California High School Gunman Used ‘Ghost Gun’ in Mass Shooting
Ghost guns are assembled from parts, can’t be traced and are legally sold at gun shows and online.
The 16-year-old male student who shot his classmates Nov. 14 used a gun that was not registered and was built from parts.
The .45-caliber semi-automatic used during the school shooting was described by Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva as a “kit gun,” reports Reuters and KABC. Another kit gun was found at the suspect’s house when law enforcement searched it. Firearms that are assembled from parts are called “ghost guns” or “80% guns,” are untraceable and are legally sold at gun shows and online. They account for one-third of all guns seized in southern California, reports CBS News.
“ATF can’t go shut down the people who are selling these parts because these parts are not regulated,” ATF’s Ginger Colburn explained to CBS when asked why the bureau doesn’t put a stop to the sales of these kits. “It’s really up to those companies to be responsible. They’re the ones that are going to have to live with themselves…There’s nothing the ATF can do.”
Authorities are not sure if the shooter, identified as Nathanial Berhow, assembled the gun used in the school shooting himself. His father, who died two years ago, owned six guns, but those firearms were confiscated and destroyed.
The shooting happened at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita. Berhow shot five of his classmates, two of whom died as a result of their injuries. Berhow then took his own life after he had used up all but one of the bullets in his gun. The entire attack took 16 seconds.
Authorities still don’t know the motive behind the shooting, which Berhow carried out on his 16th birthday.