Opinion: Ban on ‘ghost guns’ filled loophole in San Diego gun safety laws

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Von wilpert is a member of the council representing District 5 and lives in Scripps Ranch.

Last April, a 32-year-old man was arraigned on one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder after allegedly shooting five people in what police described as an unprovoked attack with a “ghost gun” by 9 mm. The man, who pleaded not guilty, is a convicted felon, prohibited by law from owning firearms. But, as it is claimed, that criminal record did not stop him from getting his hands on an untraceable phantom weapon and carrying out a deadly shootout in the San Diego Gaslamp District.

Justice Boldin, the 28-year-old victim who died in that shooting, is a tragic example of the chilling reality of phantom weapons and the absurd loopholes in our gun safety laws that allowed these guns to be found and untraceable. serialized to propagate. That’s why I drafted the Unserialized and Unserialized Firearms Elimination Ordinance (ENUF) – to stop the proliferation of unserialized and unserialized firearms, and the deadly violence they cause. in our communities.

Ghost guns, sometimes referred to as do-it-yourself guns, are homemade, personally-made guns that lack commercial serial numbers and can easily become untraceable due to the lack of identifying markings. People who are prohibited from legally owning firearms can avoid background checks by legally purchasing unfinished parts of a firearm, such as unfinished frames or gun receivers, and assembling a ghost weapon not registered at home.

These gun kits are sold by manufacturers, secondary retailers, and websites, and are specifically designed and marketed with the goal of avoiding background checks, waiting periods, and all other prevention laws. gun violence. Once you get the gun kit, there are plenty of websites and videos online that show how to complete the assembly process with minimal effort. Unregulated ghost guns undermine federal and state laws that would normally block access to firearms by people who pose a danger to our communities – including violent criminals, domestic abusers, people with mental illnesses, and people with mental illnesses and victims. terrorists.

In response to the Gaslamp shooting and the rise in gun violence in our communities, I introduced the ENUF order to close the ghost guns loophole in the city of San Diego. It passed the final vote on September 14 and will become law next month after being signed by Mayor Todd Gloria. This new city ordinance will ban the sale and possession of a non-serialized frame or receiver, which are the unregulated parts of firearms that allow dangerous or mentally ill people to easily access and legally to the parts necessary to assemble a working firearm that cannot be found at home, including semi-automatic rifles.

The purpose of the ENUF ordinance is not to add significant prison sentences for individuals, nor to prevent law-abiding citizens from having or manufacturing a registered firearm. The ENUF order aims to stop this problem at the source: preventing unserialized gun kits from even being sold in San Diego in the first place. By requiring unfinished frames / receivers to be accompanied by a serial number prior to sale, the aim of the ENUF Ordinance is to treat firearms kits like a fully finished pistol, so that regulations applicable to firearms apply to firearm kits.

California law allows legitimate firearm owners to personally manufacture firearms if they obtain a serial number from the California Department of Justice and affix it to their firearm. By requiring that a serial number be affixed to an unfinished frame or receiver prior to purchase, the ENUF order will eliminate the need for legitimate gun owners to go through this step, but will prohibit criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill to obtain coins that are unserialized.

The State of California and the US Congress must finally act to close the ghost gun loophole and help stop illegal guns from entering our streets, but we cannot wait for them to take comprehensive action on this issue. . Municipal governments must lead the fight against gun violence. The ENUF ordinance will give local law enforcement yet another tool to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands and is designed to be consistent with current and future state and federal laws while filling existing loopholes.

I am proud that my fellow council members voted to enact the ENUF ordinance to prevent gun violence in our communities. I hope this inspires regional municipalities in San Diego, the State of California, and ultimately the federal government to act to close the ghost gun loophole once and for all.

Until then, we simply cannot afford to wait.


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