Untraceable ‘Ghost guns’ being found at crime scenes in Memphis – FOX13 News Memphis | #College. | #Students

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — You may have heard talk about so-called ‘ghost guns,’ guns that are made at home, or in some cases, even 3D printed, and shoot like any other gun.

There is a concern as they are showing up on Memphis streets, but they’re untraceable.

On a night in Nov. 2021, Memphis Police officers write they responded to a call for loud music in East Memphis.

Police wrote when they got there several men ran away from a Nissan Sentra. When officers looked inside the car, they found an assault rifle loaded with more than a dozen “AK rounds,” they said.

The rifle had no serial number and was taken into evidence and classified as a ghost gun.

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“I consider the ghost of like a Lego kit. You have the individual Lego pieces, and it’s not until you put all the Lego pieces together that you have the actual item,” said Christopher Herrmann, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law & Police Science at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

What to some looks vaguely like some sort of gun part is called a lower receiver. It comes as part of a kit with parts that can be assembled, like Legos, to make a working gun; all that’s needed to assemble it are a few tools, most found at home, some of them for carving and drilling.

Watching videos on YouTube is how most assemble the kits. There are plenty of websites where you can buy the kits and parts, as well.

Until last month, the receiver was just a piece of metal in the eyes of federal law, and because it’s homemade, there are no background checks and no serial numbers attached, making the guns virtually untraceable.

However, a Biden administration rule, updated rules for gun parts, mandating they come with serial numbers and buyers go through background checks.

“Recent concern is, in the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in ghost guns at crime scenes,” Herrmann said, speaking with FOX Investigates over Zoom.

Illegal for felons, minors or if used to commit crimes, as of the middle of this year, before the Biden rule went into effect, Memphis Police had recovered about 50, according to federal law enforcement authorities.

The ATF had recovered a handful themselves in Memphis, more than 24,000 were recovered by the ATF, nationwide, from 2016 to 2020, according to numbers provided by the ATF.

Gun Owners of America represents millions of gun owners around the country, including about 50,000 in Tennessee.

“Most criminals get their guns on the black market or steal them. If you look at FBI and ATF statistics, privately made guns kill less often than knives,” said Erich Pratt, senior vice president for Gun Owners of America.

“Household items are used far more often to kill,” he said.

Moms Demand Action advocates for gun control around the country. Its leaders have a different view about regulation.

“Ghost guns are a huge issue, as are stealing guns from cars. … We can address all these issues simultaneously. …You have to start somewhere.”

As the debate over the guns continues, police continue finding them on the streets.

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