Ghost guns and the limits of gun control

Ghost guns and the limits of gun control

One of five handguns Long Beach police located during the execution of 24 searches in relation to a string of shootings that left two dead and 12 injured in less than three months. Police arrested 13 during the searches, Feb. 14. (Courtesy of Long Beach Police Department) A New York Times news report recently declared an “epidemic” of ghost gun usage, referring to untraceable firearms made with parts bought online or made by 3D printers. In California, the problem is especially pronounced. Between 25 to 50% of all the firearms recovered at crime scenes in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco in the past 18 months have been ghost guns, the Times reports. But the Times also reports that ghost guns are “especially prevalent in coastal blue states with strict firearm laws.” No kidding. Gun laws only work on people who are willing to obey laws, which violent criminals by definition are not. Similarly, the more you try to regulate away certain products, the more you push those products into the black market. While the Biden Administration has sought to curtail access to ghost guns, it is definitionally difficult to do so. “While the rules would create a set of legal roadblocks, law enforcement officials say the extralegal pipeline for parts is sure to adapt and thrive,” the Times reports, noting there is already a “huge surfeit of supplies in circulation, enough to supply dealers who sell pre-assembled guns” for years to come. The availability of 3D […]

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