SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- This week, Assemblymember Christopher Ward introduced new legislation, Assembly Bill 311, to prohibit the sale and purchase of firearm precursor parts -- otherwise known as ghost gun kits -- at California gun shows.
Ghost guns are so named because they aren’t built by traditional manufacturers and lack serial numbers to trace ownership. But because ghost guns are untraceable, it makes it difficult for law enforcement to find their source.
“While Californians have the ability to lawfully own firearms, ghost guns can bypass common sense policies created to protect our communities from senseless gun violence. AB 311 will address growing concerns over the availability of these firearms by prohibiting their sale at guns shows,” said Assemblymember Ward.
These kits often come with the tools and instructions needed to turn the functional parts of a firearm – the unfinished frame and receiver – into a weapon.
Law enforcement finds ghost guns are frequently used to commit egregious crimes. In 2019, an AR-15 type ghost gun was used to murder a Riverside California Highway Patrol Officer while in the line of duty.
In 2020, the public health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had spurred an increase in demand for and sale of these untraceable weapons.
"The sale of ghost gun kits at gun shows across the state allows the unmitigated flow of these firearms into communities all over the state, threatening public safety and obstructing the ability of law enforcement to solve crimes,” said Brady California Legislative Chair Amanda Wilcox.
Assembling a gun out of parts obtained through a gun dealer or the Internet is mostly legal in the United States. Four states have enacted laws regulating or prohibiting such guns.