DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Last week, the Supreme Court made a decision to reinstate President Joe Biden’s gun control regulations.
Those regulations, in part, require serial numbers on so-called “ghost guns”. The Supreme Court’s ruling reinstates the administration’s policies while challenges to it work their way through the courts.
Ghost guns are the center of this debate. The Department of Justice defines a ghost gun as a firearm produced by someone other than a manufacture and without a serial number.
Firearms are traced using serial numbers. However, ghost guns do not have them which makes them untraceable.
That is why gun control advocates are praising the Supreme Court’s ruling, requiring each ghost gun to have a serial number, as well as the Biden administration’s policy expanding record-keeping for firearms.
Those on the other side of this issue claim serial numbers are not the problem.
“Criminals tend to acquire firearms through illegal means,” Dean Rieck, executive director of Buckeye Firearms Association, said. “So, you know, they’re not going through background checks, they’re not filling out paperwork, and the numbers on firearms just are not very useful in solving real world crimes.”
The other side feels regulations are needed for all guns.
“Ghost guns are still guns,” Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan Jr., executive director of the Ohio Council of Churches, said. “Even though they are assembled, and they come in parts, they are still guns.”
Rieck feels firearms are already heavily regulated and ghost guns are just the scape goat for the uptick in gun violence.
“Politicians are always looking to blame something other than themselves for the rise in crime,” he said. “So, so-called ghost guns are one of the things that they like to blame.”
Overall, Sullivan Jr. argues the kits are a recipe to taking someone’s life and questions the need for them.
“It’s questionable what good these instruments are for humanity, but for anyone who values sustaining their lives,” he said.
There has been a steady increase in ghost guns over the years. There were less than 2,000 ghost guns recovered by law enforcement in 2016, but over 25,000 were recovered 2022.