What is a ghost weapon

US President Biden wants to take action against "ghost weapons" with an order

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Washington - Given the rampant gun violence in the United States, President Joe Biden wants to make gun regulations stricter in several places. "Gun violence in this country is an epidemic," Biden said Thursday in the rose garden of the White House in Washington. It is also a cause for shame for the United States at the international level. "It is long overdue for us to act."

With the help of the Ministry of Justice, Biden wants to take action against so-called ghost weapons, which can be easily bought on the Internet and quickly assembled, but have no serial number - which makes prosecution in the event of a crime more difficult. For a fundamental tightening of the gun laws, the president is dependent on the Congress and above all the Senate, which Biden once again called for action.

Courts should be able to confiscate weapons

"Ghost guns" are an increasing problem for security forces, it said on the White House. Biden ordered the US Department of Justice to come up with a regulation within 30 days to curb its spread. Among other things, the ministry is to develop model legislation for federal states, according to which courts can temporarily withdraw their weapons from certain people if they pose a danger to themselves or to others.

Such laws already exist in several states. Biden's government, however, wants this across the board and wants to make it easier for states to get there through model legislation.

Biden also wants to make David Chipman head of the ATF supervisory authority, which, among other things, combats the illegal use and sale of firearms in the USA. Chipman was most recently an advisor to the Giffords Center, which advocates stricter gun laws.

At the same time, the president called on Congress to adopt stricter gun laws. The Democrats in the House of Representatives had only recently made a new attempt to regulate by law that arms buyers would be more strictly controlled. The President again appealed to the Senate to pass these changes.

Prohibit assault rifles

He also spoke out in favor of banning war weapons such as assault rifles. Nobody needs war weapons with 100 rounds of ammunition, he warned. Biden complained that condolences from members of Congress after fatal gunfire attacks were insufficient. "Enough with the prayers - it is time to act."

A few weeks ago, two severe attacks in the United States caused horror. In and around the city of Atlanta, Georgia, an attacker shot eight people in three massage parlors in mid-March. A few days later, a shooter killed 10 people in a supermarket in the town of Boulder, Colorado.

There are regular fatal incidents in the United States involving firearms that are easy to buy there. In its latest statistics from 2018, the CDC recorded a total of 39,740 gun deaths in the United States - about 109 deaths per day. During the pandemic and social restrictions, bloody shootings had become a little less common. In view of the two severe attacks, observers complained about the return to gloomy "normalcy" in the USA within a few days.

Shot attacks over and over again

In the past few days there have also been various other fatal gunshot attacks. As recently as Wednesday, a shooter in the US state of South Carolina killed five people, including a doctor, his wife and two grandchildren. The children were five and nine years old, according to US media.

Referring to this recent incident, Biden expressed general appalling at the high number of shootings and deaths. "This is an epidemic, Christ!" He warned. "And it has to stop." The steps presented here are just a beginning. "We have a lot of work to do."

Attorney General Merrick Garland described gun violence in the country as a "plague" and "ongoing tragedy". This year alone, around 11,000 people have been estimated to have been killed by firearms in the United States.

There are calls for stricter gun laws after every major gun attack in the USA - but without any major success. Stricter reviews of gun owners and the prohibition of weapons of war have been discussed in the USA for a long time, but have not yet found the necessary majorities in Congress. Many Republicans oppose tightening gun laws. The gun lobby is very powerful in the United States.

Biden's hands are partly tied, as is the case with former Democratic President Barack Obama, for example. A president's rulings have limited influence. Legislators would have to act for more far-reaching changes. The Democrats currently have a slim majority in both chambers of the US Congress, but would have to rely on Republican votes in the Senate. (APA, April 8, 2021)