Proposals announced to ban 'ghost guns' throughout San Diego County
San Diego County and city officials announced proposals Wednesday to ban so-called "ghost guns" countywide, among other initiatives aimed at stemming gun violence locally.
The proposed policies to be voted on next week by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors would call for the creation of an ordinance banning the possession or distribution of un-serialized parts used to create ghost guns, in addition to establishing countywide firearm storage standards.
Ghost guns, also known as "do-it-yourself guns," are homemade, personally manufactured firearms that do not have commercial serial numbers. They are untraceable due to the lack of identifying markings and therefore can evade state and federal regulations that apply to firearms such as background checks.
The proposed measures would also prohibit the 3D printing of un-serialized firearms or precursor parts and establish safe storage requirements for county gun owners.
If the proposed policy passes at the Oct. 19 Board of Supervisors meeting, county staff would also work with community leaders to create preventative gun violence "reduction and disruption" programs.
San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher, who introduced the policies at a Wednesday news conference along with County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, said, "We are bringing common-sense gun reforms to San Diego County. Unserialized guns are a clear and present danger that is impacting our communities; by regulating their use and production, we will save lives. 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, "These protections will save lives by targeting the manufacturers of untraceable ghost guns — helping to make sure they don't 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. We have the power to change this, and it starts with approving these common-sense safety regulations."
The policy follows a recently enacted ordinance banning ghost guns in the city of San Diego.
The city's Eliminate Non-serialized Untraceable Firearm — or E.N.U.F. — Ordinance was signed last month by Mayor Todd Gloria and is slated to go into effect Oct. 23.
San Diego City Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert — who authored the city's ghost gun legislation — said, "Ghost guns are wreaking havoc in our communities and we need every level of government to act to close the ghost gun loophole. Like we did in the City of San Diego, I am thankful that the County of San Diego is cracking down on untraceable, non-serialized firearms and firearm parts to keep guns out of the hands of people who pose danger to our communities — including violent criminals, domestic abusers, individuals suffering from mental illness and terrorists."
Jonny Santana is a member of Team Enough, a youth-led organization to end gun violence in America and was shocked by the increase in ghost guns.
“Ghost guns represent an opportunity for a lot more violence to happen,” Santana said.
Santana has lost family members to gun violence and hopes this ordinance saves lives.
“There’s a lot of violence that could happen from this and a lot of times, people wait for a huge and violent act to occur," Santana continued, "But this is something that we can move a step forward before that occurs.”