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LAPD Declare Ghost Guns an 'Epidemic,' Seizures Up 400% In Four Years

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Ghost guns have emerged as the fastest-growing problem for law enforcement this year as more and more untraceable firearms are used in violent crimes. 

In a recent report released by the Los Angeles Police Department, authorities have linked ghost guns to over 100 violent crimes this year.

Since January, the LAPD linked ghost guns to 24 murders, eight attempted murders, 60 assaults with deadly weapons and 20 armed robberies this year. 

"Ghost guns are an epidemic not only in Los Angeles, but nationwide," the LAPD report said.

According to the report, seizures have increased 400% since 2017. So far this year, LAPD has confiscated 863 ghost guns. In 2020, authorities seized 813 for the entire year.

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The Los Angeles City Attorney displays examples of ghost guns. February 2021. (credit: LA City Attorney's Office)

"The current trend shows these figures will continue to grow exponentially," the LAPD said in its report.

"Ghost guns are replacing firearms people would normally purchase, with no background checks required."

The untraceable firearms can be assembled at home with kits purchased online. The purchase requires no background check as it is not legally a firearm. They can be made relatively easily in 30 minutes to two hours. Once assembly is finished, builders are required to submit the firearm to the California Department of Justice and acquire a serial number. 

On Aug. 31, Los Angeles City Council unanimously agreed to have the City Attorney's Office draft an ordinance prohibiting the possession, purchase, sale, receipt and transportation of ghost guns. 



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