Police fear loophole may allow spread of 'ghost guns' - WNEM TV 5

Police fear loophole may allow spread of 'ghost guns'

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People in law enforcement are worried about homemade, unregistered weapons making its way into the hands of criminals.

They are known as ghost guns and they are made with parts bought separately and assembled into a working device the government can't track.

Thanks to a loophole in the law, they could end up in the hands of criminals.

“Ghost guns, you can purchase them from the internet, wind up getting different parts then build your own long gun or hand gun,” Michigan State Police Trooper Rick Jones said.

By building a gun piece by piece, a few steps are skipped like a background check.

“Unfortunately, we know there’s elements out there that are trying to circumvent the system,” Jones said.

He said putting together ghost guns is not illegal unless you fail to register the gun with the county once it’s put together.

“It is a loophole. People find a way around it, but if you do fail to take care of it, you’ve committed a crime,” Jones said.

Jones said he hasn’t seen any ghost guns in the Genesee County area himself, but the fact they could be out there is a real problem for law enforcement.

“In a situation where you have to run a gun to see where it’s registered, you’d never find it if they’re not doing what they’re supposed to. So you could be walking into a situation where someone could have built 30 or so guns,” Jones said.

Jones said there are many people who build guns as a hobby and buy parts online or at guns shows. There are several people who comply with registering. He also said the FBI tracks people online buying multiple gun parts.

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