The US Supreme Court reinforced its decision to let President Joe Biden’s administration regulate build-at-home “ghost gun” kits during a legal fight, lifting a ruling that exempted two manufacturers.
(Bloomberg) — The US Supreme Court reinforced its decision to let President Joe Biden’s administration regulate build-at-home “ghost gun” kits during a legal fight, lifting a ruling that exempted two manufacturers.
The justices without any public dissents granted a request from the administration, which said two lower courts had “effectively countermanded” an Aug. 8 Supreme Court order that allowed the regulations for the time being.
The administration says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives rule is needed to help control a flood of untraceable weapons, often sold over the internet. The regulation subjects gun kits to the same federal requirements as fully assembled firearms, meaning dealers must include serial numbers, conduct background checks and keep records of transactions.
The two manufacturers – BlackHawk Manufacturing Group and Defense Distributed – said the Supreme Court’s earlier decision wasn’t meant to be the final word. After the high court acted, they persuaded US District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas to issue a new order blocking the regulation.
The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals then narrowed O’Connor’s order but left in place the exemption for the two gunmakers, saying they “would be irreparably harmed by being forced to shut down their companies or by being arrested.”
US Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar told the Supreme Court that, because the two companies sell products on the internet, the carve-out “ensures that ghost guns remain freely available online.”
The manufacturers are part of a broader group of gun-rights supporters that contend the administration is trying to change a decades-old understanding of the 1968 Gun Control Act.
The latest case is Garland v. BlackHawk Manufacturing, 23A302.
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