SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose city leaders voted unanimously to approve an ordinance to ban unserialized, privately-made firearms, also known as “ghost guns”.

The ordinance will prohibit the possession, manufacturing, sale, assembly, transfer, receiving, and distribution of unserialized firearms, frames, and receivers within San Jose.

“In cities like San José and LA, a quarter of the illegal guns seized by the police are “ghost guns” lacking any serial number or other identifying mark, enabling criminal gangs to deploy them without accountability,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. 

“We applaud the recent steps the Biden Administration has taken to stem the rising tide of ghost guns by banning their distribution. An ocean of ghost guns remain in our cities, however, requiring local communities to act to ban the possession of these untraceable guns and their component parts.  It’s time for every city to take action.”  

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The ban on ghost guns comes after city leaders unanimously passed further actions to reduce gun harm in the wake of the VTA shooting in the summer of 2021, which included a deterrent of straw purchasing by, requiring gun stores to video- and audio-record all gun sale transactions and stores to post information about suicide prevention and access to mental health services.

The city would become the first in the nation to require gun owners to obtain and maintain liability insurance and establish an annual gun harm reduction investment from gun owners in gun sense and safety programs. According to the County of Santa Clara Crime Lab, there was an increase of almost 72% of privately-made, unserialized firearm recoveries at crime scenes between 2015 to 2021. In 2020, San Jose Police Department recovered 206 unserialized firearms, up from just 75 in 2017.

The ordinance will go into effect June 16, following a second reading at next week’s city council meeting. Those in possession of un-serialized frames or receivers will have 120 days to comply with the ordinance prior to any active enforcement.