Loophole allows people to assemble ‘ghost guns’

A Local 10 news investigation exposes what some are calling a serious and dangerous loop hole in the law.

You could be "America's Most Wanted" and get your hands on high-powered untraceable guns.

There is no background check and no identification required.

The most disturbing thing to many, these guns have no serial number, no way to trace them. 

Local 10 Investigator Jeff Weinsier, with the help of a friend, was able to assemble an AR-15 in a day.

All we needed was a credit card and an internet search and the "kit" was ordered.

Everything we needed to assemble our AR-15 was there.

"These items are out on the streets and our deputies deal with these weapons all the time. It's mind boggling." said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.

They are called "ghost guns."

The lower receiver comes 80 percent complete, we mill and drill the remaining 20 percent making it technically homemade.

Because they come unassembled and incomplete, we are the manufacturer, and the Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms doesn't classify "ghost guns" as a firearm.

No serial number is required, and it's 100 percent legal.

Even gun enthusiasts are concerned.

"Having a gun without serial numbers on it is just wrong." said Roy Gosley, a firearms instructor who owns a gun shop in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

"I'm not saying I agree with more laws. I'm not saying we need more laws. but this is bypassing what we already have in place that seems to be working fairly well." Gosley said.

Walter Philbrick is a retired homicide sergeant who used to own a gun store.

"When a gun would be used in a homicide I could trace the gun. Who owned it? Who bought it? Where they bought it? This is untraceable and what gun store." Philbrick said.

Philbrok says anyone can get their hands on a "ghost gun."

"A convicted felon, mass murderer, terrorist doesn't matter," he said.

Several noted crimes have been committed with ghost guns. 

John Zawahri’s failure to pass a background check didn't stop him from and building an assault rifle himself. 

In 2013, at Santa Monica College he fired 100 rounds and killed five people before police fatally shot him.

Last November, Kevin Neal used two home-built semiautomatic rifles to kill his wife and four others Northern California.

The (Gabby) Gifford Law Center to prevent gun violence has asked internet service providers to shut down websites, but it hasn't happened.

There are proponents.

"It is liberating for someone who wants to build a gun for their own defense and personal use who might be on a fixed income. There has never been an epidemic with criminals building their own firearms and if criminals want to acquire firearms as they do now, they find ways of doing it." said Alexander Roubian of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society.

But even in the right hands, these guns could wind up in the wrong hands.

If you make it for yourself and you go to the range and have fun with it and one day someone breaks in your house and steals it there is no way to report it stolen with no serial number of tracing purposes." said Nikko Shoureas, a gunsmith in Davie.

Local 10 News had our AR-15 "ghost gun" crushed.

It won't become part of any statistic or crime.

So what do South Florida lawmaker's think about this alleged loophole?

Local 10 news contacted the offices of Fredricka Wilson, Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Carlos Curbelo.

Wilson and Wasserman Shultz never responded.

In a returned e-mail to Local 10 News, Curbelo's office said the congressman didn't have time to talk to us.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.

This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.