The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of a motion to request the City Attorney to draft an ordinance prohibiting ghost guns.When it comes to gun violence, the rise of ghost guns is the fastest-growing gun safety problem we’ve seen in years.
“It’s no secret that Los Angeles has a ghost gun problem,” said Amy Phillips, a volunteer leader for the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These weapons continue to show up in our neighborhoods and it’s past time to take action. We’re grateful to the Los Angeles City Council for taking the first step in this process, and we will continue to support them until the ordinance takes effect.”
Although data is limited, there are signs that ghost guns are taking prevalence in criminal markets. Due to pandemic-related panic-buying, ghost gun building blocks have been flying off the shelves. In fact, the first few weeks after the pandemic began, more than a dozen online ghost gun sellers reported shipping delays and depleted stock. Recently, President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), issued a proposed rule to stop the proliferation of deadly, untraceable ghost guns –– a move that Everytown first called for from the Biden Administration in December 2020.
ATF officials recently estimated that approximately 10,000 ghost guns were recovered across the U.S. in 2019. Over the last decade, nearly 2,500 ghost guns were connected to criminal activity in 102 federal cases. In 2019, the ATF in California reported 30 percent of guns they recovered have no serial number on them, making it impossible for law enforcement to trace. One official cited an even higher recovery rate at the local level, stating that forty-one percent of ATF’s cases in Los Angeles involved a ghost gun. More information about ghost guns is available here.