HONOLULU (KHON2) — For Homeland Security Investigations, it’s not a matter of if, but when it’ll confiscate the next ghost gun. HSI saidthe seizures of these unserialized and untraceable weapons are getting larger.
“Now we’re coming across 20 to 30 guns at a time,” said HSI Honolulu Special Agent in Charge John Tobon .
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In a report to the Honolulu Police Commission, Police Chief Joe Logan, said ghost guns are a significant concern and detailed a recent raid.
“They caught a 22 auto large suppressor, a 9mm and methamphetamine and that was just in his backpack,” said Logan. “When they went to his house, they found 23 additional firearms, handguns and other types of weapons or parts with suppressors.”
Over on the Valley Isle, Maui police have recovered 12 ghost guns as of Sept. 13. HSI is seeing ghost guns often accompanied by narcotics and in an alarming trend, popularity is growing among the youth.
“Young people try to put this together just as a challenge, not necessarily to go out and commit crimes, but this is one of the ways that parents need to be aware of what their children are doing and the consequences,” Tobon said.
With eyes online and on the ground, the Border Enforcement Security Task Force, made up of federal, state and county agencies, is helping to crack down on the issue.
“It’s focused on border security threats and primarily drug trafficking that are coming into the state of Hawaii, that obviously, with those types of investigations, all types of illicit contraband are encountered.”
Meanwhile, additional legislation on ghost guns gives federal agencies more authority on the issue.
“The department of alcohol, tobacco and firearms has now made ghost guns illegal to manufacture and possess without a background check,” said Chris Marvin of Everytown for Gun Safety.
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HSI will continue to work with federal partners and county police departments on getting weapons off the streets.