SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - On Monday, the SDPD spoke to ABC 10News about a jarring new report released by the department regarding the increase in seizures of ghost guns which are guns that are made at home so they're unregistered and untraceable.
“It is a big deal,” said SDPD Lt. Adam Sharki.
According to SDPD's report, ghost gun seizures nearly tripled from 77 in 2019 to 211 in 2020. The number is expected to more than double by the end of 2021 with a projected total of 427.
“That's a pretty significant rise and it's a significant portion of the guns taken off the streets,” he added.
According to the report, SDPD believes that, "90% of the ghost guns recovered by SDPD are manufactured/assembled by a small group of people that sell these firearms through various social media platforms. The ghost guns are then used in shootings throughout our city."
"Just this past weekend, our Special Operations Unit took four firearms off the street. All four of them were ghost guns,” added Lt. Sharki.
Ghost guns have been tied to shootings across San Diego, like April's deadly rampage in the Gaslamp District where the suspect was arrested in possession of a ghost gun.
In 2018, two officers were shot at a Rolando Court apartment where the suspect was armed with a semi-automatic AR rifle-style ghost gun. He was prohibited from having firearms because of his criminal history.
The new SDPD report reveals that the majority of the ghost guns are recovered by people who cannot pass background checks because of criminal convictions and by people who are prohibited to carry because of mental illness.
SDPD also reported that it's believed that the numbers will continue to rise unless new legislation is enacted to address loopholes in the purchase and assembly of ghost guns.
City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert has asked the City Attorney's Office to bring forward an ordinance to close the loophole and, “keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” according to a press release from her office.