header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather


 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 18
1945 - Actors Harry & Olive Carey sell Saugus ranch after 29 years; now Tesoro del Valle [story]
Carey Ranch


| Tuesday, Sep 29, 2020
Saugus High School
Investigators search Saugus High School in Los Angeles County on Nov. 14, 2019, after a 16-year-old killed two students and injured three others, with a so-called “ghost gun” before shooting himself. (Courthouse News photo / Nathan Solis)

 

By Maria Dinzeo

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Fed up with the growing number of untraceable homemade firearms used in gun crimes and mass shootings, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced a federal lawsuit Tuesday to force the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to crack down on so-called “ghost guns” that skirt laws requiring background checks and age verification.

Lacking a commercial serial number and purchasable without a background check, “ghost guns” are not considered firearms subject to ATF regulation under the Gun Control Act because a central piece remains unfinished — the receiver or frame of the weapon, which houses all of its internal components including the barrel and trigger mechanism.

Becerra disputes this interpretation. His lawsuit notes the Gun Control Act expressly provides that a receiver or frame can be considered a firearm because such pieces are “designed to or may readily be converted” into functional weapons.

“We are suing the ATF over its interpretation what qualifies as a firearm,” Becerra said on a call with reporters Tuesday. “ATF allows these guns to go unchecked despite having the authority under the Gun Control Act to regulate them.”

He was joined by Bryan Muehlberger, whose daughter Gracie Anne Muehlberger was shot and killed at Saugus High school in Santa Clarita, California, by a fellow student with a “ghost gun” assembled from an online kit.

“Until that tragic day, I had never even heard of a ghost gun,” Muehlberger said. “We all need to wake up and understand the danger here. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can buy these totally unregulated kits with just an internet connection and a credit card. And that’s how my daughter’s killer got his murder weapon. I still struggle to understand why it can be so easy to order a kit online that has no intended purpose other than creating a fully functioning firearm and how the ATF can allow ghost guns to be sold with no federal regulation.”

And they’re easy to put together.

“If you can assemble Ikea furniture you can probably assemble a ghost gun. And you can probably do it faster,” said Hannah Shearer, litigation director of the nonprofit legal organization Giffords Law Center.

Shearer, who is co-counsel in the lawsuit, said state gun laws have been undermined by the ATF’s refusal to treat the parts used to build homemade guns as firearms. This allows “unscrupulous” DIY firearm sellers to flood the gun market.

“The ATF has specifically exempted them from the federal definition of a firearm, meaning federal gun laws don’t apply to them. As a result, people can order and build these guns without passing background check or even verifying their age,” she said. “This has opened the biggest loophole you can imagine in our federal and state gun laws.”

Muehlberger, who is not opposed to firearms and owns guns himself, said that only a few months ago he bought a ghost gun kit online using his daughter’s name.

“Sure enough, the company mailed out the kit with Gracie’s name emblazoned on the box. Had the company done any investigation — just Googling her name — they would have learned that not only was Gracie barely 15 and no longer with us, but that she was also killed by a ghost gun,” he said. “It’s that easy for anyone, including children, those with mental illness or past issues with violence, and those that are not legally allowed to own guns, including a dead girl, to circumvent our laws and get a gun.”

The state’s lawsuit says ghost guns are becoming the “weapon of choice” for gun traffickers, gangs, and political extremists like Steven Carrillo, who shot and killed federal officer David Underwood in June outside the federal courthouse in Oakland.

The state of California demands a court order nullifying the ATF’s classification of an unfinished rifle or pistol frame as not a firearm, and a finding that its guidance on 80% receivers and frames is arbitrary and capricious under the Gun Control Act.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Shooting ranges are also helpful for your mental health. When you practice target shooting regularly, you can have peace of mind knowing you are prepared to protect yourself and your family, reducing your stress as a result.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024
Metrolink to Hold Public Meetings on AV Line Capacity, Improvements
The 76.6-mile-long Antelope Valley Line has the third-highest ridership in Metrolink’s system with an estimated average of 9,000 passengers daily. However, the uneven terrain and single-tracking along the line in some areas forces trains to travel at a slower speed which results in an estimated travel time of approximately one hour between Santa Clarita and Union Station.
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024
June 1: Team Dragon Eyes to Host Fifth Annual Dragonboat Festival Race
Team Dragon Eyes, affectionately known as TDE, is gearing up to host its highly anticipated Fifth Annual Dragonboat Festival race on Saturday, June 1 at Castaic Lake, Lower Lagoon.
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024
Party at the Pit Stop, City Paves Way for 20th Annual Bike to Work Challenge
This year marks the 20th year that the city of Santa Clarita has been hosting the annual Bike to Work Challenge. The community is invited to celebrate by riding a bike to work the week of May 13, and stopping by a pit stop on Thursday, May 16.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1945 - Actors Harry & Olive Carey sell Saugus ranch after 29 years; now Tesoro del Valle [story]
Carey Ranch
The 76.6-mile-long Antelope Valley Line has the third-highest ridership in Metrolink’s system with an estimated average of 9,000 passengers daily. However, the uneven terrain and single-tracking along the line in some areas forces trains to travel at a slower speed which results in an estimated travel time of approximately one hour between Santa Clarita and Union Station.
Metrolink to Hold Public Meetings on AV Line Capacity, Improvements
Team Dragon Eyes, affectionately known as TDE, is gearing up to host its highly anticipated Fifth Annual Dragonboat Festival race on Saturday, June 1 at Castaic Lake, Lower Lagoon.
June 1: Team Dragon Eyes to Host Fifth Annual Dragonboat Festival Race
This year marks the 20th year that the city of Santa Clarita has been hosting the annual Bike to Work Challenge. The community is invited to celebrate by riding a bike to work the week of May 13, and stopping by a pit stop on Thursday, May 16.
Party at the Pit Stop, City Paves Way for 20th Annual Bike to Work Challenge
Ready to take control of your financial future? Join the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Center for Financial Empowerment for the next installment in the Lunch & Learn Financial Capability Month webinar series, "Understanding Credit.
Online Financial Workshops with County DCBA
The Santa Clarita Valley Concert Band will perform a "Starry Might" concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday May 4. The concert, under the direction of Tim Durand, will be held at the Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 Main St., Newhall, CA 91321.
May 4: SCV Concert Band Presents ‘Starry Night’ at CTG
After a record-setting 2023 combatting organized retail crime, the California Highway Patrol continues to aggressively disrupt and dismantle illegal operations throughout California.
CHP Continues Organized Retail Crime Crackdown, Recovers $4.2M in Goods
Celebrate Earth Day on Monday, April 22 with California State Parks at any of the 280 unique park units across the state. State Parks has numerous Earth Day-themed events planned. They include in-person activities such as guided walks and hikes, workdays and a bioblitz, as well as virtual programming with a live dive broadcast exploring the hidden world of the ocean.
April 22: Celebrate Earth Day at California State Parks
1930 - Telephone switchboard operator Louise Gipe, heroine of the 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster, tries & fails to kill herself over an unrequited love [story]
Louise Gipe
Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Major Crimes Bureau Detectives worked closely with Century Station Detectives after learning of a serial robbery crew committing crimes throughout Los Angeles County. 
Serial Robbery Crew Arrested
Join the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center for their second annual Cornhole Tournament fundraiser where all proceeds will support mental health services to anyone in need.
May 18: Samuel Dixon Cornhole Tournament Fundraiser
California State University, Northridge will confer honorary doctorates on four alumni, all respected leaders in their fields, at the university’s commencement ceremonies next month.
CSUN to Confer Honorary Degrees on Business & Education Leaders, All Alumni
On Saturday, April 20, 2024 Valencia High School Theatre will host the 104th DTASC (Drama Teachers’ Association of Southern California) Shakespeare Festival.
April 20: 104th DTASC Shakespeare Festival at Valencia High School
The Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity, in partnership with Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, launched the Commercial Acquisition Fund to provide capital to countywide non-profit organizations, helping acquire and revitalize commercial spaces within local communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.   
County Launches Commercial Acquisition Fund To Help Non-Profits
Supervisor Barger issued the following statement today, after the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to implement the Rental Housing Habitability Program
Barger Issues Statement on Newly Approved Rental Housing Habitability Program
The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts will be holding a free Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Recycling event for Santa Clarita residents. 
April 16: Free Household Hazardous Waste Event At COC
The award-winning Valencia High School Theatre Arts proudly presents “The Outsiders” directed by Stephen Whelan.
April 24-27: Valencia High Theatre Presents ‘The Outsiders’
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
Bison
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a $68.5 million judgment Monday for SCV Water for the cleanup of local groundwater contamination in its case against the Whittaker Corporation.
Federal Appeals Court Upholds SCV Water Judgment Against Whittaker
Angelo Aleman smacked a pair of home runs as College of the Canyons concluded its three-game series vs. Antelope Valley College with a 10-5 home victory at Mike Gillespie Field on Friday. 
Cougars Defeat Antelope Valley College 10-5
Castaic Union School District is thrilled to announce that Lara Frandzel has been selected to participate in the Teacher Innovator Institute at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C
Castaic Educator Selected for Smithsonian’s Teacher Innovator Institute
The city of Santa Clarita’s exciting Concerts in the Park series, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, makes its highly anticipated return this summer for friends, families and neighbors to gather under the evening sky and enjoy free, live musical performances on Saturdays from July 6 to Aug. 24, at Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.
City Releases 2024 Concerts in the Park Lineup
The Master's University men's volleyball team left no doubt about it as they swept the OUAZ Spirit 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 in the season finale Saturday in The MacArthur Center.
Mustangs Capture First GSAC Season Title
SCVNews.com