Biden’s ‘Ghost Gun’ Gun Control Gambit

President Joe Biden announced new gun control measures Monday in a bid to address rising violent crime.


President Joe Biden announced new gun control measures, including regulations on “ghost guns,” on Monday in a bid to address rising violent crime and respond to calls for increased gun control measures from the Democratic base.

  • The new “ghost gun” regulation would change the definition of a firearm to include individual unfinished parts, that must now also be licensed and include serial numbers.
  • Manufacturers would now be required to run background checks before selling gun parts – including those made by 3D printers.
  • Biden called ghost guns “the weapons of choice for many criminals.” In 2021 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reported there were 20,000 ghost guns in circulation.
  • For context, it is estimated there are 393,000,000 civilian-owned firearms in the United States.
  • In addition to his ghost gun crackdown, Biden announced he would appoint prosecutor Steve Dettelbach to head ATF. Biden’s first nominee for ATF chief, David Chipman, withdrew his nomination in the face of bipartisan opposition last year. 

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times profiled Steve Dettelbach, the former US Attorney for Northern Ohio in the Obama administration and Biden’s pick to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Dettelbach is supported by many leading gun control advocacy groups and will likely face stiff opposition from Senate Republicans.
  • The Washington Post’s analysis described Biden’s announcement as “wad[ing] back into the politically fraught politics of gun control.” Even though his announcement focused on “ghost guns,” Biden also called for Congress to pass an assault weapons ban.
  • Politico wrote that Biden’s gun control ploy comes as Democrats are on the defensive over violent crime and a “focus on guns” allows Biden to cast guns, not bail reform or “defund the police” as the root cause of rising crime.



  • Fox News emphasized Biden’s comments that a ‘ghost gun’ crackdown should be ‘just the start’ on gun control, even though the chances of gun control legislation passing congress are minimal.
  • National Review disparaged Biden’s “ghost gun theater” (and his “stupid line about ‘deer in Kevlar’) that has “utterly nothing to do with tamping down violent crime.” As David Harsanyi observed, “crime is rising, so it’s time for Democrats to take aim at law-abiding gun owners.”
  • Breitbart focused on Biden’s misleading comparison of gun manufacturers to cigarette companies and his statement that “acquiring gun makers’ internal documents is crucial” when trying to scrutinize their marketing of “deadly products.”

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© Dominic Moore, 2022