California declares war on ‘ghost weapons’ – Times of India

LOS ANGELES: California is declaring war on “ghost guns” -weapons kits offered on the web with none system of management with Los Angeles on Tuesday turning into the newest metropolis to maneuver to outlaw them.
City councilors within the metropolis, the second largest within the United States voted unanimously to maneuver to ban the sale or possession of the untraceable firearms whose use has exploded in recent times.
“When we see an increase in homicides here, and when we see that the (police) report that 40 percent of the crime guns recovered are ghost guns, we know that we have a very urgent critical situation that needs to be addressed,” stated Paul Koretz, the councilmember who proposed the ordinance.
Ghost weapons first appeared round a decade in the past, and have become common amongst weapons fans.
Also referred to as “80-percent guns,” they’re offered as components, and have to be assembled by the tip consumer.
Crucially, they don’t have any serial quantity, and, as a result of they aren’t categorized as weapons throughout the retail course of, the kits don’t require a license or a background test in lots of US states, together with California.
Readily obtainable on-line, they shortly turned the go-to answer for individuals barred from shopping for a weapon as a result of of a felony report or their age.
The ensuing proliferation is turning into an actual downside for legislation enforcement, stated Los Angeles police division deputy chief Kris Pitcher.
“Ghost guns have been around for approximately nine years, however, they have surfaced as a major problem in 2020 with the confiscation of 814 ghost guns just last year alone in Los Angeles,” he stated.
A research by Everytown for Gun Safety, a corporation that fights gun violence, discovered {that a} package to assemble an AR-15 rifle, one of the preferred fashions within the United States, and infrequently utilized in mass shootings can value lower than $400.
An on-line pitch for the weapon boasts how straightforward it’s to assemble, based on the research.
“Building… doesn’t take too long. Within an hour or two, you should be breaking it in at the range.”
Anyone needing inspiration want look no additional than YouTube, the place tutorials with lots of of 1000’s of views aren’t onerous to seek out.
Legal loophole – The vote Tuesday brings Los Angeles nearer to each San Diego and San Francisco in attempting to rid the streets of the weapons.
The metropolis of San Francisco is suing three producers in a bid to staunch the flood of unlicensed weapons.
“We directly take on those who are responsible for bringing these dangerous and unregulated weapons into the streets of San Francisco and throughout the state of California,” stated San Francisco district legal professional Chesa Boudin.
According to the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives, the federal government physique that regulates gun gross sales on a federal stage, two-thirds of the ghost weapons seized within the United States final yr had been in California.
“California is sort of the epicenter” of this epidemic, says Adam Skaggs, authorized director of Giffords Law Center, a non-revenue named after Gabby Giffords, a former US consultant who was significantly wounded in a 2011 taking pictures.
Ironically, California’s powerful gun legal guidelines, which require stringent allowing and don’t enable open carry are fueling the recognition of the 80-% weapons.
“Whether it’s because of a criminal record, or a record of domestic violence, or if you’re a minor… all of these people would be blocked from buying a gun at a gun store,” he stated.
“But they can get their hands on a ghost gun, because there is no background check.”

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