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Friday, May 20th, 2022

Federal lawmakers seek ghost gun ban from Conference of Mayors

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A collection of more than 40 senators and representatives published a letter last week calling for members of the United States Conference of Mayors to crack down on and ban untraceable firearms, better known as “ghost guns.”

“We write today to request your consideration in addressing the challenge of ghost guns, the fastest growing gun safety threat facing the nation,” the lawmakers wrote. “Mayors on the front lines of gun violence prevention should take action to pass local measures to prohibit ghost guns—a critically needed measure to address the existing supply of ghost guns in our communities.”

The call refers to weapons built with parts that have foregone background checks and can be made with common tools and minimal effort to make functioning firearms. As a result, they lack serial numbers, adding hurdles for law enforcement attempting to pair them to crimes. The lawmakers specifically cited a recent National Police Foundation report, which expressed concern from law enforcement agencies nationwide about the threat ghost guns pose.

“Cities across the country have begun to pass ordinances that prohibit the possession, purchase, sale, receipt, and transportation of ghost guns in order to give local law enforcement the tools they need to keep our communities safe,” the lawmakers concluded. “We respectfully request that USCM consider encouraging all of its members to pass the strongest local ordinances possible to address the problem of ghost guns already in circulation as we work to save lives and prevent gun violence.”

While the Biden administration has proposed regulation of companies that make and sell the core parts of ghost guns to halt their spread, the federal lawmakers noted that would only reduce the threat of future weapons. They added that a strong local response is needed for the current supply.