California scrambles to ban ‘ghost guns’ as untraceable weapons’ popularity soars

California scrambles to ban ‘ghost guns’ as untraceable weapons’ popularity soars

Cities across California are ramping up efforts to try to stop the flow of so-called ghost guns into their jurisdictions, as the do-it-yourself weapons appear with increasing frequency at homicide scenes, traffic stops, and community gun buybacks. As state and federal laws meant to bring ghost guns into compliance with traditional firearm laws await implementation, local officials and prosecutors across California are increasingly resorting to bans and lawsuits to regulate the weapons in their cities. On 7 September, San Francisco became the first California city to pass a ban on ghost guns – weapons built from firearm parts sold without serial numbers, making them difficult to trace. The measure forbids the sale of unserialized weapons and weapon parts by unlicensed dealers. A week after San Francisco’s board of supervisors unanimously passed its ban, San Diego’s city council voted 8-1 to codify one of its own. That ordinance prohibits the sale of unserialized frames and receivers , two essential pieces of firearms, and forces retailers to complete a background check on customers that buy the parts. “Ghost guns are the future of the industry and we’re going to have to catch up with our legal interventions,” said the San Diego city councilmember Marni von Wilpert, who introduced the ban. “We’re trying to pressure manufacturers to not let people who are prohibited buyers from getting these guns.” San Diego police said they had recovered 211 ghost guns in 2020, up from 77 in 2019. This year, they have already gathered at […]

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