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What Happens if You Get Caught With a Ghost Gun?

Posted on December 15, 2021 in Firearms Crimes

Ghost guns have become more of an issue in recent years. Ghost guns are homemade, untraceable firearms that are often made with do-it-yourself kits or 3D printers. Ghost guns are allowed in most states, including Arizona. Getting caught with a ghost gun under the wrong circumstances, however, can still lead to legal trouble.

What Is a Ghost Gun?

A ghost gun is a homemade firearm. These weapons are untraceable by law enforcement, as they do not come from licensed manufacturers. They do not contain serial numbers that law enforcement typically uses to track where a firearm goes and whom it is sold to. This means that if a crime is committed using a ghost gun, law enforcement has no way to trace who owned the gun. In addition, many ghost guns are constructed with materials that go undetected by metal detectors.

Ghost guns pose a risk from a legal standpoint, as they can be created and owned by people who are prohibited from purchasing guns from professional dealers. They also present a loophole to many state and federal firearm laws. For example, an individual does not have to be an adult or undergo a background check to create a ghost gun – nor do most gun laws apply to unfinished firearm parts and components. Some reports also point out that ghost guns are made without quality control standards, potentially posing product safety risks.

What Are Arizona’s Laws Related to Ghost Guns?

Although more and more states are passing laws to regulate homemade or self-assembled firearms, currently, Arizona does not have any laws prohibiting ghost guns or untraceable/undetectable firearms. Despite the federal government’s concerns over their potential risks to public safety, the Arizona legislature has not passed any laws regarding ghost guns. This means that it is currently legal in Arizona to make and possess a ghost gun.

Not only are ghost guns not illegal under state law; Governor Doug Ducey recently took steps to protect citizens’ right to bear arms, including homemade or ghost guns. He passed House Bill 2111 in April 2021 to make Arizona a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” This bill prevents the enforcement of federal gun control laws that are inconsistent with Arizona’s state laws. Governor Ducey passed this bill in response to an announcement made by the Biden Administration indicating that it will attempt to pass laws controlling or prohibiting ghost guns.

Can You Get Arrested for Having a Ghost Gun?

Although Arizona currently does not have any laws prohibiting the ownership of ghost guns, it is still possible to get arrested for owning or carrying one, under certain circumstances. For example, if you are an individual who is prohibited by law from owning a firearm, such as someone who has previously been convicted of a felony, you could get arrested if you are caught with a homemade firearm. If you attempt to bring a ghost gun on a property that prohibits firearms, this could also lead to your arrest. The same is true if you attempt to sell a ghost gun as an unlicensed firearm vendor. You cannot get arrested simply for having a ghost gun, however, if you are an adult (at least 18 years old) and allowed to own a firearm by law in Arizona.

What to Do if You’re in Legal Trouble for Owning a Ghost Gun

If you have been arrested or are facing legal trouble for owning a ghost gun, contact a Phoenix gun crimes attorney right away. An attorney can explain your rights based on the specific circumstances of your arrest and the alleged crime committed. Then, your defense attorney can create a strong defense on your behalf to protect you from the worst possible consequences associated with your charges. Working with an attorney who has the education, experience and training in firearm criminal defense law can make a difficult time easier for you and your family and protect your future.