Supreme Court Focuses on ‘Ghost Guns’, Directs District Judge to Take Action

The Supreme Court just shot down an attempt by a lower court to make “ghost guns” easier to get. And, as it turns out, the judge they targeted was a repeat offender. Here is the full story.

Ghost Guns in the Sky

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In June of 2023, federal district court Judge Reed O’Connor heard a case involving so-called “ghost guns” and how the law should treat them.

Some Assembly Required

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Basically, ghost guns are guns that are sold as a group of parts that need to be assembled in order to form a working gun.

At issue was whether those parts should be held to the same restrictions as other guns.

He Has a Track Record

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O’Connor, who was formerly a Republican staffer in Congress, is well-known for his conservative stances – and rulings.

They’re Not Weapons

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O’Connor stuck to his guns in June, too, handing down a judgment that said ghost gun kits weren’t weapons.

As such, they did not have to carry serial numbers, and no background check was required to purchase them.

SCOTUS Torn in Two

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By August, though, the case had been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, where it met with a pretty even split in opinions.

Not His Call

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When all the dust cleared, though, the Supreme Court came down 5-4 against O’Connor’s earlier ruling, saying that a district judge did not have the power to make gun-law decisions that had national impact.

They Were Weapons Again

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Consequently, they overturned O’Connor’s ruling and said that ghost guns do, indeed, fall under the same laws as fully assembled weapons.

He Had a Different Take

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But O’Connor was waiting on the sidelines, ready to dissect whatever ruling the highest court handed down.

And it only took him a month to put his new “understanding” into motion.

Second Verse, (Nearly) Same as the First

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In Garland v. Blackhawk Manufacturing Group, O’Connor again said that manufacturers of ghost guns did not have to adhere to federal gun laws. But he put some bumpers on his new ruling.

Those Guys Are Exempt

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In particular, O’Connor ruled in September that the two ghost gun manufacturers named in the specific case he was trying did not have to follow weapons laws.

Come See Me

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Any other manufacturer or seller of ghost guns was still on the hook, unless and until they had their individual day on court, too.

Not This Guy Again

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As with the June ruling, that judgment was appealed to the Supreme Court, and you could just about hear the sighs of frustrations coming from their chambers as they took on O’Connor again.

Shot Down Once More

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In a quick decision, the same five judges said that even O’Connor’s pet ghost gun manufacturers must comply with weapons laws.

Same goes for every other ghost gun maker.

They Were Mum

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And this time, there was no opposition to the decision from anywhere in SCOTUS.

The other four judges remained silent on the matter without making any public statements.

No Sympathy From SCOTUS

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That silence should speak volumes in telling O’Connor that the court is getting fed up with his shenanigans.

And that even his supporters aren’t too keen on pushing his agenda.

Searching for a Loophole

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But now that O’Connor has a brand new decision against him to slice and dice, it might be just a matter of time before another of his cases is back in front of SCOTUS.

After all, the next loophole is just a page flip away.

The post Supreme Court Blasts ‘Ghost Guns’ Into the Limelight, Orders District Judge to Stop Hiding! first appeared on The Public Slate.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / lito_lakwatsero. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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