Untraceable “ghost gun” allegedly used in Gaslamp shooting

These unregulated and untraceable firearms are provided through do-it-yourself kits that are legally secured online with no background checking.

SAN DIEGO – The suspect of the fatal rampage on Thursday evening in the Gaslamp Quarter used a so-called “ghost weapon” according to police: a firearm that was assembled with a legally procured kit without a serial number in order to track it down.

This problem is a growing problem nationwide, including here in San Diego, where Police Chief David Nisleit said that one in four guns recovered by the police is an undetectable ghost weapon.

“A 9mm pistol was recovered from the suspect,” Chief Nisleit said at a Friday afternoon press conference and later confirmed, “It was a ghost weapon or a non-specialized firearm.”

The suspect in Thursday’s shooting, which killed a 28-year-old man and injured four others, was identified by police as 32-year-old Travis Sarreshteh, from San Diego.

These unregulated and untraceable ghost gun firearms are provided through do-it-yourself kits that are legally secured online with no background check and provide the buyer with all the parts necessary to assemble a deadly firearm at home.

“That means anyone banned because of their mental illness or previous conviction of a crime can still buy a gun, have it fedex overnight and have a gun in hand the next day,” Chief Nisleit said earlier this month compared to News 8.

In California, ghost gun owners are technically required to apply for a serial number: a requirement that is difficult to enforce and results in an increasing number of these de-specialized guns on the streets of San Diego.

“We saw a 169 percent increase in non-specialized or ghost weapons in 2020,” said Chief Niselt.

Just a few weeks ago, President Biden took executive action to prevent the easy access to ghost rifles.

“Anyone from criminals to terrorists can buy this kit and assemble a weapon in just 30 minutes,” Biden said.

News 8 learned that Sarreshteh’s criminal past has focused on firearms.

He is currently on parole on a 2019 offense for carrying a hidden weapon. After he admitted guilty to the case, the court ordered Sarreshteh to participate in a special firearms program.

Court records also show that he has an active warrant for his arrest in San Diego County for serving as an unlicensed security officer.

Sarreshteh now faces far more serious crimes: a first-degree murder and four attempted murders. He is due to be indicted on Monday, May 3rd.

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