Crackdown on Ghost Guns

Local LA City Council District 5 representative Paul Koretz co-authored a new law to help decrease the number of untraceable weapons in the city. Stock Photo by Thomas Def on Unsplash

(Los Angeles) Ghost guns will face tighter restrictions with a new law passed by the Los Angeles City Council in 2021.

“Ghost gun” is the street name given to untraceable firearms, whether homemade or modified without serial numbers. The new law prohibits the possession, purchase, sale, receipt, or transport of ghost guns, which may include any non-serialized unfinished firearm frame or receiver, or non-serialized firearm.

“The criminal underground has long relied on stolen weapons with filed-off serial numbers, but ghost guns represent a digital-age upgrade, and they are especially prevalent in states with strict firearm laws. These guns, and the industry that produces them, have flourished because of a loophole in federal and state regulations,” said Los Angeles City Council District 5 representative Paul Koretz. “With such staggering numbers and the sharp increase in hate crimes, we cannot turn a blind eye on a backdoor where those who would not otherwise qualify for registered guns can get their hands on an untraceable one.”

The motion for the ordinance was co-presented by Paul Koretz and Paul Krekorian in August 2021, following a reported increase in shootings, gun-related homicides, and an apparent surge in the number of ghost guns, according to a District 5 Report.

By November 2021, the city had seen reports of 24 murders, eight attempted murders, 20 robberies, and 60 assaults with a deadly weapon, all attributed to individuals with ghost guns, according to an LAPD report. This represents a “substantial increase” from the previous year, police said.

“We are appreciative and grateful to the City Council and the members who worked on this ordinance which gives the LAPD another tool to reduce violence and provide a safer environment for Angelenos,” said LAPD Chief Michel Moore in a statement. “We stand committed to working with our elected officials to reduce the atrocious violence that stems from the illegal use of those guns.”

The law, Ordinance 187310, can be found here

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