RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — New gun regulations aimed at phasing out ghost guns — or homemade firearms — will take effect next week.
The federal rules will require gun parts to be licensed and have serial numbers.
The federal government plans to mandate dealers to stamp serial numbers on all relevant gun parts used for homemade firearms starting on Wednesday, Aug. 24. They’ll also require dealers to run a background check before a sale on parts, like the frame of a handgun or the receiver of a long gun.
President Biden and his administration, along with the Justice Department, said the goal is to reduce violent crime and help investigators solve crimes. Biden announced the changes in April.
Ghost guns are privately made firearms without serial numbers. They can be made with a 3-D printer, individual parts or a kit.
Garry Fife, a member of the Central Virginia National African American Gun Association, said these new rules won’t help.
“I hate the term ghost gun because it fits the term but it makes it sound scary,” he said. “A criminal is not going to say, ‘Ah I’m not going to use this gun to commit another crime because it has a serial number, or it doesn’t have serial numbers.’ So, it’s not going to stop the bad apples from being bad apples.”
Instead, Fife said the rights of hobbyists who make guns at home, as people do with model cars, could be in jeopardy.
“I’m all for gun regulation — smart gun regulation. But I don’t want to make it to where it’s difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase things or being a gun owner,” he said.
Fife said he became a gun owner after the death of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed by a police officer during a 2016 traffic stop in the Minneapolis area.