California prosecutor joins forces with ghost gun sellers
California Attorney General Rob Bonta joins legal action against three online sellers of “ghost weapons,” the untraceable guns made from self-made kits that he says can be used. assembled in minutes and are increasingly used in violent crimes.
Bonta said his office would bring information uncovered through its multi-year investigation into GS Performance, a manufacturer of phantom weapons components based in San Diego and the United States of America, in the City of San Francisco lawsuit two months ago. Tennessee.
Civil complaint claims GS Performance, along with Blackhawk Manufacturing Group and MDX Corp., misled buyers into believing the kits are legal, without explaining their legal obligations to request a serial number for their firearm and complete a background check.
Two of the three companies manufacture the gun parts in California and do not assign them a serial number as required by state law, Bonta said.
âThis industry will become more dangerous if it is not properly regulated. When guns are home-made by people who haven’t passed a background check and haven’t had their guns properly serialized, it leaves law enforcement in the dark and makes us all less safe, âBonta said at a new conference at United Playaz, a San Francisco community group focused on violence prevention and youth development.
The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Police in San Francisco and other cities across the country have seen an explosion in the number of phantom weapons seized over the past year.
In 2019, ghost guns were associated with a fraction of gun-related deaths in San Francisco, but the following year nearly 50% of guns recovered from homicide cases were ghost guns, said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. He showed examples of ghost guns that were assembled “like an IKEA set” from parts mailed to investigators in his office without any background checks.
âWe see California as the epicenter of the phantom gun problem,â he said.
In February, the city of Los Angeles sued Polymer 80, after a 16-year-old college student used the Nevada-based company’s trademark parts in a Saugus High School shooting that left three people dead. In August, two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies seriously injured in an ambush also sued Polymer80 for fabricating components for a phantom gun used in the attack.
Seeking to curb the industry, San Diego officials introduced a policy for county supervisors to review next week that would ban the possession or distribution of unserialized parts used in the creation of phantom weapons.
âWe are bringing common sense gun reforms to San Diego County,â said Nathan Fletcher, chairman of the county watchdog. âUnserialized firearms are a clear and present danger impacting our communities; by regulating their use and production, we will save lives.