Councilmember calls for report on local ‘ghost gun’ proliferation

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert called on police this week to furnish a report regarding the local proliferation of “ghost guns” in response to a fatal shooting allegedly committed with the weapon last month.

San Diego City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert. (Photo by David Poller)

In a letter dated Thursday to San Diego Police Department Chief David Nisleit, von Wilpert requested a comprehensive report that presents “a holistic picture of what is really happening on our streets.”

“Ghost gun” is a term for a firearm that lacks traceable serial numbers and can be assembled at home.

On April 22, such a weapon was allegedly used in the shooting that killed one man outside a downtown hotel. The alleged shooter, who was a convicted felon prohibited from owning firearms, then shot and wounded several other people nearby before being tackled by bystanders and arrested.

“The man allegedly obtained a ‘ghost gun’ to end the life of a fellow San Diegan and injure others, despite the legal barriers meant to prevent him from owning a lawfully purchased gun,” von Wilpert wrote. “It is past time to act to keep our communities safe.”

The letter also references other mass shootings committed in 2021, including Wednesday’s fatal shooting of nine people in San Jose, which she called “just the most recent examples of the gun violence epidemic we have in America.”

The report would be heard in front of the City Council at a date to be determined.

Following the San Diego shooting, Nisleit said the San Diego Police Department had seen a 169% increase in the use of “ghost guns” in 2020, with the weapons making up about one out of every four guns the department recovers.

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