Today, ABC News published a piece highlighting a recent rash of school shootings using ghost guns, do- it-yourself, undetectable guns. In the last few months, there have been incidents of gunfire on school grounds in Arizona, New Mexico, Maryland, and Kansas done with ghost guns — highlighting a scary trend. Unsecured guns in the home are the source of guns used in three out of four shootings, but ghost guns are a rising trend due to the easy accessibility for teens and allow teenagers to have do-it-yourself weapons sent to their home with no background check.
Just last night, the Maryland state legislature moved one step closer to sending ghost gun legislation to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s desk. Also, Washington lawmakers recently sent a bill to regulate ghost guns to Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s desk, and California lawmakers are working on passing legislation to further regulate ghost guns this session as well. In 2021, there were at least 202 incidents of gunfire on school grounds. This is far higher than in 2019, the year with the highest number of incidents at schools since Everytown began tracking in 2013, and more than double the number in 2020.
For years, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have been working with local and state lawmakers across the country to prohibit ghost guns in states, cities, and counties. Currently nine states regulate ghost guns and several cities have as well. Last year, the Biden-Harris Administration proposed a rule that would rein in the ghost gun industry. The proposed rule received nearly 100,000 public comments in support from Everytown, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and supporters. The Administration recently publicly stated that the rule will be finalized in early April.
From the piece:
“Rob Wilcox, the federal legal director at Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit gun safety organization, told ABC News there are several online sites that not only sell the “ghost gun” kits but also provide step-by-step instructions to customers of any age without any oversight or background check. Wilcox said even though the federal government has limited data on these online marketplaces, his group’s research has found that the number of Internet-based “ghost gun” retailers has been increasing over the years.
Wilcox said Biden’s proposal would effectively cripple the sale of “ghost guns” online and make it easier for law enforcement agencies to track the kits.
In the meantime, Wilcox said parents and caregivers need to be in frequent conversation with their children about the homemade gun kits.
‘You have to know if your child is in crisis, you have to limit their access to guns,’he said. ‘That includes access to the sites that sell those ghost guns.’”
More information about Everytown’s efforts to regulate ghost guns is available here, and more information on efforts to promote school safety is available here. To speak with a policy expert or volunteer with Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.