Ghost Guns: Assault rifles built at home are hard for law enforcement to track

(WSVN) - With so many illegal guns already on the streets — there is now yet another worry for law enforcement: untraceable guns. The parts — so easy to order, they show up right in your mailbox. 7’s Brian Entin has our special assignment report, “Ghost Guns.”

They are powerful.

Assault rifles you can build at home.

No background check. No serial number. No problem.

Mike Morrison, Sunrise Tactical Supply: “It is basically looked at as a chunk of metal right now.”

A chunk of metal that when drilled…

Mike Morrison: “All gets assembled inside of here.”

And put together, becomes what’s known as a “ghost gun.”

Brian Entin: “How difficult is it to make this a working gun?”

Mike Morrison: “If you have the right tools, you know what you are doing, and you are experienced in doing this, it is not that difficult.”

Mike Morrison sells the parts at his Coral Springs gun shop. He says he carefully questions buyers — and won’t just sell to anyone. All of his guns are documented.

Mike Morrison: “I’m concerned about safety.”

Online, it’s a different world, where anyone can order the parts — for handguns, assault weapons, even sniper rifles — no questions asked. even emphasizes they are “unserialized” and “unregistered.”

And it’s completely legal because you don’t need a license if you are making a firearm for personal use and not to sell.

Kyle Martin: “A Glock variant…”

The co-owner of the company spoke with us on Skype from California.

Kyle Martin: “A lot of people don’t understand that these laws exist that give them the freedom to build their own firearm at home.”

He says he follows the letter of the law, and does not consider self-assembled guns a loophole.

Kyle Martin: “If you are a felon, or someone who is not supposed to be in possession of a firearm, than you shouldn’t be ordering from our site in the first place.”

But no one is stopping them — and that has law enforcement concerned.

Det. Alvaro Zabaleta, Miami-Dade Police: “If it is a gun that is not registered, it’s a gun that does not have a serial number, and doesn’t have an identity, that’s a prized possession for the criminal element.”

A criminal did use a homemade semi-automatic rifle in a Santa Monica, California shooting spree that killed five people in 2013.

Investigators say the gunman built the weapon himself — even after he was banned from buying a gun.

Officers killed him during a shootout.

And South Florida police want to make sure something like that doesn’t happen here.

Det. Alvaro Zabaleta: “They are going to end up being sold to the criminal element and they are going to utilize these guns to victimize our community.”

It all comes down to who is buying the parts — and building the weapons.

Kyle Martin: “People get a sense of accomplishment and they enjoy just completing it from practically nothing … into a firearm that they can go into targeting practice with.”

Brian Entin: “Police say the key is making sure the ghost guns end up in ranges like this, and not in the hands of criminals.”

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