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Springfield sees uptick in unlicensed 'ghost guns'

State Rep. Brian Ashe, Springfield Deputy Chief of Police Steve Kent, Mayor Domenic Sarno, Kendall Jacobsen, associate regional director of government affairs with Everytown for Gun Safety, and state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez look at parts of ghost guns. (Nirvani Williams/NEPM)
State Rep. Brian Ashe, Springfield Deputy Chief of Police Steve Kent, Mayor Domenic Sarno, Kendall Jacobsen, associate regional director of government affairs with Everytown for Gun Safety, and state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez look at parts of ghost guns. (Nirvani Williams/NEPM)

Springfield police have seen an uptick in "ghost guns" — firearms that do not contain a serial number and can be manually constructed from parts.

"Ghost guns" are typically purchased as a kit and have to be assembled. They can even be printed on a 3D-printer.

During a presentation at the Springfield Police Department Monday, Steve Kent, the city's deputy chief of police, said the department confiscated 26 ghost guns last year and have seized at least 10 this year.

State Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, D-Springfield, said he is working on legislation to address this issue, but is getting a lot of pushback from people who feel like their second amendment rights would be threatened.

"As we address this issue, I want to make it clear that we are not taking anybody's Second Amendment rights away. What we are trying to do is to protect the public as well as our men and women in blue," Gonzalez said.

He is working with Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun violence prevention organization, to craft this legislation. He said it will take two more weeks to put the legislation together.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, who attended the conference, said he wants the police department to be proactive in preventing criminals from gaining access to these unlicensed guns.


This story is a production of New England News Collaborative. It was originally published by New England Public Media.

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