New Jersey's Issues With "Ghost Guns" Aren't Our Issues

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

So-called ghost guns are being held up as the great scourge of the 21st Century, apparently, and there’s a reason for that. If you look at them through the lens of someone who thinks gun control is a good idea, such firearms represent a significant issue. With such weapons being a possibility, they circumvent the normal firearm acquisition process, making tracking of firearms virtually impossible.

One state with a particular hatred for these firearms is New Jersey. They banned these types of firearms and recently arrested some for trying to smuggle kits across state lines.

Now, it seems some in the state want to make it our problem.

Ghost guns are made from kits containing almost finished pieces, which when assembled become an untraceable weapon.

New Jersey is one of just seven states that have laws targeting ghost guns. (The others are Connecticut, California, Washington State, Hawaii, Nevada and Rhode Island.)

Enforcing such laws is between terribly difficult and impossible.

According to the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Currently, there is simply no mechanism to stop dangerous individuals or gun traffickers from obtaining these kits and building firearms, undermining the entire federal and state systems of gun regulation.”

So when the top law enforcers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania collaborated on a recent ghost gun case, it deserved the attention they drew to it.

What they want us to do is get the federal government involved.

However, I fail to see why my tax dollars should be spent on an issue that was of New Jersey’s own creation.

After all, they’re the ones who banned these kits. When they were legal, there was no issue with smuggling for obvious reasons. Yet they took issue with people being able to build their own firearms and banned the kits.

OK, if that’s what they want to do, that’s what they want to do (I’m not going into the constitutional arguments against it right now).

Yet by doing so, that doesn’t make it my problem since I live in Georgia.

What calls for federal involvement boil down to is that New Jersey banned something and they expect the rest of the nation to bow to their demands, despite the fact that we don’t agree it’s an issue in the first place.

And it’s really not.

As I’ve noted repeatedly, when actual numbers are provided, we learn that “ghost guns” account for a tiny portion of all firearms recovered by law enforcement. Meanwhile, millions of these kinds of guns are in circulation, built by law-abiding citizens who have no ill intent but simply like building the guns.

So while New Jersey is kvetching about “ghost guns,” much of the rest of the nation recognizes that there’s no issue with these firearms. So why should we be forced to pay for New Jersey’s issue?

If they want to ban these guns, that’s on them–at least until the courts overturn such bans–but I’ll be damned if I’m going to stand by and end up on the hook for it.

Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET