San Diego

San Diego County Leaders Introduce Efforts to Ban ‘Ghost Guns'

Already the city of San Diego banned the sale, purchase, possession of non-serialized firearms and parts

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An effort to ban unregistered firearms in San Diego County was announced Wednesday morning as local leaders try to get so-called “ghost guns” off the streets.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer were joined by community leaders to announce a new policy that takes aim at prohibiting guns and parts without serial numbers. The proposal also calls for safe firearms storage and community-based gun reduction programs.

“Unserialized guns are a clear and present danger that is impacting our communities; by regulating their use and production, we will save lives," Fletcher said in a statement. "Our inclusion of safe storage practices in this policy will protect gun owners, their families, and visitors; and by investing in gun violence prevention programs, our early intervention can protect individuals in our community from harm.”  

Lawson-Remer said in a statement that banning untraceable firearms will prevent them from "fall into the wrong hands."

"As the mother of a toddler, I don’t want a future where she has to practice active shooter drills or where I live in dread of a text message saying her school is on lockdown," her statement read. "We have the power to change this, and it starts with approving these common-sense safety regulations."

The move comes nearly a month after San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria signed an ordinance banning ghost guns in the city in an effort to curb firearm-related violence.

"San Diego has seen a dramatic increase in gun violence across our city using ghost guns,'' Gloria said last month. "These guns are untraceable and can end up in the hands of people prohibited from having firearms, making them a threat to public safety."

The San Diego City Council passed the ordinance, Eliminate Non-Serialized, Untraceable Firearms (ENUF), 8-1. It prohibits the sale, purchase, possession, receipt and transportation of non-serialized guns and parts. It also makes it illegal for unregistered gun kits to be sold in San Diego online and in stores.

ENUF will go into effect in the city on Oct. 23

Opponents of the ban argued that the ordinance will not address the root of gun violence and added that it would make residents who already own a personally manufactured gun a criminal.

“I think it is a law that’s going to criminalize people overnight who probably are unaware that the law even passed," said Dimitri Karras, a spokesperson for Firearms Unknown, a gun shop in Oceanside.

County supervisors will consider the proposal and vote on the policy on Oct. 19.

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