Ghost guns, sometimes called “do-it-yourself guns” can be built at home without the manufacturer’s license. So, in what states are ghost guns legal? They include:
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- New York
- District of Columbia
Most recently, several localities and cities have almost set proposals to help regulate ghost guns, including:
- Montgomery County, MD
- San Francisco
- San Diego
Ghost guns are assembled without following all the regulations applied to the regulated firearms industry. They don’t have critical markings like serial numbers that allow police to return stolen guns to their legal owners or trace guns recovered at crime scenes.
Why is Ghost Guns a Community Problem?
Ghost guns pose two issues. First, the parts used to assemble these guns aren’t considered firearms. So, people can buy them without undergoing a thorough checkup via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICBCS). This allows people prohibited from possessing or buying guns to easily evade this restriction by purchasing a kit and assembling their guns at home.
Ghost guns have been highly linked to shootings across the country. More than 110 Americans are killed with guns daily! Here is a compilation of the latest ghost guns shootings:
-In July 2022, an unlicensed individual possessing guns allegedly murdered two people in Pennsylvania using a 9mm homemade gun.
-In November 2019, a teenager shot five of his classmates at Saugus High School using a homemade gun and fatally shot himself.
-In August 2019, a shooter assembled a .223-caliber firearm that he used to fire shots in 35 seconds in a bar in Dayton, Ohio, murdering nine.
-In 2017, a man built AR -15-style riffles by which he fatally shot his wife at home. The next day he fired at multiple people in different areas, including an elementary school injuring dozens and killing five.
-In 2013, a shooter fired in Santa Monica, California, killing five people and injuring several others using a homemade AR-15 rifle. Sources indicate that the shooter had earlier tried to buy a firearm from a licensed gun dealer but failed a background check. He opted to order parts and assembled one instead.
Ghost guns aren’t required to have serial numbers. Therefore, they’re entirely untraceable if they’re recovered in connection with a crime. This offers little evidentiary value to criminal investigators, making it challenging to develop leads and unmask potential perpetrators. Indeed, ghost guns are the weapon of choice for violence against anti-government extremists and white supremacists.
The Biden administration is about to enact a rule in August for all ghost gun sellers/dealers:
-Dealers and manufacturers of ghost gun building blocks must be federally licensed. The building blocks must have serial numbers, and purchasers must pass a thorough background check before purchasing these parts.
-People who own ghost guns can still have them provided they aren’t legally barred from owning guns. But any dealer having ghost guns must serialize them.
-Eleven states already have laws regulating ghost guns, and some of those laws ban possessing ghost guns. Unfortunately, these states cannot cut off the national supply chain for ghost guns. Hopefully, this rule will ultimately do.