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Schumer: Feds should force gun sellers to register parts used to make ‘ghost guns’

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Ellen Abbott
/
WRVO News
Sen. Charles Schumer at the Onondaga County DA's office.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is launching an attack on 'ghost guns' in Syracuse, because of an increase in the number of these kinds of weapons used in crimes in central New York. 

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said he really likes to call them Frankenstein guns; weapons cobbled together from various gun parts to create a firearm that doesn’t have a serial number and is hard to trace.

"You get online and send in a certain amount of money and you get 80% of a gun,” Fitzpatrick said. “In some cases, you just drill a couple of holes and you have an automatic, operable weapon. So, it’s got to stop.”

It was one of these 'ghost guns' that was involved in the shooting of a six-year-old boy in Syracuse late last year. It was one of more than two dozen confiscated by police over the last two years, up from just one the year before. Schumer said these guns generally end up in the hands of convicted felons who’ve found a way to flout gun control laws.

“This is not getting in the way of the Second Amendment,” Schumer said. “I believe in the Second Amendment. Any law-abiding citizen has the right to have a gun. That’s okay. But 98% of Americans believe felons shouldn’t buy guns, but they can get around the law.”

Schumer is asking federal agencies to force sellers to register gun parts like unfinished frames and receivers. That would require buyers to have to go through background checks. He’d also like to see federal authorities collaborate with local law enforcement agencies when these guns pop up in a community.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.