Federal rules will help authorities track down ‘ghost guns’ and keep them from falling into the wrong hands
CHARLOTTE – Soon, new actions to address the epidemic of gun violence across the country will come into effect.
In April, the Biden administration announced new rules for “ghost weapons” – guns made using kits or 3D printers.
The ATF told Channel 9’s Allison Latos that in the Carolinas, the number of phantom guns found by police jumped 700% between 2020 and 2021 alone. These are firearms found on the streets and even in our schools.
Police said last month that a student brought a loaded weapon to the Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology – a weapon he admitted to ordering and building.
New federal regulations will make it easier to trace ghost guns and make the punishment tough when they end up in the wrong hands.
Ghost guns are virtually invisible to law enforcement because they lack essential information – serial numbers.
Law enforcement officers use these special markings to determine where a firearm was purchased.
ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brian Mein said more phantom guns are being used in the nationwide violence.
“In the last year alone, 700 homicides in the United States have been linked to privately manufactured firearms,” Mein said.
Dena King is the US Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
“Criminals who seek to do harm in untraceable ways – these ghost guns have been a landmine for them,” King said.
She is also from Charlotte and is concerned about the increasing number of shootings and homicides.
“It is my office’s highest priority to attack the epidemic of gun violence on all fronts,” King said.
She said her office pursues “straw buying,” which is when someone buys firearms for a known criminal. That includes cases like Kourtney Shivers, who prosecutors say bought a gun for her boyfriend — convicted felon Travis Fair — in Asheville.
Prosecutors are also prosecuting dealers who sell guns to someone they shouldn’t. And soon, King’s office will have another tool.
The Biden administration has announced that these “buy, build, shoot” kits are considered firearms. This means that they too must have serial numbers. Additionally, commercial sellers of the kits must obtain a federal license and conduct background checks before a sale.
“What it does is provide more accountability so they don’t fall into the wrong hands,” King said.
Responsibility to prevent this crisis from getting worse or causing more casualties in our community.
King has made it clear that the new rules will not prevent law-abiding gun owners from buying and manufacturing ghost guns. In these cases, buyers will face the same checks as for ordinary firearms.
The rules go into effect on August 24.
(WATCH BELOW: CMPD confiscates over 400 firearms in May, setting highest record in 7 years)
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