Thompson, Feinstein, 39 Members of Congress Call on Conference of Mayors to Ban Ghost Guns


Press Release

Posted: January 23, 2022

Washington Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson and Senator Dianne Feinstein (both D-Calif.) and 39 of their colleagues yesterday called on the United States Conference of Mayors to encourage all of its members to ban untraceable firearms known as ghost guns.

“We believe shutting off the supply of ghost guns is essential, but we also need a strong local response to address the existing supply of ghost guns,” the members wrote.

“Cities across the country have begun to pass ordinances that prohibit the possession, purchase, sale, receipt, and transportation of ghost guns in order to give local law enforcement the tools they need to keep our communities safe. We respectfully request that USCM consider encouraging all of its members to pass the strongest local ordinances possible to address the problem of ghost guns already in circulation as we work to save lives and prevent gun violence.”

Full text of the letter is available here and follows:

January 19, 2022

The United States Conference of Mayors
1620 Eye St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Mayor Suarez, Mayor Schieve, Mayor Lucas, and Mr. Cochran,

We commend you on the efforts of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) to prevent gun violence in our nation’s cities. We write today to request your consideration in addressing the challenge of ghost guns, the fastest growing gun safety threat facing the nation. Mayors on the front lines of gun violence prevention should take action to pass local measures to prohibit ghost guns—a critically needed measure to address the existing supply of ghost guns in our communities.

Ghost guns are firearms that are built with parts that can be acquired without a background check and require only common tools and minimal time to be converted into a functioning and deadly weapon. The finished firearm does not have a serial number and is untraceable by law enforcement seeking to understand how that firearm ended up being used in crime.

These attributes have made ghost guns a desirable tool for those who seek to evade the law. As detailed in a recent National Police Foundation report, law enforcement agencies across the country are growing increasingly concerned about the threat that ghost guns pose to the safety of their communities. According to a report on California gun crimes in the New York Times, “[g]host guns have accounted for 25 to 50 percent of the firearms recovered at crime scenes” in California.

The Biden-Harris Administration has proposed important action to stop the proliferation of these untraceable weapons by regulating the companies that make and sell the core parts for ghost guns. We believe shutting off the supply of ghost guns is essential, but we also need a strong local response to address the existing supply of ghost guns.

Cities across the country have begun to pass ordinances that prohibit the possession, purchase, sale, receipt, and transportation of ghost guns in order to give local law enforcement the tools they need to keep our communities safe. We respectfully request that USCM consider encouraging all of its members to pass the strongest local ordinances possible to address the problem of ghost guns already in circulation as we work to save lives and prevent gun violence.