L.A. Sheriff Calls For Regulation of "Ghost Gun" Parts

Picture yourself at the range for a bit of practice. You’re shooting away when you realize that something is wrong. You’ve got a part that’s not quite right. Maybe the weapon is malfunctioning or maybe something is showing signs of stress.

Luckily for you, it’s not the lower receiver, so you can just order a part of the internet and swap it out.

However, if the L.A. County Sheriff gets his way, you won’t.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva calls for increased regulation of “ghost gun” parts in an interview to be broadcast Sunday night on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Ghost guns, also known as kit guns or 80-percent guns, are virtually untraceable weapons that can be made at home using legally purchased parts to complete the 80% already assembled. They are sold at gun shows and online.

The unfinished parts are not required under federal law to have serial numbers or a background check to purchase.

A ghost gun was used in the Nov. 14 shooting attack at Saugus High School that killed two students and wounded three others before the 16-year-old shooter turned the gun on himself and later died, Villanueva said shortly after the shooting.

Under a bill signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 11, the sale of firearm precursor parts would be required to be conducted by or processed through a licensed firearm-precursor-part vendor effective July 1, 2024. Other states also have moved to restrict the sale of ghost gun parts, but Villanueva says that’s not the solution.

“You can just defeat it by going to another state,” Villanueva said.

In other words, Los Angeles is having a problem with this, so the rest of us should be penalized for it.

The problem here is that there’s no part on a firearm that is so difficult to produce that it can’t be made otherwise. Even the lower receiver, the very part the ATF has ruled constitutes a firearm, isn’t an insurmountable challenge. Hell, there have been people who built AK-pattern rifles receivers out of shovels.

What Villaneuva is arguing for is nothing useful, at the very least, but it will make things more difficult for law-abiding gun owners to repair their firearms.

Further, it should be noted that it’s already illegal for criminals to manufacture their own weapons. It’s also illegal for you to build a gun with the intention of selling it unless you have a license to manufacture firearms. In other words, what these criminals Villaneuva is complaining about are doing is already illegal.

What he’s calling for are more preventative laws, regulations that are supposed to stop people from being in a position to do something bad, yet the only people ever stopped by those laws are the very people you don’t need to prevent from having these items in the first place.

If there’s an upside to this, it’s that Villaneuva’s influence stops at the California state line. Because he’s the sheriff of a large count population-wise, he probably has a great deal of pull within the state. Outside of it, though, no one has to pay any damn attention to anything he said about anything. Oh, anti-gunners will use Villanueva’s comments as fodder for their mailings and their assaults on the Second Amendment, but he himself doesn’t have the pull to make this happen.