LA City Council Votes Unanimously to Prohibit “Ghost Guns”

Today the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously for an ordinance to prohibit the possession, purchase, sale, receipt, or transport of “ghost guns,” ie. any non-serialized unfinished firearm frame or receiver, or non-serialized firearm. The motion for the ordinance was co-presented by Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz (CD5) and Paul Krekorian (CD2) in August 2021, following an increase in shootings, gun-related homicides and a surge in the number of “ghost guns”.

“The criminal underground has long relied on stolen weapons with filed-off serial numbers, but ghost guns represent a digital-age upgrade, and they are especially prevalent in states with strict firearm laws. These guns, and the industry that produces them, have flourished because of a loophole in federal and state regulations,” said Councilmember Koretz. “With such staggering numbers and the sharp increase in hate crimes, we cannot turn a blind eye on a backdoor where those who would not otherwise qualify for registered guns can get their hands on an untraceable one.”

"Today, the City of Los Angeles took decisive action to prohibit the possession and sale of guns that are specifically designed to avoid tracing, and when sold without background checks, end up in the possession of felons," said Councilmember Krekorian, who earlier this year sponsored a motion enabling the City to go forward with a lawsuit against Nevada-based Polymer 80, one of the nation's largest sellers of Ghost Gun kits. "With passage of this ordinance, law enforcement has the authority to move aggressively and swiftly to curb the spread of weapons that have played a significant role in the recent rise in violent crime across our city."

“We are appreciative and grateful to the City Council and the members who worked on this ordinance which gives the LAPD another tool to reduce violence and provide a safer environment for Angelenos,” said LAPD Chief Michel Moore. “Year to date there have been 24 murders, eight attempted murders, 20 robberies, and 60 assaults with a deadly weapon that have been attributed to individuals with Ghost guns. This is a substantial increase from last year. We stand committed to working with our elected officials to reduce the atrocious violence that stems from the illegal use of those guns.”

“The proliferation of ghost guns is an existential threat to public safety. These unregulated, untraceable and fully functioning firearms undermine all existing gun laws in our state - we cannot allow them to continue to proliferate in our communities,” said Brady Los Angeles President Suzanne Verge. “Brady applauds Councilmember Koretz for his leadership in introducing this necessary ban on their sale in Los Angeles, thanks the city council for passing this important ordinance, and looks forward to working with the city to ensure that enforcement of this ordinance is equitable and does not inadvertently target or disproportionately and unfairly impact Black and Brown communities in the city.”

“The rise of ghost guns is a real and deadly threat. Across the nation and in our own neighborhoods, we have seen ghost guns used in mass shootings, school shootings, killings of law enforcement, community violence, and domestic violence,” said Margot Bennett, Executive Director of WoMen Against Gun Violence. “We applaud Councilmembers Koretz and Krekorian for all their gun violence prevention efforts, both in the past and now with this ban on ghost guns. We are proud to say #LALeads.”