Maryland

Maryland Law Banning Ghost Guns to Take Effect

It will soon be illegal to buy or sell ghost guns in Maryland

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Starting Wednesday, it will be illegal in Maryland to buy or sell so-called ghost guns, which are firearms that don't have serial numbers.

The new legislation becomes law as the rise in ghost guns is becoming a growing problem for the D.C. region.

A Fairmont Heights High School student was arrested Thursday and charged with bringing ghost gun parts to the school.

Officials put the school on lockdown.

"That individual had the ability to possess such a weapon because we didn't have the regulations," Prince George's County State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy.

Ghost guns such as the one the student is accused of bringing to Fairmont Heights can be made with 3D printers or purchased in kits online.

A student was arrested at Fairmont Heights High School. Police say he took an unassembled ghost gun to school. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports.

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"What we are hoping to do is limit the ability for people who would otherwise not be able to purchase a firearm to purchase a firearm," Braveboy said.

Prince George's County police say ghost gun confiscations tripled from 100 in 2019 to 300 last year.

"When people are selling gun kits over the Internet they are selling to anyone, and those individuals may not be lawfully able to possess a weapon because of a history of being a felon or a history of mental health issues or because they are underage because they could not own or possess a weapon lawfully," Braveboy said.

Maryland State Del. Leslie Lopez (D - District 39) sponsored the legislation that was championed by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

"What this bill will do on June 1 is make it so you can not purchase a firearm kit online without going through the same background check, without having the gun be serialized the same way as a finished firearm would be," Lopez said.

Violators could face up to five years in jail. Braveboy says her office is ready to fully enforce the law.

"We will go after not only the person who purchased it, but also the manufacturer of these weapons because the law applies not only to the person carrying, but the person selling it," she said.

While the ban on ghost guns or unserialized firearms begins this Wednesday in Maryland those who already own one will have until March of 2023 to either get them serialized or turn them in.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan allowed the ban to become law without his signature.

The District and 10 other states already have a ban on the sale of ghost guns.

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