A coalition of 20 state attorneys general, all Democrats, are backing a federal gun rule in court.
The Final Rule, as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives named it, would enable law enforcement officials to trace any homemade guns used in crimes. In addition, the rule limits trafficking the weaponry.
The Virginia House of Delegates and Senate failed to come to a compromise over a ban on “ghost guns” – a nickname for firearms that are handmade, improvised, or otherwise assembled from unserialized parts. As a result, the bill died when the General Assembly session ended Monday. Although HB 2276 passed in the House of Delegates, senators worried that the bill could have unintended consequences such as preventing legally owned firearms that had been grandfathered in from being transferred to someone else.
A Senate committee had already changed the bill to allow possession of unserialized firearms, but still banned manufacture, sale, or transfer of the weapons.
Attorney General Mark Herring has joined 19 other attorneys general asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to force regulation of so-called “ghost guns” – partially assembled firearms kits that can be completed by consumers without the serial numbers law enforcement uses to track the weapons. Herring and the other attorneys general signed an amicus brief as third parties to Syracuse v. ATF, a lawsuit that says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) was too lenient in its 2015 interpretation of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968.