ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – President Biden announced Monday new regulations on mail-order weapons known as “ghost guns.” We recently heard about these ghost guns following the deadly shooting of a student at West Mesa High School. The shooting, just after the start of the school day, in February, killed 16-year-old Andrew Burson.
Police say Burson had confronted 14-year-old Marco Trejo, claiming he had stolen his gun. That’s when Trejo is accused of shooting and killing Burson. Burson’s friends told police the gun Burson claims was stolen was a ghost gun that he’d assembled himself.
Ghost guns are homemade firearms that can be assembled using a 3D printer, or with kits purchased online. It’s almost impossible for law enforcement to trace them. “A ghost gun doesn’t have a serial number, everybody and their brother can make one,” said Miranda Viscoli, the Co-President of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.
Monday, President Biden, ATF, and the DOJ, announced tightened restrictions against ghost guns, which would require gun makers to include serial numbers, be federally licensed, run background checks, and keep purchase records. If a person is caught committing a crime using a ghost gun, they will face federal prosecution.
Viscoli says it’s a good place to start, but there’s still work to be done. “I would like to see New Mexico match the federal rule, with a state statute, to make it exactly the same,” said Viscoli.
The new regulations are likely to face lawsuits from manufacturers and gun rights groups. The gun used in the murder of Andrew Burson has still not been found.