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White House’s ghost gun crackdown receives mixed reviews on Capitol Hill

The White House is hoping to curb gun violence as President Biden announced an executive measure last week targeting so-called ghost guns, homemade weapons that are difficult to track.
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 10:06 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Following a series of mass shootings in South Carolina and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last weekend, gun control is back in the national spotlight. The White House is hoping to curb gun violence as President Biden announced an executive measure last week targeting so-called ghost guns, homemade weapons that are difficult to track. Gun control advocates like Christian Heyne, from the Brady Campaign, are praising the move.

“We have seen a significant increase of these weapons in major cities across the country,” said Heyne.

Guns are required to have serial numbers, but the individual parts used to make ghost guns are not. Americans can assemble what amounts to a gun without a trace. That is about to change with the new rule, which calls for serial numbers on the parts in ghost gun kits.

“There is a lot more that we recognize that needs to be done and we’re excited to get to work there too,” said Heyne.

In 2017, Rep. Dina Titus’ (D-Nev.) district saw the deadliest individual mass shooting in history when a gunman left 61 dead in Las Vegas. She wants Congress to go further in controlling guns.

“We can’t get it out of the Congress, especially out of the Senate with the Republicans, and so the president has to do it through some sort of administrative procedure,” said Titus.

Titus’ Republican colleagues are reluctant to pass new gun control laws. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) said he wants to protect the Second Amendment, and enforce laws already on the books.

“It’s not going to affect the crime rate by going after ghost guns. All it’s going to do is try to make legal gun owners illegal,” said Simpson.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said the focus in the gun control conversation should be centered on criminals.

“I will fight for the Second Amendment and the right of people to own and bear arms,” said Biggs.

With a thin majority in the House and a 50-50 Senate split, it is an uphill battle for Democrats to pass significant gun control legislation. Those efforts will become even more difficult if Republicans take majority control in the November midterm elections.

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