The NYPD Has Recovered More “Ghost Guns” In 2021 Than Any Previous Year

The NYPD Has Recovered More “Ghost Guns” In 2021 Than Any Previous Year

Photo of a “Ghost Gun” recovered by the NYPD in the Bronx So far this year, the NYPD has seized or found at least 200 “ghost guns,” firearms that lack any serial numbers and are assembled from component parts, usually ordered online. That figure surpasses last year’s total of 145, and dwarfs the 48 recovered in 2019 and 17 recovered in 2018. “It is definitely something we are treating as an emerging problem, and I expect the numbers to continue to increase in New York City,” said Courtney Nilan, an NYPD inspector in the department’s Intelligence Bureau. “When you look at the exponential growth, that is what is alarming.” Ghost guns have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in jurisdictions where gun control regulations make it difficult for ordinary residents to obtain guns legally. “Right now, if you buy one of these guns online, you don’t have to go through any background check,” said Christian Heyne, vice president of policy at Brady, a gun control advocacy group. “You don’t have to do anything at all. They’re cheap, and if you have ever put together Ikea furniture, you can put together one of these firearms.” Unlike in other major cities’ across the country , ghost guns now account for only a small percentage of New York City’s overall firearms recoveries—about 4%, the NYPD estimates. But Nilan contends the homemade weapons are on their way to becoming a fixture of violent crime in the city, and the lack of serial […]

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