Why Anti-Ghost Gun Laws Won't Work

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Gun control advocates are beside themselves when it comes to so-called ghost guns. After all, these firearms aren’t traceable to any degree and people can make them without having to undergo a background check. It’s their worst nightmare.


So, they’ve been working to ban these guns. Never mind that the files are out there and have been for years. No, we simply must have more laws to ban these weapons because…well, because!

The problem, of course, is that such laws don’t actually do a whole lot, especially when building a firearm is as simple as firing up a 3D printer.

Take, this gentleman, for example:

A Greene County man was arrested in Saugerties following an alleged road rage incident during which he is accused of using racial slurs and threatening a person with an illegal handgun, police said Wednesday.

Douglas J. Melka, 30, of Mountain Avenue, Purling, was charged Tuesday with menacing and three counts of criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies, the Saugerties Police Department said.

The department said officers responded about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday to a reported road rage incident on Route 212 in Saugerties. The complainant told officers another driver had pulled up alongside his vehicle, screamed about his driving and used several racial slurs, police said.


Since none of the firearms had serial numbers, they’ve been classified as “ghost guns.”

However, my question is simple. Why does anyone think that someone who would sling alleged racial slurs and threaten other drivers would suddenly turn law-abiding because they can’t legally make their own firearm?

This happened in New York, which hasn’t banned so-called ghost guns just yet, but they’re working on it.

Look, I get why people are skittish. They somehow think all gun sales can be easily traced because that’s just what happens on television. The good guys trace a gun right back to the killer and the who case is wrapped up within the hour.

But television isn’t real life. Guns have been bought and sold over and over again in many cases. Many of those sales would have happened before a given state passed universal background checks, thus creating a paper trail for tracing a gun’s movements. And those are just the lawful sales. It does nothing about stolen guns, straw buys, or anything like that.


So even guns with serial numbers aren’t as traceable as some people think, but oh yeah, let’s stop hobbyists from building guns on their own simply because the bad guys might do it too.

Well, they are and they’re going to continue to do so. Your laws won’t stop them just like how laws against threatening other drivers didn’t stop this alleged yahoo.

The trick isn’t to make it impossible for law-abiding citizens to do something in hopes that some of that might spill over onto the crooks. It’s to figure out why people become crooks in the first place and address that.

Of course, that would take effort, which is something lawmakers don’t really seem inclined to do all that much these days.

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