Councilmember Taplin Proposes Ban on “Ghost Gun” Precursor Parts

Berkeley, CA— City Councilmember Terry Taplin (District 2) introduced a proposal to prohibit the sale, distribution, and possession of un-serialized precursor parts, including frames and receivers, which can be purchased to assemble “ghost” guns. State law requires privately-made firearms assembled from precursor part kits to be labeled with a serial number provided to the California Department of Justice within 10 days of assembly, but this requirement is easy to evade. Berkeley has seen an increase in confirmed gunfire incidents over the past two years, and 11 of the 49 guns recovered in investigations this year were ghost guns, according to the Berkeley Police Department. The proposal (on page 91 of this agenda) modeled after legislation in San Francisco is cosponsored by Councilmembers Bartlett and Hahn, and will be heard by the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, tentatively slated for August 2, 2021. 

“The underground market for guns is bringing real serious harm to our community, and it’s incumbent on us as a City to do everything in our power to implement common-sense gun control,” said Councilmember Terry Taplin. “Responsible gun owners don’t evade background checks and serial number requirements. Ironically, because un-serialized parts are not technically regulated as firearms and can be easily purchased online by anyone, we have an immediate opportunity to ban them before they’re even assembled as a response to this public safety crisis.”

“Here’s the thing—a Ghost Gun Precursor Parts Ordinance would serve as a strategic ban to reduce the accessibility of un-serialized frames and receivers to individuals in the Armed Prohibited Persons System,” said Councilmember Ben Bartlett. “Banning ghost gun precursor parts is a step towards a safer Berkeley.” “Unserialized frames and receivers present a meaningful danger to the public, embolden criminal acts, and make our community less safe,” said Councilmember Sophie Hahn. Requiring serial numbers on precursor parts is a key step in making Berkeley residents safer and addressing gun violence in our City.”