California sues U.S. regulator in bid to deter ‘ghost guns’

California sues U.S. regulator in bid to deter ‘ghost guns’

An ATF agent poses with homemade rifles, or “ghost guns,” at an ATF field office in Glendale. SACRAMENTO — Backed by the fathers of two slain children, California’s attorney general sued the Trump administration on Tuesday in an effort to crack down on so-called “ghost guns” that can be built from parts with little ability to track or regulate the owners. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives doesn’t consider that the unfinished do-it-yourself kits qualify as firearms. So buyers don’t have to undergo the usual gun purchase background checks, and in most states the guns are not required to have serial numbers. California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s lawsuit asks a federal judge in San Francisco to order the federal agency to change its policy — arguing that it violates the common definition of a firearm under federal law and that the agency’s decision in 2006 to stop considering the parts as firearms was arbitrary and capricious. Agency spokeswoman April Langwell said the ATF did not comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit was called frivolous and “another outrageous example of Attorney General Becerra attacking law-abiding gun owners” by Brandon Combs, president of the Sacramento-based Firearms Policy Coalition, which promotes gun owners’ rights. Lawsuit plaintiff Bryan Muehlberger said he had never heard of ghost guns until November, when his 15-year-old daughter, Gracie Anne Muehlberger, was one of two students killed by a shooter using a ghost gun at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. Student Nathaniel Berhow, 16, […]

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