By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
President Joe Biden’s crackdown on untraceable firearms known as “ghost guns” is an assault on gun owners across the country, a state senator said Monday.
Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, told Cowboy State Daily that the administration’s ban on guns manufactured without serial numbers is a violation of the Second Amendment.
“Since the inception of our nation, Americans have held these most fundamental rights, for a citizen to be afforded the ability to make and own weapons,” Bouchard told Cowboy State Daily. “This right even predates our Constitution, as the founders based the Second Amendment on similar protections in the English Constitution. The U.S. Constitution places important ‘limits’ on the government and it stipulates that Congress is the only branch that makes law.”
On Monday, Biden and U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced that the U.S. Justice Department issued a final rule banning the business of manufacturing kits for the assembly of firearms using parts that do not carry serial numbers.
Bouchard said he knew this “assault” on gun owners was coming, which is why he introduced legislation in 2021 to make such executive orders unenforceable in Wyoming.
“Sadly, we have a ‘majority’ of Republicans in the Wyoming legislature that ignored my warnings, and refused to push back at Biden’s gun grab during the last session. And here we are,” Bouchard said.
The senator added that there were already laws on the books to jail those who make or use firearms illegally and that Biden was peddling fear to disarm law-abiding citizens.
Meanwhile, Wyoming Gun Owners ]spokesman Aaron Dorr told Cowboy State Daily that gun owners would meet Biden, who he referred to as a “tyrant,” in court.
“Joe Biden can’t pass gun control in the Senate, so he’s resorting to tyrannical executive orders that won’t do anything to stop violent crime, but will put gun owners in prison,” Dorr said Monday. “Today’s orders mandating the serialization of upper receivers and parts kits is the kind of naked tyranny that our Found Fathers warned us about.”
Mark Jones, Wyoming legislative director for Gun Owners of America, told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that his association will also likely take Biden to court over the action.
“Americans have made guns at home since the beginning of our country,” Jones said. “These so-called ‘ghost guns’ are rarely used in crimes, so the threat of it is much lower than other things. It’s just a further attempt to track gun owners for eventual confiscation.”
Jones added that Biden’s ruling will not make American people any safer, but rather criminalize them for Biden’s “political stunt.”
“It’s much ado about nothing, but it’s a trampling effect,” he said.
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso also called the president’s action on Monday an “unconstitutional, backdoor gun grab.”
“This is an attempt to distract from the real reason we’re seeing crime skyrocket across the country,” Barrasso said. “If Democrats are serious about combatting crime, they need to stop defunding the police and start prosecuting criminals. Attacking the constitutional rights of Americans is not the answer.”
The Justice Department’s ruling clarifies certain firearm assembly kits known as “buy, build, shoot” kits that can be purchased online or at a store without a background check will be qualified as firearms in the future under the Gun Control Act. Commercial manufacturers of these kits will have to become licensed as firearm dealers and include serial numbers on the kits’ frame or receiver and must become federally licensed and run background checks prior to a sale, as is done with other commercially-made firearms.
In 2021, approximately 20,000 suspected “ghost guns” were reported to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as having been recovered by law enforcement in criminal investigations, a ten-fold increase from 2016, according to the White House.
Since ghost guns do not have serial numbers like other commercially-made firearms, law enforcement has a difficult time tracing one found at a crime scene back to its purchaser.
The Monday order will also help turn some ghost guns already in circulation into serialized firearms. Federally-licensed dealers and gunsmiths will now be required to add serial numbers to unserialized firearm taken into inventory. This requirement will apply regardless of how the firearm was made, meaning it includes ghost guns made from individual parts, kits, or by 3D-printers.