Authorities in Brooklyn are pleased to announce that they recently arrested three men that have been accused of operating a gun trafficking ring in the state. What’s unique about this bust, though, is that the guns being trafficked were all ghost guns coming from Massachusetts.
Ghost guns are firearms that have been constructed informally and usually with pieces obtained online. These firearms can be assembled from 3D-printed parts or from “buy build shoot” kits.
As a result of the firearms unique way of getting created, they do not have any serial numbers. This makes them completely untraceable and perfect candidates for use in criminal activities. Even more concerning, anyone can buy these kits directly from online. A background check is not necessary.
The three suspects Eduardo Hernandez, Euclides Castillo, and Jose Garcia, are facing multiple charges including trafficking firearms, trafficking cocaine, and trafficking ghost guns.
The three have all been implicated in an investigation that took over 16 months to complete. During the investigation, the authorities were able to recover a ton of narcotics, 12 ghost guns, 19 firearms, and six high-capacity magazines. These items have an estimated street value of about $25,000.
Ghost Guns: What’s the Law?
When ghost guns were first becoming a trending topic, lawmakers had to scramble together to attempt to pull together some kind of regulations. As of 2023, these ghost guns are not considered legal in New York State. Laws have been passed in the state that makes possession of a major gun component a class a misdemeanor. This law isn’t too controversial considering the state had already criminalized the possession of a defaced and untraceable weapon in the past. Ghost guns are just a modern-day form of these untraceable firearms.
Federally, however, the law is a lot less clear. Federal ATF laws do not ban the possession of ghost guns, but they do restrict the manufacturing and dealing process.
With that in mind, the ghost guns being trafficked were legal in Massachusetts, but were not legal once they entered into New York state.
Clearly, these confusing and compounding laws can make it very difficult for citizens to know whether a ghost gun or gun part is considered legal or not. If you get arrested for a similar crime, then it’s in your best interests to contact a lawyer to learn more about your charges and potential defenses. Schedule a consultation with our team now to find out more.