The Maryland General Assembly is off and running. One of the more troubling issues some legislators have their sites on is the proliferation of what are called ghost guns. These are handguns and rifles that can be assembled from parts and kits sold online. What’s caught the eye of legislators, police and prosecutors is the fact that once assembled, the weapons have no serial number. So, once fully assembled, the weapons are near impossible to trace if seized as evidence. Virtually anyone with access to a credit card can order all of the parts to build a gun. Neither a background check nor licensing of the buyer is required – as would be for a sale in a gun shop.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, police and some legislators are pushing proposed legislation to ban the sale or possession of ghost guns. Ghost guns are a growing problem statewide, but particularly in jurisdictions like Baltimore City and Prince Georges County.
Last year, Baltimore police seized 352 ghost guns compared to only 9 in 2018. In 2019 Prince Georges County police seized only 27 ghost guns compared to 264 last year. So far this year, 51 ghost guns have been seized by Baltimore police – 13 of which were found in the possession of convicted felons. Police believe 700 ghost guns will be confiscated this year. Legislators on both sides of the aisle must act this year -everyone’s public safety is at stake.
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