SMC Law Firm Is Invested In You And Your Defense.

What are ghost guns?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Ghost guns are firearms that are made from kits or parts. They don’t contain a serial number, so they’re not traceable by law enforcement. Individuals who purchase ghost gun components, which are sometimes called unfinished frames, usually have to do some machining and assembly before they have a functional firearm.

The lack of serial number is a primary public safety concern when it comes to these guns. Law enforcement officials can trace a serialized firearm through owners and manufacturers, so they have a trail to follow when a crime is committed using the gun. Without that information on ghost guns, crimes committed with them may go unsolved unless there’s other evidence present in the case.

What does the law say about ghost guns?

The regulation of ghost guns is a complex and evolving issue. Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, firearms must have a serial number and be sold by licensed manufacturers and dealers. At the federal level, there have been efforts to tighten regulations on ghost guns.

In 2021, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) proposed a rule to redefine the term “frame or receiver” to include unfinished components that can be readily converted into functional firearms. This rule would require manufacturers and sellers of these parts to be licensed and to serialize the components, making them traceable.

In New York, the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act takes a harsh stance against ghost guns, which is defined as any unserialized and unregistered firearm. At its core, it forbids anyone in the state to possess a ghost gun unless they’re a licensed gunsmith. It also forbids the sale of ghost guns, regulates the assembly of firearms and sets requirements for serializing all firearms, receivers and unfinished frames.

Why do ghost guns have a negative perception?

The rise of ghost guns has raised significant concerns among law enforcement agencies, policymakers and public safety advocates. These concerns all center around the unregulated availability of firearms to individuals who are forbidden from possessing firearms. Some are concerned this could lead to an increase in gun violence and mass shootings.

All gun crimes are taken serious throughout New York. For defendants who are facing these charges, determining what defense strategy to utilize should be their highest priority. They may opt to turn to a legal representative who can evaluate the case and help them learn about their defense strategy options.