Justice Department Announces New Rule to Modernize Firearm Definitions

What follows below is a Department of Justice Press Release, see original document attached:

Rule Addresses ‘Ghost Gun’ Proliferation

Total Suspected Privately Manufactured Firearms PMFs by Calendar Year
Total Suspected Privately Manufactured Firearms PMFs by Calendar Year

WASHINGTON – -(Ammoland.com)- Today, the Department of Justice announced that it will submit to the Federal Register the “Frame or Receiver” Final Rule, which modernizes the definition of a firearm.

Once implemented, this rule will clarify that parts kits that are readily convertible to firearms are subject to the same regulations as traditional firearms. These regulatory updates will help curb the proliferation of “ghost guns,” which are often assembled from kits, do not contain serial numbers, and are sold without background checks, making them difficult to trace and easy to acquire by criminals.

“One year ago, the Department committed to address the proliferation of ghost guns used in violent crimes,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “This rule will make it harder for criminals and other prohibited persons to obtain untraceable guns, will help ensure that law enforcement officers can retrieve the information they need to solve crimes, and will help reduce the number of untraceable firearms flooding our communities. I commend all our colleagues at the ATF who have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to get this important rule finalized, and to do it in a way that respects the rights of law-abiding Americans.”

The rule goes into effect 120 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, and once implemented, will address the proliferation of these un-serialized firearms in several ways. These include:

  • (1) To help keep guns from being sold to convicted felons and other prohibited purchasers, the rule makes clear that retailers must run background checks before selling kits that contain the parts necessary for someone to readily make a gun.
  • (2) To help law enforcement trace guns used in a crime, the rule modernizes the definition of frame or receiver, clarifying what must be marked with a serial number – including in easy-to-build firearm kits
  • (3) To help reduce the number of unmarked and hard-to-trace “ghost guns,” the rule establishes requirements for federally licensed firearms dealers and gunsmiths to have a serial number added to 3D printed guns or other un-serialized firearms they take into inventory.
  • (4) To better support tracing efforts, the rule requires federal firearms licensees, including gun retailers, to retain records for the length of time they are licensed, thereby expanding records retention beyond the prior requirement of 20 years. Over the past decade, ATF has been unable to trace thousands of firearms – many reportedly used in homicides or other violent crimes – because the records had already been destroyed. These records will continue to belong to, and be maintained by, federal firearms licensees while they are in business.

As the final rule explains, from January 2016 to December 2021, ATF received approximately 45,240 reports of suspected privately made firearms recovered by law enforcement, including in 692 homicide or attempted homicide investigations. The chart below demonstrates the total annual numbers of suspected [emphisis added] PMFs recovered by law enforcement over the past six years:

See Chart Above:

Today’s announcement marks one year since the Attorney General directed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to issue a proposed rule within 30 days that would address the proliferation of unmarked firearms increasingly being used in crimes. On May 7, 2021, the Department of Justice issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, and during the 90-day open comment period, the ATF received more than 290,000 comments, the highest number of comments submitted to a proposed rule in ATF’s history. Today’s announcement is also the latest in a series of steps the department has taken to address violent crime and gun violence.

The rule, as submitted to the Federal Register, will be available online on Monday, April 11 at 2:00 pm.

To learn more about the rulemaking process, please see: www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf

U.S. Department of Justice

Justice Department Announces New Rule to Modernize Firearm Definitions

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Close Down The ATF Merrick Garland thank god he never made it to the supreme court after Obama nominated him 2016. Another appointed democrat worth 20 million with a chip on his shoulder for working class americans. This appointed attorney general who labels mothers and fathers terrorist with the courage to speak up for their children’s rights against socialist run school boards needs to be removed from his appointed position. Biden is the worst president in our country’s history I thought Jimmy Carter was the worst I was wrong. This dysfunctional president needs to be tried for treason on so… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by john

they have been over the line for a long time


I would like to see statistics on how often serial numbers and gun tracing result in solving crimes – particularly when tracing results in a conviction which would otherwise have been impossible. Note convictions only count if they result in perpetrator being removed from polite society, so they cannot continue their criminal lifestyle. Anti’s rant about need to track our possessions, but if it is not contributing to crime reduction they lose every last thread of support that provides. Far as I’m concerned, this is not a legitimate argument to begin with – but showing it does not do what… Read more »


I think the only reason they are so insistent on having registration numbers is so they know who has guns for when they institute their hostile take over. Arizona said they will come for our bank accounts and assets and I am quite sure he is right based on the idiot socialist/communist/Marxist up north in Canada but I still think back to what my mother told me happened in WW2 born, raised and lived through it when gestapo went door to door collecting guns.


Last edited 9 months ago by musicman44mag

history is getting ready for a repeat , only it will be here hope more people will mow them down , bad police are worse than no police and having guns


never they track gun back to whom it was stolen from so they can harass them


I feel so f@#%ing safe, now.


I smell a rat. Being used to working for a state agency I can see the set up. Notice that the amount of (suspected)=means they are not sure of, PMF means firearms were made, it does not say used in a crime anywhere in, on or around the chart. Legally made firearms are not suspect of anything. It does say that 692 of them were used in a murder or attempted murder. That is the only number of concern. Only the statement implies that the suspected legal guns made were taken in custody by law enforcement, not the graph its… Read more »


Those 692 include (and are mostly) guns that have had the serial number obliterated. They do not differentiate between home made and serial number altered.

Last edited 9 months ago by Hazcat

How convenient for them. That would make their numbers of ghost guns a misrepresentation Just like when obummer changed how the illegals coming in were counted so his number for rejections would go up. Switch how the numbers are counted to get what you want. Make it look like unemployment is going down by not counting the number of people that have exhausted unemployment and are still without a job. Not taking into consideration gas and food prices when looking at inflation. It’s all a big game to them but it’s our lives at steak and they don’t really care.… Read more »


What Finnky said. I would like to see statistics on how often serial numbers and gun tracing result in solving crimes. In 2012 Canada repealed its long gun registration law because after 14 years and a cost of $2.7 billion, it was never credited with solving or preventing a single crime.

Would also like to know the definition of “readily convertible”. What’s readily convertible for a retired machinist is not the same as an apartment dweller whose only tools are a cordless drill and a hammer.

Wild Bill

Good thoughts. Welcome to the site.


you dont have a cnc and a lathe and a good welder how do you live?

Wild Bill

Most humorous.

The Crimson Pirate

s not the same as an apartment dweller whose only tools are a cordless drill and a hammer.”

Hold my ice tea………….


Most comments in history. And what was the general gist of those comments?

The people keep telling you to back off, and you keep on molesting the rights they hold dear. THAT is what is endangering public safety.

Not hobby guns.

Wild Bill

Yes, a prime example of Top Down Authoritarianism!


Biden continues to reveal his true intent is to end the US as we have known it. In addition to allowing illegal immigration to add 20% to our population, he continues pushing intolerable acts. Without egregious excesses by our leaders – why ever would anyone revolt? Instigating violent revolution is but one of the paths he is pushing in order to destroy our union. I’m personally on the fence as to whether it’s time for a national divorce. But then I was on the fence for two years too long in my first marriage – waste of time, to just… Read more »


The source of date is the same source of data used to justify and defend every Progressive New Left public policy position for the past fifty years: The University of Everybodyknows


Funny how these laws only affect the law-abiding, huh?


100% guesswork… Just like guessing everyone b-u-t the criminals, you know, the ones they release instantly, are making their own firearms or adding switches to their Glocks like candy to use in crimes… Lockup that 1% permanently and the actual stats will drop to zero !
What happened to the 5 years mandatory for a firearm used in a crime…
It was thrown out cause those usually commiting the shootings claimed it was racist…