FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2022
Joint Statement from PAGV Co-Chairs Bronx DA Darcel D. Clark and Santa Barbara County DA Joyce Dudley:
President Biden announced yesterday a significant step to stem the tide of proliferating “ghost guns,” which are firearms made from components purchased online and built at home, with no serial numbers so that they are not traceable. The U.S. Department of Justice has a new rule which redefines firearms to include ghost gun kits purchased online, and requires manufacturers/distributors of these components to become federally licensed, perform background checks prior to sale, and put serial numbers on the parts.
In 2021, across America’s largest cities hardest hit by gun violence, ghost guns played a major role in exacerbating the gun violence and recoveries of these weapons skyrocketed. Chicago went from 139 ghost guns recovered in 2020 to over 450 in 2021; Philadelphia went from 250 ghost guns recovered in 2020 to 571 in 2021, and Los Angeles went from 813 ghost guns recovered in 2020 to 1,921 in 2021. In New York City in 2019, 48 ghost guns were recovered by the NYPD; in 2020, 150 were recovered; in 2021, 263 were recovered. So far this year, more than 100 have been recovered.
With this new rule, no longer will these weapons be easily acquired or untraceable. The specter of gun violence devastates our communities, but we will not live in fear of these weapons with strong laws preventing irresponsible access to ghost guns.
Prosecutors Against Gun Violence will continue to work for common sense regulations and legislation to address the gun violence epidemic in our nation.
PAGV is an independent coalition of approximately 50 prosecutors from diverse jurisdictions throughout the United States, working toward solutions to end gun violence. The group is co-chaired by Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, and brings together prosecutors to discuss policies, legislation, and strategies to help prevent and confront gun violence in their jurisdictions.