Pennsylvania stands ready to implement a new Biden administration federal rule on ghost-gun regulations at the state level.
Ghost guns are unserialized firearms that can be bought online and assembled at home, making them untraceable. The Biden regulation will ensure partially manufactured frames and receivers require a background check at the point of sale, along with requiring dealers and gunsmiths in the state to serialize and inventory any unregistered firearms coming into their businesses.
Gov. Tom Wolf said ghost guns are fueling the gun-violence crisis in Pennsylvania.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Wolf asserted. “Ghost guns are being seized and recovered from crime scenes at an alarming rate. Combined, the Pennsylvania State Police and Philadelphia Police have recorded 147 seizures of ghost guns already this year.”
The federal regulation will take effect 120 days from April 26, the date it was published in the
Federal Register. Gun deaths in the United States hit an all-time high in 2020, with more than 45,000 people killed from firearm-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Michael Muldrow, police commissioner of York, said they have already confiscated 10 ghost guns in the first four months of the year. He added ghost guns have made it more challenging to solve violent crimes and hold those responsible accountable.
“Gun violence is the number one threat our communities are facing throughout this county, across this state and around this country,” Muldrow stated. “And the one thing I hope we can all agree on, no matter what side of the line you may fall, is doing the things that we need to do to stop the flow of illegal guns into our neighborhoods.”
In 2019, Pennsylvania began classifying “80% receivers,” mostly-assembled frames often used to make ghost guns, as firearms, requiring a serial number and background check to purchase.