Ghost guns, untraceable by law enforcement, pose security concerns, say firearms experts


“Ghost Gun” is a term for a firearm without a serial number; guns cause problems for law enforcement across the country.

Without background checks, consumers can purchase kits with unfinished parts to create a fully operational firearm. Some people also use 3D printers to make gun parts for assembly.

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Unlike a traditional firearm sold by a licensed gun manufacturer, these guns do not have a serial number.

Chris Louissaint, firearms instructor at FTAC Security Solutions and Training, said homemade guns are not illegal.

“Under federal law, manufacturers are required to engrave a serial number on a fully equipped firearm. If the firearm is not fully supplied, the law does not require them to engrave it,” Louissaint said.

Without the serial number, law enforcement officers cannot trace the firearm from the gun manufacturer to the dealer and back to the original purchaser.

“The real problem is the number of crimes associated with phantom guns,” Louissaint said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives reports from 2016 to 2020 that approximately 23,906 firearms without serial numbers were recovered by law enforcement from potential crime scenes. , including 325 homicides or attempted homicides.

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On Sunday, Volusia County deputies conducted a traffic stop near Deland. They found three firearms in the vehicle. One of them was a ghost gun.

“People such as convicted felons or minors now have access to a ghost gun,” Louissaint said.

He said buying ghost guns is a loophole for people to buy firearms without a license.

Currently, the ATF does not treat DIY guns as traditional firearms.

In 2021, the US Department of Justice proposed a rule that would update the definition of “firearm” and related parts for the first time since 1968. It sought to modernize the definition of “frame” or ” receiver” to close the loophole associated with weapons without a serial number.

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A report by Everytown For Gun Safety, a gun violence prevention organization, notes that these phantom guns are becoming a weapon of choice for criminals and legally prohibited persons.

The organization calls on federal authorities to ensure that essential parts of ghost guns are defined as firearms and properly regulated.

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