A state Senate panel on Tuesday approved a bill requiring those who build guns at home to register them with the state of California, get a serial number and undergo a criminal background check.
“These firearms are called ghost guns because they are built at home … with no serial numbers or background checks involved,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles) told the Senate Public Safety Committee before it approved the bill on a 5-3 party-line vote. “These are weapons that have the ability to kill or maim a human being.”
De León authored the measure, which is similar to one of his bills that was vetoed by the governor last year.
He said the problem has become worse since the veto, including use of the guns by drug cartels in Mexico. Hundreds of ghost guns have been seized in California, and they have been used in major crimes, including a mass shooting in 2013. The measure is backed by the California Police Chiefs Assn.
“Gun-smithing has become easier than putting together Ikea furniture because of the 3-D printer,” said Chief Jennifer G. Tejada of the Emeryville Police Department. “This bill will decrease the number of untraceable firearms in California.”