Joe Biden has attacked the Supreme Court as an "extreme" rubber stamp for the right, but the court just handed the president a victory in his gun control crusade, greenlighting regulations of "ghost guns."
The Supreme Court split 5-4, with Amy Coney Barrett and John Roberts siding with the court’s liberal wing.
So-called "ghost guns" are the latest obsession of the gun control lobby, which wants to bring these privately made firearms under federal surveillance.
To that end, Biden published a new rule at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) that bends the meaning of "firearm" beyond all recognition.
Biden's rule requires buyers of unfinished gun parts to go through background checks as if they bought a fully operable gun from a licensed dealer. And "ghost guns" need to have serial numbers.
In July, a district court judge ruled that Congress never granted sweeping authority to regulate gun parts in the way Biden intends.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor did not rule on the constitutional questions, instead finding the ATF exceeded its statutory authority under the Gun Control Act of 1968. Under that law, the only gun parts the government may regulate are "frames and receivers."
But Biden's rule distorts the ordinary definition of "frames and receivers" to include non-functional and "partially completed" components, O'Connor said.
"A part that has yet to be completed or converted to function as frame or receiver is not a frame or receiver. ATF’s declaration that a component is a “frame or receiver” does not make it so if, at the time of evaluation, the component does not yet accord with the ordinary public meaning of those terms," he said.
The plaintiffs assert that law-abiding citizens are free "to make firearms for their own use without overbearing federal regulation.” Seems reasonable.
But, like anything else that allows citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights, the left calls the existence of ghost guns a "loophole" that must be addressed for the sake of "public safety."
The Department of Justice hailed the Supreme Court’s decision, claiming the rule is “helping law enforcement solve crimes and reducing the number of untraceable ghost guns flooding our communities.”
The Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case, so this case could return to the court before long.