Mixed Reaction in San Diego to Biden's Ghost-Gun Plan

Some locals said on Monday that they were eager to see harsher regulations to get ghost guns off the street, while others question how it could impact business at local gun stores

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President Joe Biden announced Monday that his administration will implement stricter regulations on so-called "ghost guns."

The regulations would require producers of gun kits to include serial numbers on firearms and for sellers to follow the same guidelines that apply to other guns. The new rules would also require background checks to be in order for someone to purchase them.

Some San Diegans are eager to see harsher regulations to get ghost guns off the street, while others question how could impact business at local gun stores. 

Cory Gautereaux and Gary Wyer own Firearms Unlimited California in El Cajon. 

"Here we do everything by the book, by the law," Wyer said. 

Their store does not sell or purchase ghost guns or kits, so it wasn't immediately clear, if at all, how their business would be impacted by the new rules. 

"it's not necessarily going to impact my store because ... everything we sell here is serialized," Gautereaux said. "It's going to impact people who are hobbyists."

Following Biden's announcement on Monday, Wyer had this to say. 

"What the government is trying to do or the government of the United States or the executive branch is trying to do is, in my opinion, incredibly over-encroaching and quite difficult," Wyer said. "This is like — what? We're going to tell every auto-repair store to serialize every nut and bolt?"

San Diego County Gun Owner PAC's executive director, Michael Schwarz, told NBC7 on Monday that he questioned what parts of a firearm would need to be serialized under Biden's new regulations. 

Law enforcement agencies and gun-reform activists who spoke with NBC7 last year said the number of ghost guns ending up in the hands of the wrong people was growing. 

At the start of the year, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt an ordinance requiring safe firearm storage in addition to prohibiting distributing or creating untraceable ghost guns in the county. 

San Diego Councilmember Marni Von Wilpert, who wrote and helped pass the Eliminate Non-serialized Untraceable Firearms ordinance last year, said in a statement Monday, "Today’s long-awaited rule change is a critical step in curbing the shocking rise in gun violence in our country, much of it fueled by the proliferation of ghost guns."

Some San Diegans like Rodd North told NBC 7 that they agree 

"I say it's a good idea, absolutely," North said. "Ghost guns are not very safe."

Others say gun ownership comes down to responsibility.

"I think that if you are a responsible gun owner, you're gonna be registered and that information is gonna be available to anybody that wants to have that information," Amanda Meyers said. "But ghost guns? No, I don't think that's right."

In addition to the change in regulations, Biden also announced he is calling for more funding to be used toward community policing programs and the hiring of more police officers.

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