San Diego County bans "ghost guns"

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

A lot of places are really down on homemade firearms, typically called “ghost guns” by the media. A handful of places have banned them and I expect to see more do so in the coming year. San Diego County just joined in the ridiculous fun and games.

Of course, these aren’t new. People have been making guns for a while. All that happened was someone figured out how to help people make them, which is a huge problem apparently.

That didn’t matter to San Diego County, apparently.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 today to approve an ordinance requiring safe firearm storage and prohibiting the distribution or creation of untraceable “ghost guns” in the county.

Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer backed the proposal last October, and they were joined Tuesday by Supervisor Nora Vargas in support of the measure. Supervisors Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond were opposed.

Ghost guns are unregulated firearms that lack serial numbers by which they can be identified and are typically assembled from purchased or homemade components. Minors or those normally prohibited from owning firearms can purchase such a weapon without a background check.

The county ordinance will:

— update definitions regarding firearms to include unserialized ghost guns and parts;

— prohibit the possession or distribution of parts without serial numbers that are used in the creation or possession of ghost guns;

— prohibit 3D printing of firearms or parts; and

— require the safe storage of firearms.

So, this is the least enforceable law San Diego County could possibly have come up with. Well freaking done, you bunch of knobs.

See, criminals won’t stop 3d printing guns or parts, nor will they stop importing kits to build firearms themselves. It won’t slow that aspect down one single bit.

What it will do, though, is interfere with the law-abiding citizens of San Diego County who like to build firearms themselves for whatever lawful reasons you care to name. They’re not inhibited in a way that criminals simply won’t be.

Throw in the mandatory storage requirement that can’t be enforced worth a damn and all you’ve got is a law that’s designed to make the board of supervisors feel good about themselves without them having to actually do anything of substance.

Time and time again, we point out how little laws like these will do to the criminals–you know, the people actually causing problems?–yet they keep doing this. They have no interest in listening because they have no interest in looking at any alternatives.

Of course, this is California. This isn’t a state known for seeking out alternatives to restricting people’s Second Amendment rights. There’s absolutely no reason to believe that San Diego County would be any different. I suppose I may have hoped the military presence there would have made a difference, but clearly, that wasn’t the case.

At the end of the day, what we have here is legislative masturbation. They sure did a lot, but they didn’t accomplish a damn thing.

Jul 03, 2022 8:30 AM ET