost guns” are not without controversy.
What is a ghost gun?
Ghost guns are weapons assembled by you from a kit. They are not regulated and cannot be traced. As of right now, you do not need a background check to purchase a ghost gun, and ghost guns do not have serial numbers that could be used by those investigating crimes involving the weapons.
The changing legality of ghost guns
Ghost guns present a challenging legal problem. After the Supreme Court ruled that a person’s right to own a gun is separate from the Second Amendment’s “militia clause,” courts are now left to reexamine case law and determine how it applies to ghost guns.
In addition, the current administration has empowered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to redefine when a component of a gun crosses the line into being treated legally as a weapon, with serial numbers and background checks.
Now, kits in which the gun is 80% finished are no longer allowed to be sold. However, it is still possible to purchase a gun frame and then in a separate transaction purchase the other parts needed to assemble the gun. Lawsuits have been filed by those in the firearms industry stating the new rules constitute government overreach.
So, as of right now you do have a Second Amendment right to bear arms, and while you cannot purchase some gun kits you can purchase the separate components of a gun in multiple transactions. Time will tell whether the new rules regarding ghost guns will change following the pending lawsuits.