Los Angeles City Council unanimously passes ‘ghost gun’ ban
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday passed a ban on “ghost guns” that police say represent an increasingly large share of the weapons used in violent crimes.
The council’s unanimous vote prohibits the possession, sale, receipt or purchase of the virtually untraceable guns — which are made from build-it-yourself kits — or the parts to make them unless they are imprinted with serial numbers.
Violators could face fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
San Francisco and San Diego have enacted similar measures.
In most states, the guns aren’t required to carry serial numbers, although California requires kit buyers to request a serial number from the state and complete a background check.
Federal law doesn’t require registration of ghost guns, waiting periods on their purchase or background checks on the owners because the weapons are sold unassembled.
“We now have an entire industry of manufacturers, the sole purpose of which is to evade background checks, to manufacture a product that will lead to death, destruction, violence across our country with impunity,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who co-sponsored the measure.
In October, the Los Angeles Police Department said the number of ghost guns it seized had increased by about 400% since 2017, calling their use an epidemic.
Police Chief Michel Moore praised the new ban and said ghost guns have been used in the city this year in 24 murders, eight attempted murders, 20 robberies and 60 assaults with a deadly weapon.
Ghost gun parts manufacturers and dealers already face lawsuits filed by LA and San Francisco. In October, California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined San Francisco’s lawsuit against three manufacturers, alleging that they misled buyers to believe the gun kits are legal, without explaining their state legal obligations.
In February, Los Angeles sued Polymer80, after a 16-year-old student used the Nevada-based company’s branded parts in a shooting at Saugus High School that left three children dead. In August, two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies badly wounded in an ambush shooting also sued Polymer80 for making the components for a ghost gun used in the attack.