'Ghost guns' were made with 3D-printed parts, NYPD says

Police arrested a Brooklyn man who built so-called ghost guns from components that he ordered online and created at home using a 3D printer, the NYPD announced on Wednesday.

During their investigation, police seized a handgun and a rifle built with 3D-printed parts as well as several 3D-printed parts. Police officials said the suspect had enough components to build at least seven guns.

Ghost guns — firearms built from kits and which do not have serial numbers — are increasing in popularity.

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"In New York City in 2019, we recovered 47 ghost guns. In 2020, we recovered 150 ghost guns," Chief of Intelligence Tom Galati said. "In 2021, that number jumped to 375. And so far in 2022, we have 85 compared to 20 last year."

Ghost guns and 3D-printed guns are almost impossible to trace. That makes the NYPD's job even tougher as it tackles increasing crime and gang violence. 

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The NYPD displayed firearms and equipment seized as part of an investigation into ghost guns built with 3D-printed components. (FOX 5 NY Photo)

"What we saw over the past year was an alarming number of youths," Inspector Courtney Nilan said. "We're seeing the prevalence of it more as well on social media, of it being talked about on social media — on Snapchat, on Facebook."

You can make a ghost gun for less than $500 in your home and sell it on the street for about $1,500. We hear a lot about the so-called Iron Pipeline — the running of guns on Interstate-95 from southern states into New York. Now the NYPD is seeing another disturbing trend. 

"We have to be focused on the Iron Pipeline and we have to be focused on the new phenomenon of the Plastic Pipeline, which is being done at home," Deputy Commissioner Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said.