San Diego County Supervisors Ban Ghost Guns

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
January 11, 2022 Updated: January 11, 2022

SAN DIEGO—On a 3–2 vote, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Jan. 11 requiring safe firearm storage and prohibiting the distribution or creation of untraceable “ghost guns” in the county.

Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher and Supervisors Terra Lawson-Remer and  Nora Vargas voted in support of the measure. Supervisors Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond opposed.

This ordinance will:

—update definitions regarding firearms to include unserialized ghost guns and parts;

—prohibit the possession or distribution of parts without serial numbers that are used in the creation or possession of ghost guns;

—prohibit 3D printing of firearms or parts; and

—require the safe storage of firearms.

According to Fletcher’s office, unlike state law, the new ordinance includes the parts of ghost guns in the definitions and prohibitions “because the gun parts are designed to be easily assembled and can quickly become as dangerous as a completed gun.”

Supervisors also requested an annual report on the impact of gun violence within the county.

“Enacting stronger safety measures for gun storage and reducing the possibility for more unregulated firearms to be distributed in our neighborhoods is another important step toward fulfilling our obligation to help protect San Diegans from unnecessary gun violence,” Fletcher said in a
statement after the meeting.

Desmond said that while he opposed ghost guns because they’re a danger to society, such weapons are already illegal. When it comes to requiring a serial number for every part of a gun, “the good guys are gonna do that,” Desmond said. “The bad guys won’t.”

Desmond added that California has safe-storage laws, and said there are some 300,000 laws that cover firearms nationwide. He said he wanted an annual report on how the ordinance is working, including if it results in any accidental deaths.

“Let’s see if this local ordinance makes a difference in taking guns away from the bad guys,” Desmond said.

In a statement after Tuesday’s meeting, Anderson said he “does not believe that the ghost gun ordinance will have a positive impact on crime, nor make our communities any safer.”

Lawson-Remer said ghost guns fuel “an epidemic of violence across the nation,” and added that she has spoken to parents who are terrified about their children’s safety in school because of gun violence.