North Carolina lobbyists are taking action following a CBS 17 News investigation on ghost guns and the federal loophole that allowed these weapons to be sold online without background checks.
According to The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, ghost guns are legally sold online. ATF officials stated the “Gun Control Act 1968” does not apply to these weapons because the gun receivers are only 80 percent complete.
“That is legal. That is legal. It is not regulated by us … again because they are not actually selling a firearm,” stated senior special agent and ATF public information officer Gerod King.
It’s a revelation that the executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence Becky Ceartas said she did not discover until the story aired.
“[The federal loophole] is very scary … law abiding citizens do not mind background checks or permit to purchase laws, and something like this needs to be in the system of doing a ‘permit to purchase,'” she said.
She has worked to tighten gun control laws in the state for five years and will now set her sights on ghost guns.
“Here in North Carolina, we’ve actually closed that loophole on handguns with our pistol purchase permitting system, which requires somebody to go to the sheriff’s department when they are buying a handgun no matter where they are buying that handgun and they have to undergo a background check,” explained Ceartas. “We also want to expand it to long guns, including assault-style rifles and now these ghost guns.”
Some gun rights advocates like the director of Grass Roots North Carolina Marc Erickson stated these weapons do pose some concerns.
“I represent lawful gun owners. Lawful gun owners don’t have to make their own firearms,” said Marc Erickson.
He also stated that he believes the law should remain the same and the focus should be on prosecuting violent offenders.
“What concerns me is that violent people obtain firearms one way or another and are allowed to pursue their violent actions,” said Erickson.
As for Becky Ceartas, she has planned to lobby North Carolina lawmakers and encourage federal agencies to regulate ghost guns.
“We will look towards this in the long session next year. Something to explore is working with ATF and law enforcement, seeing what needs to be done and seeing what can be done,” she explained.
Until then, the 50-year-old federal law allows the parts for ghost guns to be sold online with few restriction.
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