So, after Joe announces his quickie gun-control plans, his press lady, Jen Psaki (whom I really like) gets into an exchange with a reporter from RCP who challenges her on how many crimes are actually committed with ghost guns. And of course, Psaki doesn’t know because nobody knows.

              But just leave it to CNN. They explained ‘ghost guns’ the day before Joe said he wants them to be regulated like any other gun. And CNN’s explanation for what constitutes a ‘ghost gun’ can be read right here. Except there’s only one, little problem, which is that CNN gets it all wrong.

              So, the purpose of this column is to straighten out what we mean and don’t mean when we use a phrase like ‘ghost guns,’ before the whole issue gets completely out of control. I note, for example, that a bill to regulate ghost guns has been introduced into the Maryland General Assembly. The bill, as it is currently written, doesn’t regulate anything at all.

              The term ‘ghost gun’ refers to any gun which doesn’t carry markings which allow law enforcement or regulatory agencies (ex. ATF) to figure out how and when a crime gun ended up being used in a crime. So, for example, if a ‘ghost gun’ is picked up from a 16-year-old kid wandering down the street in Baltimore, it’s a crime gun because a 16-year-old kid isn’t old enough to own a gun. And since every gun which is manufactured by a licensed gun maker is first sold after a background check, and since the dealer has to keep a record which contains the serial number of that gun, the cops can figure out how the gun moved from ‘right’ to ‘wrong’ hands.

              The ‘ghost gun’ bill which has been introduced in Maryland and will be typical of such statutes being introduced elsewhere, requires that the name, address, along with some kind of identifying numeric be stamped on the receiver of the gun. Furthermore, if the person who bought a ‘ghost gun’ kit wants to sell or give the gun to someone else, this transfer must be done through a federally licensed dealer who would only conduct the transfer after the requisite background check is done.

              Sounds like a smart and easy way to get rid of ‘ghost guns,’ right?  Wrong. And here’s the reason why it’s wrong and not just wrong but actually dumb as hell.

              When someone becomes a federally licensed gun manufacturer, his entire operation from end to end comes under the purview and regulatory activity of the ATF. Which means that ATF agents can walk into the Smith & Wesson factory in Massachusetts, or the Sig factory in New Hampshire, or the Glock factory in Georgia and conduct the same inspection which they do when the wander into my gun shop or anyone else who has a federal license to make, import or sell guns. 

              These licensees must keep very detailed records about every, single gun which passes through their licensed premise, including and most important, the unique serial number of every, single gun. Can Glock and Kahr Arms give their guns he same number? Of course they can. But one gun was made by Glock, the other was made by Kahr Arms. And every gun manufactured under a federal license must also carry the name of the company which made that gun.

              So, let’s say I decide to buy a kit and make my own gun. Why would I ever put my real name and address on the gun if I wanted to sell it to someone who couldn’t pass a background check but wanted to own a gun? Am I that dumb? 

              The only way we can effectively control ‘ghost guns’ would be the same way we need to control all the guns which cause gun violence – get rid of those guns.

              You can sign our petitions to get rid of those guns right here: and here: