Untraceable and undetectable: Tackling DC’s ghost gun problem

Amid a surge in recoveries of so-called ghost guns comes a call for emergency legislation to deal with them in D.C.

“These are guns that are intentionally designed to be undetectable and untraceable,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The guns are assembled from kits and some could even be created using a 3D printer. As a result, the guns have no serial numbers.

“And, even scarier, people are buying the parts for these ghost guns online and assembling those guns at home,” Bowser said.

In 2017, D.C. police recovered three ghost guns. That number jumped to 116 last year.

Police said all of those recovered in the last two years were the type assembled from kits.

The D.C. Council could take up the emergency legislation next week. It would prohibit the possession, assembly, sale and purchase of any type of ghost gun in D.C.

The legislation defines ghost guns as those made by 3D printers, as well as what are known as “80% kits” that require no sophisticated machinery to finish the gun’s assembly.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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