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‘Ghost gun’ dealer gets 37 months in prison in CA

Concealed gun carry. (Gus Chan/The Plain Dealer/TNS)
February 06, 2023

James William Palmer, 38, of Mills Valley, California pled guilty to unlicensed manufacturing and dealing of firearms, receiving a sentence of 37 months imprisonment.

The Mercury News reported that Palmer admitted he knowingly conducted an illegal business manufacturing and selling firearms from his home between May of 2020 and January of 2021. Palmer was arrested on Jan. 27, 2021, while in the possession of handguns in various stages of construction, a Glock pistol frame with the serial number removed, multiple magazines of ammunition and jigs for privately made so-called “ghost guns.”

READ MORE: Feds seize 28 ‘ghost guns’ from NJ ‘street gang’

“Ghost guns” have been a pressing concern for law enforcement agencies in recent years, as the legal sale of gun parts have allowed a loophole for those that either can’t pass a background check, are underage, or who simply wish to avoid registration to build a gun without serial numbers.

According to the Department of Justice, the estimated number of privately manufactured firearms (PMF) in circulation has increased from 1,758 in 2016 to 19,344 in 2021.

In an effort to stem the flow of ghost guns, the Department of Justice launched a strike force operation in June of 2021. Establishing field divisions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area and Washington, D.C., the strike forces collaborate and share information across districts to discern and close trafficking networks.

President Joe Biden has frequently expressed support for gun control and asserted that gun violence was a “public health crisis” last year.

“Today we’re taking steps to confront not just the gun crisis, but what is actually a public health crisis,” Biden said from the White House Rose Garden last April. “Nothing, nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment. Their phony argument suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake for what we’re talking about, but no amendment to the Constitution is absolute. You can’t yell fire in a crowded movie theater and call it freedom of speech.”

“The idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution,” he added.