The perpetrator’s handgun to be assembled indigenous parts easily accessible for acquisition without a elevator check.

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This story to be reported in partnership with KPCC, an NPR affiliate in Los Angeles, and also published on LAist.

The weapon used in the Santa Clarita, California, college shooting to be a homemade, unserialized pistol, otherwise known as a ghost gun.

The Los Angeles ar Sheriff’s Department evidenced on Thursday that the .45-caliber handgun to be crudely assembled indigenous parts easily accessible for purchase without a lift check. Officials said they had no indication that purchased the components for the firearm, or that assembled it.

The Trace and KPCC first reported that regulation enforcement agencies thought the gunman had actually used a homemade weapon. The was evidenced by the Los Angeles Times.

Authorities identified the gunman together a 16-year-old Saugus High college student. They said he provided the handgun to shoot 5 classmates, death a 14-year-old boy and 16-year-old-girl. Authorities stated no rounds to be left in the gun’s chamber.

The gunfire lasted simply 16 seconds and prompted police to scramble transparent the campus and surrounding neighborhoods to situate the shooter. Authorities supplied surveillance video at the institution to identify he shot himself in the head in ~ the scene. He passed away Friday at a hospital.

In one interview with ABC7, Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated authorities had found at least one added homemade weapon at the shooter’s residence. Villanueva likewise said regulation enforcement had previously recovered six firearms belonging to the suspect’s father.

“The father had actually six guns registered to him,” the said. ”All the weapons were lawfully removed from the home and he ended up being a prohibited possessor. The firearms were consequently destroyed, legally.”

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Ghost weapons Are almost everywhere in California

Feds say nearly a 3rd of firearms recovered in the state are homemade, unserialized, and untraceable.

As The trace reported in May, more and much more homemade, unserialized weapons space popping up at crime scenes across California. Agents indigenous the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives now say that nearly a third of the guns recovered by the firm in the state are homemade.

Ghost guns administer a hold of difficulties for law enforcement. Chief among them is the they enable minors or those through criminal documents to acquire weapons without having actually to go through a background inspect or create a trace of paperwork bordering a total purchase. Since ghost firearms have no serial numbers, they are virtually impossible to trace.

California law enforcement agencies say the the majority of ghost guns now being provided by criminals space AR-15-type rifles or Glock-type pistols. However one the the earliest models come hit the DIY gunmaking scene was the 1911 handgun. Kit to build the pistols remain available online.

The popularity of ghost firearms has been propelled by advances in an innovation and the proliferation the cheaper gunmaking tools, like computer system numerical manage (CNC) machines and also drill presses. Ghost guns are currently openly offered online in near-but-not-quite complete form, colloquially referred to as 80 percent receivers (the user must complete the remaining 20 percent because that it be considered a “gun” under law). When the reduced receiver is complete, the other parts, prefer the top receiver and also the shoot controls, have the right to be assembled within minutes, developing a completely functional, however untraceable firearm.

These kit are complimentary from federal regulation due to the fact that of a carve the end in the 1968 Gun regulate Act permitting people to manufacture tools at residence for personal use without submitting to a background check. However, five states, consisting of California, have passed legislations designed to rein in this nascent market.

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Homemade weapons room rapidly ending up being the device of trade for criminals who’d be otherwise barred indigenous purchasing guns through more conventional means. In California, that has meant some sharp boosts in ghost firearms recovered through police departments:

The san Diego Police Department experienced a jump from 5 ghost guns recovered in 2017, to 52 the complying with year. The mountain Francisco Police department recovered 15 homemade firearms in 2017 compared to 44 in 2018. The Los Angeles Police department does not track recoveries of ghost guns.

Ghost firearms have verified up in a variety of high-profile shootings in California, consisting of two various other mass shootings. In 2013, after failing a background examine at a pistol store, a 23-year-old lone gunman used a homemade AR-15 rifle to death five world at Santa Monica College. The weapon was illegal to own under California law.

In 2017, a 44-year-old guy with a criminal record that barred that from to buy a pistol assembled 2 AR-15s with components bought online. The guy used the weapons to walk on a 25-minute shooting spree that left five dead and also 18 injured.

Ghost weapons are increasingly being turned against police police officers as well. In August, a roadside gun battle in Riverside left a California Highway Patrol officer dead, and two others wounded.

This has prompted the state of California to beef increase controls top top ghost total ownership. In 2016, lawmakers passed a invoice requiring each homemade weapon in the state to have a serial number and be registered through the California room of Justice. A new law, signed in October by governor Gavin Newsom, additionally requires background checks for individuals seeking come buy firearm parts.

Meanwhile, two bills designed to regulate ghost total sales and parts space pending in Congress.