ghost gun
A ghost gun that was confiscated in San Diego. Photo via @AmerMilNews Twitter

A lawsuit was filed by firearms supporters challenging San Diego’s just-signed ordinance banning so-called “ghost guns” in the city, it was announced Friday.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in San Diego federal court, hours after Mayor Todd Gloria signed the ordinance, seeks to block enforcement of the ban prohibiting the possession, purchase, sale, receipt and transportation of non-serialized, unfinished frames and receivers, and non-serialized firearms, all of which are commonly known as ghost guns.

The guns, also known as “do-it-yourself guns,” are homemade, personally manufactured firearms that do not have commercial serial numbers. They are untraceable due to the lack of identifying markings and therefore can evade state and federal regulations that apply to firearms such as background checks.

The Eliminate Non-serialized Untraceable Firearm — or E.N.U.F. — Ordinance goes into effect Oct. 23.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the Firearms Policy Coalition, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC and San Diego residents James Fahr, Desiree Bergman and Colin Rudolph, alleges the ban violates the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding San Diegans.

“The right of individuals to self-manufacture arms for self-defense and other lawful purposes is part and parcel of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and an important front in the battle to secure fundamental rights against abusive government regulations like San Diego’s unconstitutional ban,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations.

In the plaintiff’s request for an injunction, they state that “such a broad prohibition against the exercise of constitutional rights, untailored in any way and untethered from any legitimate interest that could be achieved, wouldn’t be tolerated for a moment if the rights being targeted were secured under the First Amendment. Just the same, it cannot be tolerated here, where it targets rights of equal importance secured under the Second Amendment — specifically, the right to keep and bear arms.”

The ordinance authored by City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert came in response to a reported increase in the proliferation of ghost guns in the city, and closely followed a deadly shooting in the Gaslamp Quarter that police allege was committed with a ghost gun. Authorities allege the suspected shooter was prohibited from possessing firearms, a common denominator among nearly all those caught with ghost guns, according to police.

San Diego police say that the number of ghost guns retrieved by law enforcement has risen steadily each year, with 2021 already surpassing the number of ghost guns impounded by police in all of 2019 and 2020. The Department says ghost guns accounted for nearly 20% of all firearms seized by police this year.

City News Service contributed to this article.