What tighter regulations on ghost guns could mean for Wisconsin

The Biden administration announced Monday a plan to regulate homemade guns known as “ghost guns” more tightly.
Updated: Apr. 11, 2022 at 10:05 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Biden administration announced Monday a plan to regulate homemade guns known as “ghost guns” more tightly.

The new rule President Joe Biden is working to finalize would require background checks and serial numbers for the kits people can buy to make guns at home. It would also require firearms dealers to give serial numbers to ghost guns if they come across them.

The White House says law enforcement recovered 20,000 suspected ghost guns in 2021, ten times more than five years earlier in 2016. ATF says it can trace fewer than 1% of the weapons.

“Guns that are manufactured or put together without any accountability, there is no serial number for these weapons, and oftentimes, people are using those to bypass the normal procedures,” said Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes.

Barnes says MPD recovered five such guns this year alone. He says the lack of regulation for kits and parts concerns all law enforcement.

“Now we have these weapons showing up on the streets of our communities, and I’m not sure that’s what we want,” said Barnes. “Unless, unless people are going to be responsible with them, and quite frankly, people are not being responsible.”

Deerfield Pistol & Archery Center manager Brett Fankhauser says before the new regulations, it is legal to buy and build a gun but illegal to sell a homemade firearm. Fankhauser added that some pursue it as a hobby to make a homemade gun, but others use it to dodge regulations.

“For some people, it’s doing their own thing and saying ‘I did this,’ that’s the intent; unfortunately, the side effect is it circumvents the background system for someone to get a gun,” said Fankhauser.

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