ATF Must Stop the Surge of Unregulated and Untraceable Online Ghost Gun Sales Due to Pandemic and Reckless Fear-Mongering by NRA
Online Sellers Report Surging Sales of Untraceable, DIY Ghost Gun Parts Due to Pandemic
Untraceable “Ghost Guns” Can Be Purchased Online With No Background Check, Thanks to ATF’s Failure to Regulate
ATF Must Act to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Violent Criminals, Gun Traffickers, and Minors
NEW YORK — As online gun sellers report increased demand for untraceable, DIY ghost guns parts, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today renewed its call on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to use its existing powers to regulate the sale of the building blocks for ghost guns:
“Right now, a criminal can legally get the parts for a ghost gun delivered right to their doorstep with no background check — and coronavirus panic and reckless fear-mongering by the NRA has them flying off the shelves,” said Nick Suplina, managing director for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “The ATF must get its head out of the sand on this and act swiftly and decisively to regulate the sale of these untraceable ghost guns before more lives are lost.”
The rise of ghost guns is the country’s fastest-growing gun safety problem. These do-it-yourself firearms are made from parts available without a background check and are predictably emerging as a weapon of choice for violent criminals, gun traffickers, dangerous extremists, and, generally, people legally prohibited from buying firearms.
In December, Everytown for Gun Safety called on the ATF to use its existing power to clarify that ghost gun parts should be regulated like firearms and thus subject to a background check. Across the country, states like California, New Jersey, and Connecticut have taken action to quell the threat of ghost guns — but a broad action from the ATF would provide a national solution.
Gun sales across the country are reportedly on the rise, as the NRA’s fear-mongering rhetoric encourages Americans to stockpile firearms during the pandemic. One NRA video claimed, “You might be stockpiling up on food right now to get through this current crisis. But if you aren’t preparing to defend your property when everything goes wrong, you’re really just stockpiling for somebody else,” and an NRA board member penned an op-ed claiming that, “it appears the federal government is readying additional measures that would undercut one of our Founders’ deepest fears – use of the military for domestic law enforcement purposes.” In recent weeks, the NRA’s board members have also furthered racist narratives around coronavirus, dismissed its significance, and spread conspiracies about this crisis.