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Biden may regulate ‘ghost guns,’ and order gun control via executive actions, report says

Guns at a New Jersey gun buyback event. (NJ Advance Media/TNS)
February 24, 2021

Joe Biden’s administration is considering an executive order that would require people who buy or build homemade firearms lacking serial numbers to undergo background checks, according to three people familiar with the matter, who spoke with Politico this week.

The White House is reportedly weighing a number of gun control measures in an effort to keep promises the president made throughout his campaign, including restrictions on homemade or makeshift firearms, often referred to as “ghost guns.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) recommended Biden take executive action to close what he described as the “Charleston loophole,” which allows the transfer of guns from licensed firearms dealers prior to a completed background check.  

However, Blumenthal said the White House was hesitant, likely opting to support closing the so-called loophole through legislation, instead of executive action. Biden’s administration has also expressed support for legislation that keeps guns away from those deemed a “danger” to themselves or others, as well as establishing storage standards for guns, people familiar with the plans said.

“My view is the bigger and bolder the better on gun violence prevention because we have a unique window of opportunity,” Blumenthal said.

Led by director of the Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice and director of the Office of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond, Biden’s administration has had multiple meetings on gun violence prevention with groups pushing for gun control.

“During the campaign, the president laid out an ambitious plan to keep our communities safe, and he remains committed to that agenda,” White House spokesperson Mike Gwin said.

According to a White House official, Biden is open to using “every tool at our disposal, including executive actions” to enact his gun control agenda, including investing in community violence programs, background check requirements, an “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazine ban and repealing gun manufacturers’ protections from liability.

“This administration is what, three weeks old [but] it’s the strongest gun safety administration in history, whether you’re talking about the president or the vice president or the Cabinet,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We’ve got full confidence they’re going to govern like it.”

Advocates for Second Amendment rights have been up in arms about Biden’s proposed gun control agenda, and earlier this month, Newton County, Mo., took a step to combat it – the county enacted the Second Amendment Preservation Act, allowing local law enforcement to arrest federal agents who attempt to enforce laws in the county that violate citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms, in addition to rendering such laws null and void.

The act requires “the courts and law enforcement agencies to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms,” adding that law enforcement agencies, county employees and political subdivisions will not have “authority to enforce or attempt to Any federal agents who attempt to enforce federal regulations that violate the Second Amendment “shall be subject to arrest by the Newton County Missouri Sheriff’s Department,” according to the act.

“All federal acts, laws, orders, rules and regulations passed by the Federal Government and specifically any Presidential Administration whether past, present, or future, which infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution shall be invalid in this county, shall not be recognized in this county, and specifically rejected by this county, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this county,” the act reads.