WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Easy-to-purchase, and almost impossible to track, ghost guns have become an outlet for criminals to skirt Connecticut’s robust firearm registration and background check laws.
“All you need is a drill, it’s really that simple,” said Connecticut Rep. Steve Stafstrom (D-Bridgeport), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
It was an issue he said he wanted to take up last legislative session, but that lawmakers ran out of time.
“Ghost guns” don’t have serial numbers, are untraceable, and can be purchased online to be assembled at home.
Homemade firearms are illegal in Connecticut, but that only applies to ghost guns made after the law was passed in 2019.
West Haven police arrested a person with a ghost gun last week. With how easy it is to buy guns online, they are urging parents to monitor their children’s online activity.
Stafstrom learned firsthand how easy it is to buy guns.
“I mean, we were Googling from our desks in the committee room, ‘ghost guns,'” he said. “We were able to simply put a credit card in and have it shipped to your house.”
He supports revising the ghost gun bill to require owners to register the firearms, no matter when they bought them, and then bring them to state police to receive a serial number.
Jacqueline Grant, who lives in West Haven and owns guns, said she makes sure her weapons are away from everything and everyone. She knows how easily the firearms can be assembled from kits.
“It’s a very scary thing,” she said. “We should be very concerned about it. It should be a priority in our community.”
Even if stronger laws are passed in Connecticut, Stafstrom wants to see more action at the federal level.
“We know these components are being shipped in from a couple of manufacturers,” he said. “More robust federal crackdown on these manufacturers would only help.”