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"Ghost Guns” responsible for increase in gun violence, not bail reform?

Lawmakers are scrambling to determine why gun violence has spiked across the country. The Gun Violence Archive published by states from January 1 to September 15, a total of 14,516 people died from gun violence in the US. That's 1,300 more than during the same period in 2020, a 9% increase. Mass shootings are also on the rise. Through September 15, there have been 498 mass shootings across the US, or an average of about 1.92 per day. That's 15% higher than last year, when there were a total of 611, a rate of 1.67 per day, according to data from the GVA.

NY Times published, ‘Ghost Guns’: Firearm Kits Bought Online Fuel Epidemic of Violence. The report states Over the past 18 months, the officials said, ghost guns accounted for 25 to 50 percent of firearms recovered at crime scenes. The vast majority of suspects caught with them were legally prohibited from having guns. “I’ve been on the force for 30 years next month, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Lt. Paul Phillips of the San Diego Police Department, who this year organized the force’s first unit dedicated to homemade firearms. By the beginning of October, he said, the department had recovered almost 400 ghost guns, about double the total for all of 2020 with nearly three months to go in the year.

According to reports, Saturday State Police G.I.V.E. (Gun Involved Violence Elimination Unit) arrested 25-year-old Quinson Reed after a traffic stop on St. Paul Street. Reed was charged with the Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd Degree for possessing an illegal "ghost" handgun with no serial number. November 21, 2021, WHEC published a woman was shot in the stomach along Gherling Place during a dispute. In January of 2022, a man wanted in a triple shooting pointed a gun at police officers while being chased along Garson Avenue. Earlier this month, two men trying to steal a car on Texas Street flashed a gun at the driver. Something these three incidents have in common: The suspects were all found in possession of a ghost gun, a firearm pieced together with parts ordered on the internet.

Monroe County Acting Public Defender Jill Paperno wrote in an email that “we hear about people committing crimes and bail reform is blamed when they were released on prior charges, but the prior charges did not require their release. And more importantly, the vast majority of people who benefit from bail reform have no new charges and were able to continue working, caring for their families, and going to school without incarceration destroying their paths."

Ghost guns may be available for purchase on for under $100. A simple search for ghost guns produced images of what appeared to be gun accessories and loaded guns.

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