In New York and across the country, ghost guns — unserialized, untraceable homemade firearms, the building blocks of which can be obtained without a background check — continue to pose a serious threat to communities. A recent shooting involving a ghost gun in New York City that wounded four people highlights the urgency of acting on ghost guns. To prevent these tragedies and save lives, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has the opportunity to sign S.14A and S. 13A — two bills that would prohibit ghost guns.
Earlier this week in Upper Manhattan, on September 27, a man shot and wounded four people outside a nightclub after an altercation broke out between several club-goers. According to reports, law enforcement recovered a ghost gun that was used in the shooting.
Ghost guns are the fastest-growing gun safety problem facing our country, and must be comprehensively addressed on the state level. This is especially true in New York, where city gun violence has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is currently legislation awaiting Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature, which passed through the New York legislature earlier this year. The legislation, S.14A, known as the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act, and S.13A, known as the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act, would generally prohibit the possession and sale of unserialized ghost guns and of unfinished frames and receivers, the building blocks used to make ghost guns, which are widely available online and can be purchased without a background check.