So-called ghost guns are the latest bogeyman for the anti-Second Amendment crowd. See, they don’t like the fact that someone might have a gun that didn’t go through the system at some point. Over and over again, we’re told that the problem is growing, usually without any data to provide context.
Yet that hasn’t stopped a lot of places from trying to ban these types of weapons.
The latest to move in that direction is Los Angeles.
The City Council took a major step Tuesday toward prohibiting the possession, purchase, sale, receipt and transportation of “ghost guns” in Los Angeles.
The council voted 14-0 to have the City Attorney’s Office draft an ordinance prohibiting ghost guns, also known as kit guns and 80% receivers. The virtually untraceable weapons can be assembled by unlicensed buyers from legally purchased kits.
The unfinished parts are inexpensive and not required under federal law to have serial numbers or a background check to purchase. According to the gun control advocacy organization Everytown For Gun Safety, an AR-15 ghost gun kit and lower receiver can be purchased for $345.
Because you can trust Everytown not to blow the prices out of proportion. I mean, I did a quick search and didn’t find anything priced that low.
Anyway, moving on…
Ghost guns accounted for more than 40% of guns confiscated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and one-third of crime guns recovered by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2020.
“When we see an increase in homicides here, and when we see that the LAPD reports that 40% of the crime guns recovered are ghost guns, we know that we have a very urgent critical situation that needs to be addressed,” Councilman Paul Krekorian said Tuesday before the unanimous vote to pass the motion he introduced with Councilman Paul Koretz on Aug. 10.
Now, I’m going to give Los Angeles credit. They finally provided some context. Most communities don’t.
And, to be sure, these numbers are troubling, to be sure. However, I’m also not sure they’re going to be able to stop it.
See, in this day and age, we have things like 3D printers that will crank out a lower receiver for a handgun all on its own. The plans are already out there on the internet, and we should all know that the internet is forever.
As such, a law banning so-called ghost guns isn’t really going to stop much of anyone. The lower receiver is the only part classified as a firearm, for one thing. The other parts are all items that are replaced as needed or desired on a regular basis. They’re replacement parts or upgrades. It’s going to be damn hard to actually put an end to those parts coming into the city, which means it’s going to be impossible to actually impact these kinds of weapons.
Maybe the problem isn’t the “ghost guns” and more the fact that Los Angeles, like so many other cities, makes it incredibly difficult for law-abiding citizens to carry guns to defend themselves.
Couple that with the fact that most of the homicides in this violence surge tend to be gang members–a fact that suggests anti-gang efforts should be stepped up rather than gun control–and you’ve got a recipe for addressing the problem without interfering in the rights of good, decent, law-abiding people.
Assuming, of course, you can find all that many in the city. Based on what we’ve seen out of Hollywood in recent years, there’s reason to be skeptical.
Either way, though, trying to regulate the unregulable isn’t exactly setting yourself up for success, now is it?