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Queens DA lauds White House for new ‘ghost gun’ regulations

ghost gun
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz says President Biden’s new regulations on ghost guns will help her further shut down the “polymer pipeline” here in Queens. (Photo courtesy of Queens district attorney’s office)

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is hailing President Joe Biden’s new regulations aimed at reigning in the proliferation of ghost guns, untraceable firearms that have turned up at multiple crime scenes across the borough.

Biden announced the new crackdown Monday that changes the definition of a firearm under federal law to include unfinished parts, like the frame of a handgun or the receiver of a long gun. It says those parts must be licensed and include serial numbers.

“President Biden’s new rule provides long overdue common sense federal regulations of ghost guns,” Katz said. “These are personally manufactured, fully functional and virtually untraceable firearms that are assembled by purchasing parts on the internet. They are increasingly being recovered at crime scenes all over the country.”

The new regulations give Katz a new tool in her ongoing crackdown on what she calls the “polymer pipeline” here in Queens. Last month, Maryland resident Wenli Bai was arraigned at Queens Criminal Court on a 336-count complaint following the largest bust of ghost gun kits in New York state. Recovered were enough parts to build 74 ghost guns, 129 high-capacity magazines and additional ghost gun components, prosecutors said.

ghost gun
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz says President Biden’s new regulations on ghost guns will help her further shut down the “polymer pipeline” here in Queens. (Photo courtesy of Queens district attorney’s office)

“Our office has worked tirelessly to rid Queens County of ghost guns and our efforts have resulted in seven takedowns in the past eight months,” Katz said. “Mandating manufacturer licenses and component serial numbers on ghost guns will help keep us safe and allow for greater accountability when these weapons are used to wreak havoc on our communities. We commend the efforts of the Biden administration on gun safety.”

Mayor Eric Adams said the Biden administration is taking important steps to “sever the iron pipeline that delivers deadly weapons to New York City, where guns are not made but are too frequently used.” Adams also praised the nomination of DOJ prosecutor Steve Dettelbach as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

“The NYPD has taken nearly 1,800 guns off the streets this year alone, yet the guns keep flowing into our city, leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake,” Adams said. “In order to do their part in damming the rivers that feed the sea of gun violence, the ATF needs a permanent director and Congress should immediately turn their attention to confirming this critical nominee. At the same time, the Biden administration deserves real credit for taking strong steps to tackle the problem of ghost guns. Untraceable ghost guns are just as deadly as any other firearm, and they should be treated as such, not as a novelty item or curiosity.”

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