Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday slammed the Biden administration’s crackdown on so-called ghost guns as a distraction from the violence plaguing U.S. cities by manufacturing a crisis.
“This is a made-up problem and yet here we are having a congressional hearing pretending that so-called ghost guns are a major issue,” said Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican. “They aren’t and I look forward to the next hearing of this subcommittee on Civil War replica cannons.”
Mr. Cruz‘s comments came during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on a rule proposed last week by the Justice Department that would broaden the definition of a firearm to include ghost guns.
The Biden administration has made it a top priority to combat ghost guns, which are firearms built from homemade gun-making kits. Under the Justice Department’s proposal, the gun kits would be required to include a serial number.
Homemade gun kits do not require a background check for purchases, unlike traditional firearms.
The Justice Department says more than 23,000 weapons without serial numbers were seized by law enforcement between 2016 and 2020 and were linked to 325 homicides or attempted homicides.
“The number of ghost guns is surging,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat. “The number seized, the number used in crimes, the number manufactured are all skyrocketing and at this rate, they will make meaningless background checks and other common-sense regulations.”
However, a 2019 Justice Department study found that 43% of criminals purchased their firearms on the black market, but zero made their weapon at home.
Mr. Cruz said if the Democrat-led panel wanted to focus on gun crimes, it should focus on the surging violence in U.S. cities this year.
For example, shooting incidents in Chicago last year increased by over 50% and homicides rose by 55% from 2019. In New York, homicide rates jumped 34% in 2020 compared to 2019.
“If Democrats want to stop gun violence let’s have a hearing how the move to defund the police is causing more homicides,” he said. “Let’s have a hearing on how gun control proposals are making people vulnerable to violent crime and how they failed the big cities.”