Onondaga Co. DA backs tougher laws to keep ‘ghost guns’ out of our communities

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick is in favor of a proposal by Governor Andrew Cuomo to close the “ghost gun” loophole.

It’s already illegal in New York State to assemble one of these weapons into an illegal handgun and possess it.

The governor now wants to prevent companies from shipping gun parts directly to customers.

So-called “80 percent kits” are readily available and allow individuals to purchase unfinished gun frames or receivers and mill out the remaining 20 percent at home.

These kits allow people who would otherwise be prohibited from purchasing a gun, to obtain various components and build a gun at home.

These do-it-yourself firearms do not contain serial numbers, making them untraceable by authorities.

It was one of these “ghost guns” that was used by Miguel Russo in the shooting of his 6-year-old nephew in Syracuse last month, according to Fitzpatrick.

Russo had spent four years in federal prison, after admitting to being a member of the Bricktown Gang.

He was shot and killed by Syracuse Police after refusing their commands to drop his weapon.

“The danger is bad people having guns and the easy accessibility of them to do that because they’re not using it for target practice, they’re not using it to be sportsman, they’re not using it for hunting, they’re certainly not using it for self-protection, they’re using it to inflict harm on other people in this community,” Fitzpatrick says.

The governor’s proposal is to ban untraceable “ghost guns” by requiring firearm parts be sold only to authorized buyers, requiring the same eligibility requirements as a completed firearm and that all major parts receive a serial number.

Cuomo wants to ban individuals from obtaining major components of a firearm, rifle or shotgun online; instead, individuals would need to ship these parts to a licensed gun dealer where they would be picked up in person.

The proposal would prohibit individuals who are forbidden to possess a firearm, rifle or shotgun from owning a major component of these guns, and create new misdemeanor and felony penalties for violating these new provisions.

“I have not seen or talked to anybody who’s a responsible gun owner, NRA member who says, gee Fitz, you’re really off the rails on this one,” Fitzpatrick tells NewsChannel 9.

He tells them over two dozen “ghost guns” have been confiscated in the Syracuse community since the summer.

For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9

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