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Pasadena Police Department Wants New City Law Banning Ghost Guns And the Kits That Make Them

Published on Monday, June 13, 2022 | 6:00 am
 
File photo of a ghost gun seized in 2020 by Pasadena police. (Credit: Pasadena Police Department)

The Pasadena Police Department wants an amendment to the Pasadena Municipal Code making it a crime to possess unregistered and unserialized firearms known as “ghost guns” or the kits that can make them. The Department says the city law is needed to close state and federal loopholes.

The local ordinance would also beef up the severity of penalties for possessing such items.

The request goes through the City Council’s Public Safety Committee on Wednesday, June 15, before the full City Council can act on it and direct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance and submit the draft to the City Council within 60 days.

Action by the City Council is expected when it meets next Monday, June 20.

In an Agenda Report addressed to the City Council, through the Public Safety Committee, the Pasadena Police Department said the proposed ordinance would close a loophole in federal and state law to prohibit the possession of narrowly-defined “ghost guns” and “ghost gun kits.”

A ghost gun is a homemade gun made from unregulated ghost gun kits that are easy to acquire and are even ordered online. Last April, the U.S. Department of Justice said it had submitted a “Frame or Receiver Final Rule” to the Federal Register. This rule modernizes the definition of a firearm, and, once implemented, would clarify that parts kits that are readily convertible to firearms are subject to the same regulations as traditional firearms.

The regulatory update was designed to help curb the proliferation of “ghost guns,” which are often assembled from kits, do not have serial numbers, and are sold without background checks, making them easy for criminal elements to acquire and difficult for law enforcement authorities to trace.

In the report, the Pasadena Police Department said more than 14 percent of the guns seized in the last year have been unserialized and untraceable ghost guns. The number is trending closer to 16 percent for the current year, the report said.

‘Disturbingly little is known about who sells ghost guns, who buys them, and how much they are used in crime,” the report said. Unless laws are strengthened against criminals and gun holders, the problem of indiscriminate violence could continue, the Police Department said.

“Unregulated sellers will continue to offer ghost gun building kits, traffickers will continue to make and sell completed untraceable ghost guns, and more of these guns will end up in the hands of prohibited and often dangerous individuals. That is causing more deaths, injuries, and trauma to our communities, including our city,” the Police Department said.

Members of the Pasadena community can watch the proceedings on the Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday through http://pasadena.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=9 and www.pasadenamedia.org.

The meeting begins at 4 p.m.

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