Ghost guns: The risk and the crackdown

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Unregistered weapons have been a concern for some time. However, the increase of “ghost guns” is leading concerns to multiply. Here is what North Carolina residents should know about this matter – and the changes coming.

The increasing issue of ghost guns

A ghost gun is an unregistered firearm without a serial number to trace. Individuals usually purchase these weapons in kits online. They then obtain the weapon through 3D printing and assembly at home.

The number of ghost guns has increased significantly in North Carolina and across the nation. Some reports even indicate that North Carolina is one of the states with the highest numbers of these weapons. According to WRAL News:

  • The number of recovered ghost guns increased tenfold since 2016 across the nation
  • In 2021, North Carolina law enforcement confiscated over 400 ghost guns

With such a sharp increase in the number of ghost guns – and the number of crimes involving these weapons – state and federal governments alike are cracking down on them.

More instances mean more enforcement

As of now, the federal government is not planning to ban these weapons. However, they are looking to regulate them. National Public Radio (NPR) reports that the federal government’s new rules will create regulations for these firearms, just like a “traditional” firearm. These regulations will require:

  • Sellers to have proper licensing
  • Firearms to have serial numbers
  • Buyers must obtain background checks
  • Buyers to follow the same process of obtaining a permit
  • Proper registration of the firearm

Essentially, this means that anyone with a gun purchased online must adhere to North Carolina’s weapons laws as well as federal rules.

There is still a risk

Criminal charges involving ghost guns – or unregistered weapons – are still a serious risk. If individuals face charges of crimes involving such weapons, they could also face increased penalties. For example, they could face charges for the crime committed, such as armed robbery, but they will also face penalties for violating North Carolina’s firearm laws.

It is critical to be aware of changes to weapons laws and regulations to avoid severe charges and protect your rights.