CHICAGO – One of the type of firearms President Biden is targeting, “ghost guns,” have been seized at continued higher rates over the last five years by Chicago police officers.

“Ghost guns” are sold in kits and then assembled at home. There’s no serial number involved, meaning the guns are hard to track for law enforcement.

On Thursday, President Biden announced a half-dozen executive actions Thursday aimed at addressing a proliferation of gun violence across the nation that he called an “epidemic and an international embarrassment.”

The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule aimed at reining in ghost guns within 30 days, though details of the rule weren’t immediately issued.

The type of guns have been on the rise in Chicago. In 2016, more than 8,200 firearms were recovered by Chicago police, with only two being classified as “ghost guns.”

  • 2016: 2 out of 8,248 firearms
  • 2017: 10 out of 8,589 firearms
  • 2018: 21 out of 9,679 firearms
  • 2019: 72 out of 10,699 firearms
  • 2020: 139 out of 11,258 firearms
  • Jan. 1, 2021 – March 8: 37 out of 1,981 firearms.

Eddie Bocanegra, senior director of the Heartland Alliance, is focused on trying to reduce gun violence in the city. He said “ghost guns” aren’t necessarily the biggest problem in Chicago – at least not yet.

“Our biggest issue in Chicago is not the ghost guns but we do have an opportunity to get ahead of what that could mean for our city,” he said.

Chicago police said due to lack of background checks, previously convicted felons are capable of purchasing them.

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