Ghost Guns – Getting Visible – & Banned

Ghost Guns – Getting Visible – & Banned
by Toni Wellen, CAGV, Chair Emeritus

California Governor Newsom Once Again Signs Legislation to Bolster California’s Nation-Leading Gun Safety Laws, Support Survivors of Domestic Violence • October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Governor Newsom’s Legislation is merely a first step.  Ghost guns generally are homemade from parts ordered online. They’re usually unregistered and untraceable. And until this bill, they weren’t among the firearms that could be seized by police.

“If it looks like a gun and shoots like a gun, it should be treated like a gun,” says the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “We need to close this loophole. When I found out we hadn’t already, I was shocked and horrified. This bill, AB 1057 authored by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) allows law enforcement to seize ghost guns under gun violence restraining orders and domestic violence restraining orders, expanding an important existing gun safety law.

No California legislator voted against this measure in a committee or on the floor. Ghost guns are turning up at crime scenes all over the country. 30 percent of all guns now recovered by law enforcement in California have no serial number. That’s why they are called “ghost guns.” The makers of these weapons don’t want to be seen…like a ghost…or caught committing gun crimes.

The measure adds so-called ghost guns to the weapons that can be seized by police from someone who’s “red-flagged” by a judge. In many cases, this is a gun-owner under a restraining order because of domestic violence. Or maybe he’s threatening people and talking about wanting to kill.

This was a gun control bill that made so much sense that the National Rifle Assn. didn’t even oppose it. Neither did any gun lobby. No legislator — not even a Republican — voted against it.

“California has the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, but we’re reminded every day that we can’t afford to be complacent in the fight against the gun violence epidemic in this country – we can and must do more,” said Governor Newsom. “Today’s action strengthens enforcement of our common-sense gun safety laws, helping ensure that dangerous individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms surrender their weapons and advancing other lifesaving polices to make our communities safer.”

When running for Governor of California, Gavin Newsom pioneered statewide gun safety protections, which were approved by voters in Proposition 63, the most extensive list of gun violence prevention laws ever attempted: to ban possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and require background checks to keep ammunition out of the hands of dangerous people. Since assuming office, Governor Newsom has signed multiple bills aimed at reducing gun violence, including strengthening gun violence restraining orders, regulating the sale of firearms and ammunition and accelerating the regulation of ghost guns. He has continued to champion laws to reduce gun violence.

Gun violence prevention bills signed by Governor Newsom in 2021: AB 1057 enables law enforcement to seize ghost guns under gun violence or domestic violence restraining orders, SB 320 strengthens procedures ensuring the relinquishment of firearms. • AB 1191 requires analysis of crime gun data to track gun violence trends. • AB 887 allows domestic violence survivors to file restraining orders online and SB 538 enables electronic filing and remote appearances. • SB 320 requires the implementation of uniform procedures to ensure individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms due to a domestic violence restraining order relinquish their weapons. The bill also strengthens coordination between courts and law enforcement when there has been a violation of a relinquishment order.

It is essential that all ghost guns and the parts sold on the internet to make them are permanently banned.

Toni Wellen, CAGV Chair Emeritus

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