How 'ghost guns' dealers and manufacturers could be hit with civil suits

Nick Reisman

May 18, 2022

New York lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier for people to bring civil actions against the sellers, makers and distributors of so-called "ghost guns" that can be tough for law enforcement to trace. 

The bill from state Sen. Luis Sepulveda is another effort by state officials to address gun violence in New York amid a rise in violent crime in cities here and around the country. 

The bill was also touted by Sepulveda's office on Monday, days after a mass shooting in Buffalo left 10 people dead. 

"This law will give the people who are victims of gun crimes the ability to seek restitution from those who are making money in this violent industry," Sepulveda said in a statement, adding it would serve as "economic detriment" to gun makers. 

"Ghost guns" are difficult for police to trace and can be assembled using different parts. Lawmakers who have called for the passage of the bill point to many of these guns being recovered at crime scenes. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul has pointed to New York's already stringent gun control laws on the books, but has said she wants to tackle the flow of illegal weapons into the state. She previously formed a multi-state task force to tackle the issue.