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Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chairs Statement on Finalization of Ghost Gun Rule to Keep Unserialized, Untraceable Guns Out of Communities, Nomination of ATF Director


Joint Statement From Ten Co-Chairs Applauds Lifesaving Action on Growing Threat, Nomination of Crucial Role to Enforce Gun Laws

NEW YORK — Today, the ten co-chairs of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a nonpartisan coalition of more than 1,000 current and former mayors that is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, celebrated the finalization of a rule that will require ghost guns to be treated like the deadly weapons they are — a major win for gun violence prevention efforts — as well as the nomination of Steve Dettelbach to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The finalized ghost guns rule will update the definitions of “firearm” and “frame or receiver” to cover kits and core components easily assembled into untraceable ghost guns. 

In response to today’s announcement, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chairs Mayor Brandon Scott (Baltimore, MD), Mayor Tim Kelly (Chattanooga, TN), Former Mayor Steve Benjamin (Columbia, SC), Mayor Quinton Lucas (Kansas City, MO), Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard (Mount Vernon, NY), Mayor Eric Adams (New York, NY), Former Mayor Michael Tubbs (Stockton, CA), Mayor Tishaura Jones (St. Louis, MO), Mayor Jane Castor (Tampa, FL), and Mayor Regina Romero (Tucson, AZ) issued the following statement: 

“Ghost guns have run rampant in our cities and, with this rule and a new Senate-confirmed director, ATF would be better able to stop their proliferation. While cities across the nation have taken bold action on ghost guns, we’ve needed federal action to stop ghost gun companies from flooding our cities with these deadly, untraceable weapons and shut down gun traffickers. The Biden-Harris Administration has once again proven its commitment to ending gun violence and keeping our cities safe by finalizing this rule and nominating an ATF Director to usher in a new era at the agency.”

ATF estimates that approximately 45,000 ghost guns have been recovered at crime scenes since 2016, with more than 19,000 ghost guns being recovered in 2021 alone. Local law enforcement agencies are also seeing staggering increases in rates of recovery — rising as much as 100 percent in the last three years in places like San Diego and Los Angeles. Ghost guns have also been weapons of choice for militant right-wing extremists and people who otherwise would not be able to pass a background check. In recent months, the country has additionally seen an increase of gun fire on school grounds with ghost guns and recoveries of ghost guns on campuses. Schools in Arizona, New Mexico, Maryland, and Kansas have been devastated with these instances of gun fire on school grounds — highlighting a scary trend and another important reason to regulate these guns. 

A Senate-confirmed ATF Director is crucial to robust implementation and enforcement of this new rule and finally leading the agency into the 21st century. Dettelbach is a former U.S. Attorney for Ohio who has held senior positions at the Department of Justice.