Gun manufacturers and federal firearm regulators are meeting Friday to talk about ghost guns — suggesting President Biden may be targeting the weapons that can be manufactured at home without serial numbers, according to a report.
The meeting between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and gun manufacturers comes amid increasing calls to regulate the do-it-yourself weapons, but Friday’s talks were planned prior to the recent mass shootings in Boulder, Colorado, and in Atlanta-area spas, the Wall Street Journal reported.
ATF officials and the gun makers are expected to discuss a possible expansion of what is considered a firearm — potentially subjecting ghost guns to the same regulations as other weapons, according to people with knowledge of the meeting.
“ATF routinely meets with our regulated industry participants to discuss matters of mutual concern,” spokeswoman April Langwell told the newspaper. “One of those meetings is scheduled for this week, and ATF looks forward to continuing this important dialogue.”
Several firearms manufacturers will take part in the discussion, as well as the National Shooting Sports Foundation, according to the report.
“We have not seen credible evidence and statistics demonstrating that this is a significant issue,” said the NSSF’s general counsel, Lawrence Keane. “We are happy to have a dialogue with the ATF as we always are on issues that impact industry.”
The meeting will occur one day after a reporter asked Biden — during his first formal White House press briefing — if he planned to take executive action on gun control, giving money to cities and states for those efforts, and if he intended to target ghost guns as well.
“All of the above,” Biden said. “It’s a matter of timing.”
Eighteen Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Monday to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on him to take action against ghost guns, which cannot be traced due to their lack of serial numbers.
Roughly 10,000 of the weapons that can be built with pieces bought online were recovered by authorities in 2019, according to ATF statistics cited by the Wall Street Journal.
Biden called for gun control legislation, including an assault weapons ban, on Tuesday, one day after the deadly mass shooting at a Boulder, Colo., supermarket that left 10 people dead, including a police officer.
He did not mention ghost guns, but administration officials discussed them with gun control advocates during a meeting in February, the Wall Street Journal reported.