The Nevada chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Nevada Assembly Judiciary Committee passed AB 286, a bill to regulate ghost guns, untraceable, do-it-yourself firearms made from parts available without a background check.When it comes to gun violence, the rise of ghost guns is the fastest-growing gun safety problem we’ve seen in years. The bill would also provide clear rules for certain businesses to prohibit guns from their property.
“Buying a firearm shouldn’t be as easy as online shopping,” said Elizabeth Becker, a volunteer leader for the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action. “After a year of elevated gun violence in our cities and our communities, it’s imperative that our lawmakers prioritize gun safety this session — starting with legislation to regulate ghost guns in our communities.”
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.
Making a ghost gun takes only a few hours, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has allowed the core building blocks for these guns to be sold online with no background check or serial number. Because of the ATF’s erroneous interpretation of federal law, ghost gun building blocks can be delivered right to the front door of a convicted domestic abuser, gun trafficker, child, or white supremacist without a background check — and are untraceable if later used to commit a crime.
Although data is limited, there are signs that ghost guns are taking prevalence in criminal markets. 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.
Every year, nearly 500 people are shot and killed in Nevada. Gun violence costs the state $3.9 billion each year, of which $164.8 million is paid by taxpayers.
More information about ghost guns is available here. Additional information on gun violence in Nevada is available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator — which shows how Nevada’s gun laws compare to those of other states — is available here.