It is Not Clear How San Diego Will Enforce Its New Ghost Gun Ordinance

It is Not Clear How San Diego Will Enforce Its New Ghost Gun Ordinance

Three men were arrested and 45 firearms were recovered during an operation led by the San Diego Police Department’s Ghost Gun Apprehension Team on Oct. 7, 2021. / Photo courtesy of the San Diego Police Department To curb gun violence, the San Diego City Council in September passed a law to prohibit the sale or possession of unfinished firearm frames, receivers or unserialized firearms — commonly used to build ghost guns. The effort has gotten attention nationwide and has already attracted legal challenges. But it’s not clear how the city will enforce the law, why state law that already existed was insufficient or just how many people may wake up now having violated the law for having something that wasn’t illegal to own a couple months ago. It’s also unclear just when exactly a bunch of pieces become an illegal firearm. The Eliminate Non-Serialized Untraceable Firearms Ordinance, introduced by Councilwoman Marni Von Wilpert, aims to make it harder for people who would not legally be allowed to own guns to manufacture one that evades California’s existing background check system. The New York Times this week covered the role ghost guns have played in violence in U.S. cities, highlighting Von Wilpert and San Diego’s attempt to combat them. The Firearms Policy Coalition, a pro-gun legal advocacy group, has already filed a suit challenging the city’s ordinance. Gun violence prevention advocates, meanwhile, argue the local ordinance is closing a loophole in the state law and will make it harder to create […]

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