Biden announces new phantom gun policy, pays tribute to Saugus High shooting victims

During a press conference Monday in Washington, D.C. to unveil the new phantom gun regulations, President Joe Biden paid tribute to the victims of the Saugus High School shooting.

In a ceremony held on the White House lawn, Biden announced that ghost guns, like the one used on Nov. 14, 2019, that claimed the lives of Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Muehlberger of Saugus High, will now be subject to stricter standards under the federal government. terms.

The new restrictions will force buyers of ghost guns – largely unregulated and untraceable guns made from kits – to undergo background checks, similar to those required for regular firearms. Additionally, the new policy will require serial numbers to be placed on ghost guns and ghost gun component kits, which will make it easier, Biden said, for law enforcement to track weapons and their buyers. .

“Starting today, weapons like the one used at Saugus High School and to ambush the deputies who are here with us today, are treated like the lethal firearms that they are,” Biden said. to the crowd which included media, survivors and their families.

The President then asked the parents of Blackwell and Muehlberger to stand and be acknowledged by those present before inviting them into the Oval Office following the conclusion of the press conference.

Biden said the new ghost gun policies stemmed from advocacy by parents and survivors of Saugus High, as well as various other advocates who had themselves suffered trauma or loss as a result of guns that could be purchased from anonymously on the Internet.

“You have now joined a terrible community of loss that many people have experienced,” Biden told parents of Saugus High students directly. “There are too many survivors and defenders here for me to name everyone today, but let me say the loss in this crowd is incalculable. But so is the strength…I believe our nation will be more safe thanks to your bravery.

The parents of Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Muehlberger, two students killed November 14, 2019 in the Saugus High School shooting, stand up and are recognized by President Joe Biden. Photo courtesy of the White House.

According to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials, in 2021 alone, approximately 20,000 suspected ghost weapons were reported to the ATF as being linked to criminal investigations, a tenfold increase since 2016.

Before Biden took the mic, he invited Saugus shooting survivor Mia Tretta to the podium to specifically share her story from that day. Tretta said that hours before her classmates died and was shot in the abdomen, her biggest worry that morning was a Spanish test.

Mia Tretta, a Saugus High student who survived being shot in the abdomen on November 14, 2019, recounts the day her best friend, Dominic Blackwell, was shot and killed. Tretta has said since that day that she has been advocating for new policies regulating the sale and use of ghost weapons in the United States. Photo courtesy of the White House.

She would learn, shortly after being airlifted from Centurion Way and undergoing successful surgery to remove the bullet that was only millimeters from a major artery, that her best friend had been killed and that other classmates had also been injured.

“School shootings with ghost guns are on the rise, and the most lasting thing I’ve learned – other than losing friends or shattering my youth… (is that) nothing only eased the pain in my heart like working to prevent more senseless shootings,” Tretta said. “My family and I joined Every Town for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action and worked with thousands of other young activists and survivors to prevent such things from happening.”

Tretta added: “They turned my pain into progress; that is why we are here today: to celebrate progress, progress that saves lives.

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