New Rules Aimed At “Ghost Guns” Could Impact Your Personal Firearms

In April of 2022, President Biden made a change to existing rules surrounding gun serial numbers and identification. These changes recently went into effect in August, and are part of an attempt to reduce the trafficking of “ghost guns” or firearms that are made entirely from parts that can be ordered online without a background check. While the efficacy of these laws in preventing ghost guns from being manufactured and trafficked remains to be seen, they certainly have the potential to affect gun owners across the country.

The new rules include several requirements which change the way that guns will be manufactured and sold in the United States. To start, firearm kits that are sold in parts will now only be authorized for production and sale by licensed manufacturers. This change will make gun kits fall in line with regular firearms that are produced and sold as a single, assembled unit. Manufacturers must also conduct a background check on the person receiving an order for a gun kit to ensure that the individual is legally eligible to own a firearm.

In addition, any firearm kit that is sold will now require the serial number of the weapon to be included on the gun’s lower receiver or frame, the main part of the gun. This is a significant change from the previously standing rules on gun kits, as the lower receiver was previously considered an “unfinished” part of the gun that could be purchased separately and modified or assembled as the owner desired. Until now, lower receiver “blanks” could be purchased without any ID requirements and did not have to be registered – in fact, they often didn’t have serial numbers at all. The manufacturer of the kit must store the purchaser information and its accompanying serial number for as long as they remain in business, instead of the previously established twenty-year-long requirement. These changes are intended to make it harder to produce ghost guns by making the serial numbers associated with each gun more traceable.

Previously, gun enthusiasts in Texas could purchase a gun kit for home assembly and personal use without the need for a background check, serial number, or registration. Now, those who are interested in purchasing a weapon kit must be careful to ensure that it is sold by a licensed manufacturer and that they receive a serial number for the kit at the time of purchase.

We encourage our readers to be careful when it comes to gun laws in Texas – you don’t want to be caught off guard when the rules change. If you’ve run into trouble and are facing a firearms charge or another criminal offense in Texas, contact The Law Offices of Charles A. Banker, III at (713) 227-4100 today to schedule your consultation.

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The Law Offices of Charles A. Banker, III

Our firm’s founder, Charles A. Banker III, has been a solo criminal defense practitioner with offices in Houston and McAllen, TX for over 30 years. He understands what it means to work independently in today’s hyperconnected world, but he also knows that sometimes you need to lean on others.

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