Montgomery County Council unanimously voted to restrict the possession, use, sale and transfer of undetectable guns to minors Tuesday afternoon.
The legislation is designed to stop what are known as ghost guns, whose parts easily can be purchased on the Internet, according to Police Chief Marcus Jones. They are basically do it yourself guns.
The legislation also will bar these guns within 100 yards of places of public assembly, and prohibits the making a ghost gun with a 3D printer when in the presence of a minor.
All nine councilmembers sponsored the legislation, which was first brought forth by Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz.
“This issue is important, and it is growing,” Albornoz said. “Everything that we can do to prevent these weapons of destruction from getting into the hands of those people who utilize them for destruction, and especially our children and youth, is an important step forward.”
Albornoz called the legislation “another tool in the toolbox” for the police department and the state’s attorney’s office “to address issues of gun violence.”
In 2019, Montgomery County Police confiscated six ghost guns. Last year, the department recovered 73 of these guns that have no serial numbers, come in kits and are made of plastic so they can’t easily be found by metal detectors. During 2020, the recovery of those 73 ghost guns led to 55 arrests to adults and three arrests of minors, Jones said during a previous council meeting.
Montgomery County cannot regulate ghost gun kits, which only can be done at the state and federal level. That is why much of the bill is geared to keeping them away from minors. There is a bill currently under consideration by the Maryland General Assembly that would would limit ghost guns statewide.