Philadelphia Police Claim They've Seized More "Ghost Guns" Than All Of Last Year

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

So-called ghost guns have become all the rage with anti-gunners. It’s not difficult to imagine why, either. I mean, it supposedly allows criminals to bypass background checks. The truth is a bit more complicated than that, though, since it’s unlikely these criminals are building these guns themselves, meaning there’s a whole criminal industry that isn’t likely to go away with a ghost gun ban, but that has never really stopped them before.

For some time, we’ve seen the media beating the drum, claiming there’s been some drastic increase in ghost guns showing up at crime scenes, often without any mention of actual numbers, thus making it difficult to assess just how significant the claims are.

Now, though, Philadelphia police are saying they’ve seized more “ghost guns” in 2021 so far than they did all of last year.

Almost halfway into 2021, gun violence in Philadelphia is significantly worse this year than it was about the same point last year. During a Wednesday briefing, Deputy Philadelphia Police Commissioner Joel Dales said there has been a 25% increase in shooting victims and a 33% increase in homicide victims compared to June 6, 2020.

But those statistics are not the only troubling trend, Dales said.

“I would like to point out that in 2020, a total of 250 privately made firearms, which again are ghost guns, were recovered by the end of the year — not year to date, but end of the year. That’s the total number for the year of 2020, and as of June 7, we have passed that number,” Dales said.

The 2021 tally thus far: 260 ghost guns, he said.

First, let’s remember just how much violent crime Philadelphia has. There’s a lot going on and this only accounts for a portion of firearms remotely tied to criminal activity.

Second, it’s probably not a fair comparison to look at what was recovered in 2020 and compare it to this year.

Last year, as some of you may recall, we were faced with months of lockdown. People weren’t going anywhere or doing anything. There wasn’t as much crime during that time, nor was there much opportunity to seize any firearms from anyone. There may have been more homemade firearms on the streets last year, the police just didn’t find them.

I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case, mind you, only that it’s possible.

Regardless, it’s foolish of anyone to assume that a ban on so-called ghost guns would actually change anything. My guess is that a criminal enterprise is underway producing these guns for Philadelphia criminals. That’s not likely to end. Not in the era of 3D printers, at least.

Frankly, for all of Philadelphia’s complaining about guns, they really should start looking at other ways to address violent crime, ways that don’t infringe on people’s rights and may actually make a better long-term difference in people’s lives. Philly has a problem, yes, but banning things isn’t going to be the solution. It never has been and it never will be.

It’s well past time to put failed ideas out to pasture and try something new. Especially since then it won’t matter where the firearms come from.