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  • Hasan Zahangir

Ghost Guns: A Floridian Epidemic

It’s no secret that gun control is a highly emotional topic in the US at the moment. As July 28 2022, we’re nearing a total count of 350 mass shootings for this year alone, and we’re only just over half way through the calendar year. Lives are lost every single day as Americans beg the question: Why do we not have stricter gun control? And yet, lawmakers still refuse to listen. There is no doubt about it; this is our national shame. Whilst it is tough to know exactly where to start, limiting accessibility to unregistered guns or for people who aren't allowed to have them is one factor which could see real and meaningful change.

As a State Representative, it’s imperative that we bring to the attention of lawmakers the dangerous loophole that ghost guns provide. A ghost gun is often sold as a ‘ghost gun kit’ which includes all the necessary parts and equipment required to build a firearm at home. There is no legislation surrounding these kits and therefore no control around who can purchase them. Ghost gun kits are generally available to be purchased online in the absence of any background or identification checks, meaning that prohibited buyers such as domestic abusers, gun traffickers, known violent offenders and those with dangerous mental incapacities have full access to an unlicensed, untraceable weapon.

At present, federal law only requires that serial numbers are printed on commercially-manufactured and sold complete firearms. Elite Custom Railing is a company who sells unfinished lower receivers (the part of the gun that houses the trigger mechanism) with the intention that buyers then finish the receivers at home by completing the drilling. A representative from the company said in 2016 that they sell between 100 and 150 units per day. It is time for real and significant change to take place to protect Floridians from the unregistered weapons that are too freely available from companies such as these.

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