CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Police say illegally-owned guns are a problem in Champaign. Some good news – they’ve taken several off the streets.
Early Sunday, they arrested two teenagers for possessing a ghost gun. Ghost guns are firearms that don’t have serial numbers. They make it easier for people who can’t legally own a gun to avoid background checks.
Sometimes, ghost guns are sold as kits with separate parts, and buyers have to assemble them. Champaign police say they don’t know exactly how the ghost gun they seized Sunday was made. They found it during a traffic stop. The two teenagers in the car were arrested.
The state’s attorney didn’t respond to an interview request, but the lieutenant in charge of the case believes charges have been filed. He also said ghost guns are just a small part of the problem.
“We deal with a lot of guns. We’ve been seizing quite a few here lately. Ghost guns, I would say from my knowledge of the cases is a very small percentage of them. The bigger problem is just guns in the hands of people who can’t possess them legally,” Lieutenant Aaron Lack.
In order to own any gun, you need to have a FOID card. If you get caught illegally owning a gun, you could face up to felony charges.
“We hope to continue to address the problem of gun possession and gun violence in the city of Champaign,” Lack said.
Statewide, Governor Pritzker recently signed a bill making ghost guns illegal to own and sell. It requires existing ghost guns to get a serial number so they can be traced.