DOJ Classifies Parts of Guns as Firearms that Need Background Checks


    On Wednesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) finalized a rule that classifies as firearms the parts in a gun parts kit. They will require a background check to be able to purchase them, like the check required for “traditional firearms.”

    The proposed rule was reported in April and it was noted that the classification change for parts of guns was intended to be part of a plan to stop firearms Democrats call “ghost guns.”

    Democrats make use of the phrase “ghost guns” to describe firearms Americans build themselves. The guns are usually constructed with an 80 percent receiver for rifles,or an 80 percent frame for pistols. Making such guns this way has always been an American hobby. The new rule, as suggested by the DOJ describes the kits as “buy, build, shoot” kits, and designated the kits themselves as “firearms.”

    On Wednesday, the DOJ declared that its ruling was final and in effect now.

    The language of the Final Rule 2021R-05F clarifies that a “partially complete frame or receiver” is now included with the meaning of “frames” or “receivers.” 

    The rule's other aspects as outlined in the announcement by the ATF of its finalization includes the following:

    • To help keep guns from being sold to convicted felons and other prohibited purchasers, the rule makes clear that retailers must run background checks before selling kits that contain the parts necessary for someone to readily make a gun.
    • To help law enforcement trace guns used in a crime, the rule modernizes the definition of frame or receiver, clarifying which part of a weapon must be marked with a serial number – including in easy-to-build firearm kits.
    • To help reduce the number of unmarked and hard-to-trace “ghost guns,” the rule establishes requirements for federally licensed firearms dealers and gunsmiths to have a serial number added to 3D printed guns or other un-serialized firearms they take into inventory.

    The fourth version of the summary states that the law also stipulates the requirement that Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) have to “retain records for the length of time they are licensed, thereby expanding records retention beyond the prior requirement of 20 years.” This means there will be a record of the sale, including the details of the purchaser's name, serial number address, name, etc. in the file of the gun store for ATF to examine whenever they visit the shop to review the record keeping of the FFL.


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