Pundits, legislators, and media-types all love cryptic terms. One of the favorites out in California is “ghost guns.” In recent years, the anti-gun legislators out there have been using the term to describe various kinds of firearms… but it’s a term broadly used to describe guns that lack serial numbers. Such firearms are untraceable and therefore seem to appear from nowhere, hence the “ghost gun” moniker.
A recent mass shooting in California has the authorities once again reviving the term and hand-wringing over the possibility that “ghost guns” could become a problem. Interestingly, this time, they may have a point… and it could convince some legislators to abandon their anti-gun efforts (but don’t hold your breath).
As more restrictions are placed on gun ownership, more people — and criminals — could start to manufacture their own, law enforcement experts tell ABC News.
The issue of “ghost guns” or guns without serial numbers has been thrust into the national spotlight after California authorities revealed that the man who engaged in a string of shootings earlier this week that left five dead had two firearms that he manufactured at home.
Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told reporters in a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the two semi-automatic rifles with multi-round clips that gunman Kevin Neal was armed with were illegally manufactured at his home and were not registered.
Kevin Neal was not allowed to purchase firearms because of previous run-ins with the law and his unstable mental history, but he somehow got his hands on a few guns nonetheless. How? He made them himself.
Former FBI Agent Steve Gomez explained to ABC that this scenario could become commonplace as legislators move to make gun ownership more difficult.
“If lawmakers took steps to make the gun laws more restrictive, those unlicensed home-made firearms would be highly sought after by people and criminals who do not care to comply with the law,” Gomez told ABC.
Consider the irony, by making it more difficult to legally own guns, legislators are actually making it more difficult to track and stop gun crime.