'Ghost Guns' Popular Among Anti-Government Groups
Guns N' Bitcoin, founded in 2019, promotes new ways to develop and purchase "ghost guns" that are 80 percent complete gun, sold with a kit of the materials needed to finish building the firearm. Another increasingly popular option is building ghost guns out of entirely 3D-printed parts. These guns have no serial number and don't require background checks; their rise poses serious obstacles to law enforcement's ability to track sales and distribution. Ghost guns account for a growing number of guns used in crimes. Less documented is the growing popularity of these weapons among far-right and anti-government movements, reports HuffPost.
Gun safety advocates say ghost guns are ending up in the hands of individuals who are radicalized through online channels and predisposed to violence. These people are finding new ways to anonymize the design, purchase and dissemination of weapons, creating an entire industry beyond government regulation. Almost 24,000 ghost guns were recovered from potential crime scenes between 2016 and 2020. "It's not an overstatement to say that the propagation of ghost guns increases the likelihood that individuals in these far-right movements have the tools they need to engage in mass violence," said Jon Lewis of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. "Ghost guns fit into a perfect niche of undetectable, untraceable and keeps the government away from you." Gun safety advocates have pushed for stronger legislation to control the flow of guns. Only 11 states regulate the sale and possession of ghost guns, and in eight of those states, these laws were passed in 2018.
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