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New State Laws Aim To Stop The Production And Sales Of Ghost Guns In Cities Like Syracuse

A gun from Syracuse Police Department
Syracuse Police Department

A new state law aims to crack down on those who produce, sell, or possess ghost guns or parts. The Syracuse Police Department doesn’t have hard statistics as to how many times ghost guns are used in homicide cases or other crimes. However, Sergeant Matthew Malinowski said investigators do encounter the illegal firearms, and they pose many problems.

“Being unregistered, we don’t know who the owner is. And then the problem is that these sales are occurring not through a legal gunsmith, so people who normally would not be able to obtain a firearm or hands on are now being able to process these weapons and to use them unlawfully.”

Malinowski describes why ghost guns are very hard to distinguish from those professionally manufactured, aside from them being unmarked.

The biggest thing is that the parts get shipped separately. There’s some assembly that’s required, which is a loophole in the old law, which the new law passed attempts to fix. But its functions just in the same way as any other gun.”

The Sergeant is hopeful the new state laws will prevent people from building unregistered, illegal guns and ending up in the wrong hands.

“Criminals would like to use these guns, because obviously they’re harder to trace. We don’t know who actually legally owns these firearms. And we’ve seen them used in several different incidents and crimes within the city of Syracuse.”

The new state law also prohibits the sale of ghost guns and specifies only serialized guns can be sold by a licensed gunsmith. It also expands the definition of ‘disguised guns’ to include those designed to appear as toys.

Violent crime in the Syracuse increased by 2% in 2021. In a couple weeks, the City’s North Side will have newly installed Shot Spotter technology so police can capture reports of shots fired.