Waynesboro, GA (WJBF)- A legislative development could help law enforcement. A new bill requiring ghost guns to be assigned serial numbers and registered went into effect last week.
Ghost guns are homemade firearms made from kits that are bought in pieces and assembled or made on 3D printers.
Without a serial number, law enforcement can’t trace a gun. If a ghost gun is used during a crime there is no way to find out who owns it; or if it was made on a 3D printer, who the manufacturer is.
Now, under the Biden Administration’s new regulations, each piece of a firearm kit must have a serial number and the weapon has to be registered. Anyone who buys these pieces has to undergo a background check just like they would if they were buying a fully formed gun.
“It’s important to know– to track how many guns are actually out there. You know who has them, where they go. You know who buys them. You know that the person that buys them can– in 90 percent of the cases – can own them, because they have to go through a background check. And they don’t have a criminal record and they’re supposed to have the gun,” explained Captain Jimmy Wylds with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
Under the new regulations, each piece of a gun kit is considered a weapon all by itself. This new rule makes guns made with a 3D printer illegal.
Captain Wylds said the new law could make their job a little easier.
“If we find a ghost gun, now that it’s registered, now that it’s got a serial number, you can track it back to somebody. You can track it back to the manufacturer. The manufacturer can tell you who they shipped it to. Whether or not the person had a background check done on them. The whole 9 yards. So, you now have a starting place to where, before, you didn’t.”
Captain Wylds adds that while guns will be easier to trace, the regulations won’t stop criminals from using or making illegal ghost guns.
Photojournalist: Will Baker.