Los Angeles: Due to the proliferation of ghost guns, which are privately made, unregistered, and untraceable, the City of Los Angeles has seen a citywide rise in gun violence, which has been plaguing our communities. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has seen an increase of over 130% in ghost gun recoveries from 2020 to present day. All too often ghost guns, which are manufactured illegally, are falling into the hands of prohibited possessors, whether it be a mental health or criminal prohibition.
In an effort to disrupt the violence in our streets and arrest persons illegally possessing or manufacturing ghost guns, the LAPD is launching a new program, in partnership with LA Crime Stoppers, to offer a $500 reward for tips leading to the recovery of evidence of ghost gun manufacturing and trafficking activity. No arrest is required if evidence is recovered, and a manufacturing location is shut down. Tips can be submitted to 1-800-222 TIPS and also at lacrimestoppers.org.
It is believed that the LAPD is the first police department in the nation to launch a reward program specifically for tips related to ghost gun manufacturing and trafficking. In total, the LAPD is shifting $250,000 from its budget to specifically address ghost guns. The LAPD also reminds the public that engaging in the illegal manufacturing and/or trafficking of guns could lead to local, state and/or federal charges, and serious fines. The LAPD will work with local, state, and federal agencies and prosecutors to ensure thorough investigations and aggressive criminal prosecutions.
At a press conference on October 31, 2022 that announced the launch of this new program, LAPD Chief Michel Moore stated that the LAPD is working closely with prosecutors to pursue federal charges against those individuals that are manufacturing ghost guns, in his words, that are “…manufacturing death.” Later during the press conference, when referring to a static display of high-powered, assault-type rifle ghost guns, Chief Moore went on to add, “When you look at the firepower, these are weapons of war. The only reason these weapons exist is to kill people.”