San Diego, California has outlawed unfinished gun parts, this ban extends to 80% lowers.
The ATF has failed to garner a lot of support for its proposed ban on so-called “Ghost Guns” so localities like San Diego have taken the matter into their own hands.
San Diego mayor Todd Gloria signed an ordinance last Thursday that bans the possession and sale of “Ghost Guns.” The ordinance defines “Ghost Guns” as any unserialized firearms or unfinished frame/receiver.
The mayor has been able to justify this ban by using data from the San Diego police department. Note that this data is highly suspect due to the lack of context surrounding it. The mayor’s press release stated:
“San Diego has seen a dramatic increase in gun violence across our city using ghost guns. These guns are untraceable and can end up in the hands of people prohibited from having firearms making them a threat to public safety,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “Addressing the proliferation of ghost guns aligns with my commitment to have San Diego lead on gun violence prevention. I want to thank Councilmember von Wilpert for bringing this ordinance forward and the City Council for supporting it.”
In 2020, San Diego saw a 169% increase in the number of ghost guns retrieved and impounded compared to the previous year. This year, San Diego has already surpassed the number of ghost guns impounded in all of 2019 and 2020, with the expected number of ghost guns recovered by the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) to double by the end of this year. The vast majority of ghost guns recovered by SDPD are seized from people who cannot pass state or federal background checks because of a criminal conviction involving a felony, violent misdemeanor, and from persons who are prohibited due to mental illness.
This data can be thrown out because of the lack of context surrounding these numbers. “169%” is a scary figure, but consider that they are not publicly stating how many guns this actually means. A 169% increase could be as little as 15 “Ghost Guns” being picked up off the streets or as many as 1,000. The statistics are being framed like this for the purpose of supporting the ban on 80% lowers and unfinished frames, do not be fooled.
The ATF’s proposed ban on “Ghost Guns” has been a fiasco and a half. The proposal has received over 300,000 public comments, a majority of which are extremely negative. There will not only be political consequences for any federal rule change in regards to 80% lower and unfinished frames but there will be legal pushback and court cases dedicated to the matter.