Watch CBS News

Butler County company at center of national debate over ghost guns

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Butler County company has become the center of a national debate over ghost guns.

JSD Supply's website offers an array of firearms, including Glocks, Sig Sauers and AK-47s, ready for you to assemble in the privacy of your home. But unlike pre-assembled firearms, the parts sold from the Butler County business have no serial numbers, and JSD Supply boasts, "No paperwork. And without serialization, there is no way to track your purchase."

But now the federal government is cracking down. 

Earlier this month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives slapped the mail-order company with a cease-and-desist order, saying it was unlawfully selling firearms. Late last week, the company countersued the government, and in what's likely to be a test case over self-assembled guns, the two sides are set to square off in federal court.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

On the phone, owner Jordan Vinroe had no comment Monday, but his operation has been suspended pending a judge's decision on whether to temporarily lift the cease-and-desist order. In court papers, the company cites the ATF and President Joe Biden with exceeding their authority and violating the Second Amendment by imposing new regulations without congressional approval.

Last month, the president announced that distributors like JSD need to be licensed and kits need serial numbers.

"All of a sudden, it is no longer a ghost," Biden told reporters on April 11. "It has a return address. It's going to help save lives, reduce crime and get more criminals off the streets."

The order is not scheduled to go into effect until August, but in its letter, the ATF said already under existing law the assembled guns are real guns and need serial numbers. 

Local gun rights advocates disagree.

"They need to answer to the Legislature," said Jim Stoker of Firearms Owners Against Crime. "That's what it really comes down to. You have a president who comes out and does a speech using a made-up terms to scare everybody in the country by calling them ghost guns. Whoever developed that is brilliant because they vilify the firearm instead of the people behind them."

JSD will be in federal court on Wednesday to ask a judge to lift the cease-and-desist order so it can once again start delivering kits.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.