Syracuse among cities suing federal government to halt spread of ‘ghost guns’


NEW YORK (AP) — Syracuse has joined with Chicago and a pair of other cities to sue the federal government on Wednesday in what they say is an attempt to stop the proliferation of easy-to-assemble guns that require no serial numbers or background checks.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, asks a judge to compel the government from letting gun parts that can easily be converted to functioning weapons be distributed without restrictions.

The lawsuit was brought against the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives by the cities of Syracuse; Chicago; Columbia, S.C.; and San Jose, Calif. — along with a group calling itself Everytown for Gun Safety. A message seeking comment was sent to the Justice Department. ATF spokesperson Andre R. Miller said the agency doesn’t comment on litigation.

The lawsuit alleges that sales of the so-called ghost guns have grown during the recent national unrest, including violence in a host of urban communities across the country. The lawsuit claims that the weapons contain no registration numbers that could be used to trace them and require no background checks for purchasers. Additionally, the cities claim in their lawsuit, that these weapons have increasingly have shown up at crime scenes.

“It’s simple – individuals with dangerous histories shouldn’t be able to order lethal weapons on the internet with a few quick clicks,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a release.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said ghost guns have rapidly become the “weapon of choice for traffickers, abusers, and extremists.”

In January, attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia sued the government in Seattle federal court over another form of a ghost gun as they sought to strike down a federal regulation that could allow blueprints for making guns on 3D printers to be posted on the internet.


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