Ghost Guns On the Rise in Monterey County

Law enforcement is sounding the alarm about the proliferation of so-called ghost guns in Monterey County.

In the past week, police officers have seized the privately-made, untraceable weapons in Salinas, Seaside, and Marina.

“They are increasingly becoming the lethal weapon of easy access for those legally barred from buying or owning guns around the country,” said Marina Police Chief Tina Nieto. “In our major cities in California, ghost guns accounted for 25 to 50 percent of firearms recovered at crime scenes. In our smaller cities and towns, we are seeing an increase in these weapons in the hands of people who should not own a weapon.”

“Ghost guns should be required to be engraved with serial numbers, and owners should be required to have to pass background checks, including requiring online purchasers to use federally licensed gun shops, in the same manner that we treat traditional firearms,” Nieto added.

Some cities — including Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco — have already banned components used to make ghost guns. San Francisco police told CNN that 20% of the firearms it seized in 2021 were ghost guns. They made up less than 1% of total gun seizures just five years prior.

Read more about the rise of ghost guns in Monterey at the East Bay Times.