Ghost guns: Maryland joins 10 states and DC becoming latest to place restrictions on ghost guns

Maryland joined Washington, DC and 10 other states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington) in banning or restricting the purchase or use of bogus weapons, which are often they shop online. and assembled at home.

Governor Larry Hogan announced Friday that he will allow the legislation, which addresses issues related to untraceable firearms, to pass without a signature.

“I appreciate the work you’ve done on Senate Bill 387/House Bill 425 to address issues related to untraceable firearms, and I agree that it’s a positive step forward. As we seek to stop the wave of violent crime, which is why I allow it. take effect,” Hogan said in a statement.

“But it does nothing to penalize those who actually pull the trigger on firearms, and deflects from the need to take decisive action to hold violent criminals accountable,” the statement read.

A CNN analysis earlier this year of 2021 data found that several cities reported sharp increases in the number of ghost weapons recovered over time, while still accounting for a relatively small percentage of the total number of weapons recovered by law enforcement. of the order.
High Number of Gun Recoveries Underscores Worsening Gun Violence Epidemic in America

Data shows guns have been involved in shootings and found at crime scenes with increasing frequency, CNN reported.

The rapidly growing threat of ghost guns has become a point of focus for law enforcement officials and legislators at the state and federal level, as cities across the country have seen an increase in crime. violent since the start of the pandemic.

More than two-thirds of the nation’s most populous cities saw more homicides in 2021 than the year before, with at least 10 setting all-time homicide records and the majority committed with a firearm, according to a CNN analysis of the data from the police department.

Growing Ghost Gun Problem Adds to America's Violence Problems
On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that 1,753 firearms have been removed from the state’s streets in the two months since she convened the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns to combat gun violence. Additionally, state police increased gun-tracing investigations by 75% and doubled the number of guns seized from January to March.

Hochul signed legislation in October to address the gun violence epidemic, which included banning “the sale of ghost guns and requiring gunsmiths and firearms dealers to register firearms in their possession,” according to the governor’s office. .

In February, President Joe Biden announced new steps the Justice Department will take to combat gun violence amid rising violent crime.
The department has launched a national ghost weapons enforcement initiative, which “will train a national cadre of prosecutors and disseminate investigative and prosecution tools to help bring cases against those who use ghost weapons to commit crimes,” according to the White House.

Following a 2021 directive from the Biden Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proposed a rule in May of last year to allow the bureau to classify basic components that a They often make up ghost weapons like guns.

The ATF rule addresses a key issue in ghost gun tracking and regulation because certain frames and receivers used to assemble the guns are often purchased online and are not classified as firearms by the bureau.

CNN’s Priya Krishnakumar contributed to this report.

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