A total of 115 “ghost guns” were recovered by law enforcement in the District of Columbia last year, which is an exceptional growth compared to 2018, when 25 was found. In 2017, the number was only three.
The Washington City Paper reported on the figures based on data acquired from District officials.
A “ghost gun” is an untraceable firearm produced by an individual by assembling gun parts or using 3D printers. It does not have serial numbers or other signs that allow it to be identified.
They typically cost only a few hundred dollars, which has made them extremely popular around the country in recent years.
Ghost guns can easily evade metal detectors depending on the material they are made of. Gun control advocates complain about these guns, saying criminals are using them to circumvent a background check.
“Part of our challenge and what we focus on is being adaptive. This ghost guns challenge is one that’s entirely new and one that will make the work of the chief officers and the chief [of police] even more difficult than it was two years ago,” said Kevin Donahue, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, in an interview with the Washington City Paper.
A bill that stipulates banning ghost guns was introduced last year by D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, on behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The bill would be an amendment to the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, expressly prohibiting the possession, sale, or transfer of ghost guns. It is expected to move forward this year.