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Dealers rush to sell Ghost Guns before new rules take effect

CBS Survey: Dealers Rushing to Sell Ghost Gun Parts

New Federal Rule Effectively Bans With just a few days left until August 24, a number of companies called Ghost Guns began selling the parts needed to build the nearly untraceable firearms. On the run, gun enthusiasts continue to produce them.

In April, President Joe Biden announced new regulations. Treat ghost guns that can be purchased online or made with a 3D printer like any other firearm.

Common firearms must include a serial number so that law enforcement can trace them if used in a crime, but ghost guns do not. It also allows anyone to purchase Ghost Gun parts online without background checks, thus circumventing restrictions designed to prevent criminals from purchasing conventional firearms from licensed dealers. 

Online, many websites selling ghost gun parts are posting countdowns until the day the rule goes into effect, with information for hobbyists who want to continue making firearms at home.

Ghost gun parts retailers like comply with ATF regulations on privately-made firearms. It advertises impending changes.

These sites include companies such as, which encourage visitors to "grab freedom while they can" and use AR-15 reception Here is a link to the machine product list. A similar site,, has promised to continue shipping Ghost Gun parts until the day the rules begin. Representatives for and his did not respond to CBS News' request for comment.

The number of ghost guns in the United States has increased in recent years. According to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which regulates firearms, there is no data on the number of ghost gun parts sold, but the numbers appearing at crime scenes have surged in recent years. 

In its latest report on the U.S. gun market, the ATF pointed to recent spikes in Google Trends data suggesting increased interest in ghost gun parts. 

The data shows that major searches related to specific ghost gun parts have surged by more than 600% over the past decade. 

The ATF reported that Ghost Guns allowed "home-made firearms without records or background checks."
Bob and Hugh are two of him doing just that. They asked CBS News to use only their first names for fear of backlash. 

In their garage in California's Central Valley, they build his AR-15 style rifle that functions from what appears to be gun parts, but the current Under federal law, it's just a piece of metal. 

With the new ATF rules coming into force, the so-called '80% receiver' will soon be considered a firearm and will be no different from any other gun. will be similarly regulated.

When assembled, the guns like the ones Bob and Hugh make are essentially the same as the guns sold in stores, with one important difference that he I have.

Bob and Hugh began serializing every gun they produced in 2018. That's when the state of California started requiring ghost guns to have serial numbers. He is one of the few states that regulate ghost guns.

California-like regulations will be expanded to all states as soon as the new ATF regulations come into effect. This does not mean that privately manufactured firearms are illegal, it just means that ghost guns must be serialized. must be submitted for investigation. 

Bob said he fears the new rules will discourage law-abiding citizens from building guns like he did. 

"The law, like me, is fair and just." I'm trying to discourage a lot of people who want to confirm something," he said. "They will discourage people from going out and participating in this hobby." 

David Puccino, deputy chief attorney at the Giffords Law Center, an advocate for stricter gun laws, said this is a criminal offense. said it was a "strong rule" that would make it more difficult to build ghost guns and allow hobbyists. Continue to do so like Bob and Hugh. 

"For the end-user, if you're a responsible gun owner and want to build your own weapon, nothing works - really nothing changes." "It's just going to be the same process as buying a finished gun. But if you're a criminal and someone trying to get around those laws, you can't do that anymore." We cannot source the parts used in the production of ghost guns.” 

Ghost guns have become an increasing problem for law enforcement in recent years. According to the ATF, nearly all ghost guns recovered at crime scenes (over 99%) are completely untraceable. At the same time, the number of ghost guns used in crime has skyrocketed, up 1,000% since 2016, but he accounts for only 3% of all guns recovered by police. 

Charlie Patterson, a special agent in charge of the ATF's Washington Field Division, called the trend "extremely disturbing."

"Here [Washington D.

Patterson said he is confident the new rules will make a difference.

"will stop the trafficking of firearms, If there is a law enforcement tool that can prevent one life from being lost to gun violence, I think it will work," he said.

According to Puccino, "implementation" is the key to making the new rules truly effective.

"What we need is the ATF to be really careful about enforcing the rules," Puccino said. "People who sell weapons under another name, to make sure they're selling parts that can be used to make guns, are regulated as if they were selling weapons. ATF If they do that, I think the rules will be very strict. Effective."

"It doesn't work," said Hugh. "Because it's the same thing. Criminals don't obey the law."

For this article, CBS News he consulted The Trace. The Trace is a non-profit journalism organization that reports on guns. Trace correspondent Alain Stephens explored the ATF's efforts to reduce the criminal use of ghost guns in preparation for federal rule changes. Read full story here

  • Gun Control
  • Gun Safety
  • Ghost Gun
Chris Hacker

Chris Hacker is an investigative data journalist for CBS News.

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