NEW YORK - Shock and grief are being felt throughout the Bronx just days after Angellyh Yambo,16, was gunned down outside her high school. The NYPD believes the suspect used a ghost gun.
"Ghost guns are one of the biggest threats to public safety that we face today," Mayor Eric Adams said. "Ghost guns aren't traceable, they are just as deadly as any other gun."
Two other teens were shot in the South Bronx Friday while walking home from school. They were all innocent bystanders.
The 17-year-old suspect, who doesn't have a criminal history, appeared in court Monday. He has been charged with murder, attempted murder, and criminal possession of a weapon.
President Joe Biden on Monday announced new federal rules that will target these ghost guns, which can be assembled at home with do-it-yourself kits.
"Today the United States Department of Justice is making it illegal for a business to manufacture one of these kits without a serial number," Biden said. "Illegal for a licensed gun dealer to sell them without a background check."
Longtime gun rights attorney Evan Nappen said he believes these new federal laws aren't going to reduce crime and that the Biden administration can expect legal challenges from opposing groups.
"We have to focus on criminals, not on guns, not on inanimate objects, but on people who do bad things. And that's tough. But that's what it takes," Nappen said. "And that's why as gun rights and our Second Amendment rights, we oppose it because it is one step towards taking away our guns and our gun rights."
Ghost Guns Coverage
- Biden takes aim at U.S. ghost gun violence
- What are ghost guns and why are they an issue nationwide?
- NYPD: 'Ghost guns' were made with 3D-printed parts
- Major 'ghost gun' bust on Long Island
- Biden: Nation must unite to end shootings
Statement from the Governor of New York
"No one should be able to circumvent the process to gain access to deadly weapons, especially those that take just 30 minutes to assemble and whose parts often cost less than $100. Just last week, three teens were shot and one was killed while walking home from school in the South Bronx with what police believe was a ghost gun.
"We are seeing a significant increase in the number of ghost guns used in deadly shootings across our state. That's why in October, I took action to criminalize the sale of ghost guns and require gunsmiths to register firearms they assemble. I also established a nation-leading Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, bringing together ten states, federal agencies, and local law enforcement agencies. The Task Force is having an immediate impact, taking hundreds of guns — including ghost guns — off the streets each month."
—Gov. Kathy Hochul
What Does Biden's Ghost Gun Rule Do?
It changes the definition of a firearm and will require federal firearms dealers to add serial numbers to ghost guns that come their way.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has, for years, said that unfinished lower receivers don't meet the legal definition of a firearm. Under the new rule, the definition of a firearm would change to include unfinished parts, like the frame of a handgun or the receiver of a long gun. The rule also would require those parts to be licensed and include serial numbers. Dealers would also need to run background checks before a sale — just like they do with other commercially made firearms.
It also will compel federally licensed dealers and gunsmiths who take in firearms without serial numbers to add serial numbers. That means, for example, if someone sells a ghost gun to a pawnbroker – or other licensed dealer – the dealer must put a serial number on it before selling the gun to someone else.
With The Associated Press and FOX 5 NY Staff.