KINGSTON – Ghost guns, those firearms that are assembled from individual parts secured by various means, are not registered and do not have serial numbers and US Senator Charles Schumer came to Kingston Monday to muster the support of Mid-Hudson law enforcement in his effort to put a lid on those weapons.
Pointing to specific local instances, the senator said there must be tighter control over the ghost guns. “DOJ and ATF do not classify frames, receivers, barrels – these are the core building blocks of a gun – as firearms, so it allows the prohibited person, the gun trafficker, to buy all the parts needed, through the mail, online, through a gun show. All of these places would have a background check if it were a gun,” Schumer said.
So, he is calling on the Justice Department and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to classify the component parts as a gun, which would require sellers to register parts they sell and require purchases to undergo a background check.
The senator also would like federal authorities to make available all data on the rate that federal authorities encounter ghost guns and efforts to collaborate with state and local law enforcement within 30 days.
Newburgh Police Chief Douglas Solomon said those tools would help in that city’s ongoing war against illegal guns and gun violence. “In the City of Newburgh, we have more than our share of gun violence. We recover firearms almost on a daily basis. Recovering the firearm only solves the immediate threat. An important part of investigations is being able to trace where these firearms come from to ensure a more global and regional response to the gun violence so that we can find out where they come from, identify trends involved,” Solomon said.
Kingston Chief Egidio Tinti also supports tightening controls on ghost guns. “Our job is made much more difficult when we don’t have the means to trace these items, these ghost guns, back to where they come from or ate manufactured from, and certainly the ability to be able to track even a small piece of that firearm back to where it came from will help that investigation, anything related to the gun violence that plagues these small cities and our communities,” Tinti said.
Schumer anticipates that his proposal will receive the cooperation of federal law enforcement agencies.