Aug 9, 2023

Supreme Court Temporarily Reinstates Ghost Gun Regulations Transcript

Supreme Court Temporarily Reinstates Ghost Gun Regulations Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsGhost GunsSupreme Court Temporarily Reinstates Ghost Gun Regulations Transcript

The Supreme Court voted Tuesday to reinstate regulations on untraceable homemade weapons — known as ghost guns — while the legal challenges play out. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

The Supreme Court has voted to reinstate regulations on untraceable homemade weapons known as ghost guns. Ed O’Keefe explains more about this ruling.

Speaker 2 (00:10):

Police nationwide say ghost guns are a big reason why violent crime has spiked in major cities in recent years. And they’ve been used in school shootings in California, Maryland, and elsewhere. Ghost guns can be bought online, some made with a 3D printer. And most don’t carry serial numbers, making them harder to track. Today, the Supreme Court, with conservative justices, John Roberts and Amy Coney Barrett joining the three liberals in the majority, allowed the regulations to stay in place while legal challenges continue. The new rules were first introduced last summer in response to the growing wave of violent crime, and seek to treat ghost guns like other firearms.

Speaker 3 (00:47):

It simply treats them as firearms under the Gun Control Act, where a person has to appear in person, present identification, pass a background check.

Speaker 2 (00:56):

Thomas Chittum is the former number two at the ATF and helped draft the regulations.

Speaker 3 (01:00):

Increasingly, what we’ve seen is that criminals turn to the internet, order these kits from the comfort of their home, assemble them, and have a firearm that is not easily detected by law enforcement.

Speaker 2 (01:13):

ATF figures show the number of ghost guns recovered more than doubled from 2020 to 2021. Police say it’s led to violent crime like this incident in New York last month when a 25 year old man on a scooter allegedly shot up six locations across the city using a ghost gun.

Speaker 1 (01:30):

Ed O’Keefe joins us now from the White House. Ed, explained to us what the legal challenges playing out right now are, and if there’s a timeline on when they may be resolved.

Speaker 2 (01:41):

Jeff, good to see you. The two sides in this case expect the case will continue in federal court potentially for years to come, the White House tonight saying it’s pretty pleased with this, and we’ll continue to use every tool available at its disposal to fight gun violence across the country in the view of this White House that includes allowing a federal agency like ATF to regulate the scope of firearms. They argue through these regulations, that it’s perfectly legal, based on the 1968 Gun Control Act, based on how they write into the regulations and describe what is a ghost gun. Essentially, the plastic device, many of them are plastic, that you can order online without a background check… They don’t come with a serial number. And after a few simple instructions, you’ve got yourself a firearm.

They say that’s necessary to regulate these weapons to make sure those buying them are going through background checks because of the rise in violent crime involving them. But gun rights proponents or those opposed to the changes say, “No, this is a violation of that federal law.” The federal judge that initially ruled in this agreed saying it’s up to Congress. The appeals court that was asked to step in and allow the regulations to continue agreed with the District court judge. The Supreme Court, however, stepped in and said, “Let the regulations continue as the legal challenges continue.” The case is expected to be heard again in early September.

Speaker 1 (02:59):

If the argument here is that what the Biden administration did as a job for Congress, is there any possibility of either of the chambers taking up this issue?

Speaker 2 (03:08):

No, not as long as the Senate is so closely divided, not as long as House Republicans who oppose these kinds of regulations are there and don’t necessarily have the political will to tackle this issue right now. Expect it to continue to be an election year issue next year. Both sides likely to campaign on it. Democrats, however, believe they’ve got public support on their side, and that campaigning on the promise of passing legislation that regulates or bans these kind of weapons is one that can be backed by voters. We’ll wait and see.

Speaker 1 (03:40):

All right, Ed O’Keefe. Thanks.

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