BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As both local and federal agencies crack down on the production of "ghost guns," new data suggests the purchase of these weapons is "exploding" in Buffalo.
Ghost guns are privately made firearms without serial numbers that are purchased without a background check or license.
The first quarter of 2022 saw a record number of ghost gun recoveries by the Buffalo Police Department, according to data provided to the I-Team.
Between 2018 and 2021, the department averaged less than 2 recoveries for the first quarter. In 2022, they recovered 18 weapons in the same period.
Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told 7 News he attributes the number of recoveries to a wave of ghost guns coming into our communities.
The spike in the beginning of 2022 follows a record breaking 2021, which saw 70 recoveries by Buffalo police.
Total Recoveries by Year:
- 2022: 18 (through March)
- 2021: 70
- 2020: 5
- 2019: 9
- 2018: 1
On Monday, President Joe Biden's administration announced the updating of old definitions so that gun laws apply to all firearms including ghost guns.
They will also require gun dealers to run background checks on kits containing parts that can be converted into a gun.
Firearms dealers will also be required to apply serial numbers to existing ghost guns.
This follows legislation signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in October banning the sale and possession of ghost guns in New York.
In March, federal prosecutors reached a plea agreement with Lamborghini Lucas, 33, of Buffalo, for manufacturing ghost guns.
Police found gun part kits in the living room of Lucas' home.
Lucas faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He's scheduled to be sentenced in July.