California scrambles to ban ‘ghost guns’ as numbers spike
California is increasing efforts to prevent the presence of “ghost guns” in their cities, as the untraceable weapons are appearing with increasing frequency in homicides, traffic stops, and gun buybacks.
As laws at higher levels await implementation, local officials across the Golden State are ramping up citywide efforts to ban ghost guns — weapons built from parts sold without serial numbers. San Francisco passed its ban last month, barring the sale of unserialized guns and parts by unlicensed dealers.
San Diego passed a similar measure in August, prohibiting the sale of unserialized frames and receivers and forcing retailers to complete a background check on customers that buy the parts.
“Ghost guns are the future of the industry, and we’re going to have to catch up with our legal interventions,” said Marni von Wilpert, a San Diego city council member. “We’re trying to pressure manufacturers to not let people who are prohibited buyers from getting these guns.”
San Diego police recovered at least 360 ghost guns this year, up from 77 in 2019.