PD Editorial: Keep ghost gun parts away from dangerous Californians

PD Editorial: Keep ghost gun parts away from dangerous Californians

Ghost guns seized by Santa Rosa police during spearated arrests earlier this week. (Santa Rosa Police Department) When someone is a danger to themselves or others, California takes away their guns. At least it takes away regular guns. So-called “ghost guns” remain in the hands of dangerous individuals. The state Legislature should close the loophole that allows that happen. Under the state’s “red flag” law, family members, teachers, law enforcement, co-workers and employers can ask a judge to temporarily restrict gun access for anyone shown to be a threat to themselves or others. So, if someone might commit suicide or harm a spouse, for example, a judge could issue a no-guns order. Then law enforcement would confiscate firearms, and if the person tries to buy a new gun, the no-guns order would turn up in the mandatory background check. That protects people in crisis and their potential victims. Once things have settled down and if the person may legally own them, the guns are returned. The problem is that the law doesn’t cover parts that people can assemble into ghost guns. People can order the parts online or buy them at a gun show and build functioning firearms. Probably no one thought that the do-it-yourself movement would so quickly shift into guns when the red flag law was enacted following a mass shooting near Santa Barbara in 2014. Because the pieces that go into making a ghost gun aren’t actually a firearm until they are assembled, police cannot confiscate […]

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