WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The Biden administration’s ghost gun rule went into effect this week. It requires serial numbers on all guns and background checks for those buying kits to build their own guns.

“Ghost guns” are guns that are untraceable or built from a kit with no serial number.

D.C. Council banned them in 2020, but even so the problem has gotten worse.

“There’s a lot of guns in this city and this police department has seized more guns this year already then all of this time last year. We’re over 2,000 guns recovered,” said Ashan Benedict, executive assistant chief of police with the Metropolitan Police Department.

Of those 2,000 were 344 ghost guns.

2019202020212022 YTD
Montgomery County Police Department165671141
Prince George’s County Police Department27164264234
Metropolitan Police Department116306439344

“One of the reasons why gun violence has continued to skyrocket and raises is because of the availability of weapons. And this ghost gun market has made that so much worse,” said Christian Heyne, vice president of policy with Brady United Against Gun Violence.

In April, President Biden announced a new federal rule requiring background checks for anyone who purchases a build-your-own gun kit and requiring sellers to put serial numbers on new parts. If a dealer wants to resell a gun without a serial number, they have to add one.

“This rule will have a critical effect in ensuring that problem doesn’t continue to grow and is an absolutely vital first step in the equation to be able to get a handle on this market,” Heyne said.

This week a federal judge denied a request to pause the rule, so the Department of Justice is now enforcing it.

“What the state laws are doing are more comprehensive than what we have with this federal regulatory change which is why we are still urging a Brady that Congress take the proactive measures to not only deal with the prospective weapons, but those weapons that are in circulation and retroactively take care of all the guns that are untraceable and have been purchased without regulation that are in the public right now,” Heyne said.

Aidan Johnston, director of federal affairs with Gun Owners of America, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said “Biden’s so-called “Ghost Gun” ban will not save lives, reduce crime, or do anything besides infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. The rule is actually all about gun registration, from the forced serialization of privately made firearms to the new permanent record retention policy for all firearm transaction records. The rule is a violation of the Second Amendment and GOA is committed to continue the fight with our lawsuit Morehouse Enterprises v. ATF and in the next pro-gun Congress.”

Maryland’s ghost gun ban went into effect earlier this year. The Virginia legislature failed to pass similar legislation last year.