BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Police said they seized between 30-38% more guns last year than they did in 2020. Police said the difference is ghost guns. Ghost guns are made when gun parts, sold legally, are put together to become an illegal weapon.
"The best way it was conveyed is when you take the ingredients to make a cake, those ingredients are perfectly legal. Once that cake is baked, it's now illegal. That's what you have here," Buffalo Police Deputy Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.
"I mean anybody, a 14-year-old, can get online, purchase all the separate parts, put then together, and you have a weapon in your hand capable of firing off and eventually killing somebody," Pastor James Giles, executive director of Back to Basics Outreach Ministries, said, "These are guns that can't be traced because they're not coming through the normal system."
Buffalo Police seized 1300% more ghost guns in 2021 than 2020.
"In 2020, we had 5 ghost guns that we took off the street. In 2021, we took 70 ghost guns off the street. That's just an unbelievable increase in ghost guns," Gramaglia said.
But in the anti-violence community, the concern isn't about ghost guns specifically. The concern is more guns coming into Buffalo in general.
"The individuals that are doing this mayhem in our community, they don't care. They don't care whether it's a live gun, a stolen gun. They don't care about that because most of them feel they're not going to get caught anyway," Pastor Giles said.
While the anti-violence community has not come across many ghost guns themselves, they do see a bigger problem.
"Ghost guns, like any gun, is a dangerous element in this community or any community as far as I'm concerned. The thing with ghost guns is whoever is manufacturing them, whoever is putting them together is in a very intentional way thinking they are smarter than the laws designed to protect us," Pastor Giles said.