Ghost guns linked to rise in SF shootings as numbers jump

Ghost guns linked to rise in SF shootings as numbers jump

Police seized ghost guns and other firearm manufacturing items while executing a warrant in February. (Courtesy SFPD) San Francisco police are seizing an increasingly alarming number of untraceable firearms, known as “ghost guns,” that authorities say are part of the reason shootings are surging in The City. Police have confiscated more and more ghost guns from the streets every year since officials began keeping track of the issue in 2016, from just 6 in the first year to 164 in 2020, according to Police Chief Bill Scott. The most extreme jump occurred from 2019 to 2020, when officers seized 87 more ghost guns than the year prior. “This is probably just the tip of the iceberg if these are the just the ones that we’ve confiscated,” Scott told the Police Commission Wednesday after releasing the data. “So it’s not indicative of what might be out there.” Unlike traditional firearms, ghost guns do not have serial numbers that law enforcement can trace back to the buyer or seller after finding the weapons at a crime scene. Ghost guns are typically sold in parts online, without background checks conducted on the buyer or seller, and assembled at home with basic tools. The increase comes as San Francisco faces a 181% uptick in shootings over 2020, with 73 shooting victims reported to police as of Monday compared to 26 at this time last year. Scott has previously attributed the surge to group or gang violence in the Bayview, Mission and Ingleside police […]

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