Camden police sound alarm on rampant ghost guns

On a table covered in white in the Camden County Police Department, seventy of what police describe as illegal guns were displayed with ghost guns at the center. The Chief of Police said ghost guns continue to be a growing problem in the city.

Ghost guns are built from a kit, often without serial numbers and obtained without background checks, investigators said they took sixty-one of the street last year and forty-five so far in 2022.

"Throughout the entire state we’ve recovered the most ghost guns here in Camden city in the last 3 years and the number continues to grow," Police Chief Gabriel Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, with the head of the County Board of Commissioners by his side and Camden’s mayor, pressed for a national ban of ghost guns in a late morning press conference Tuesday. 

As proof of the lethal nature of the weapons, police held up a ghost gun with an illegal drum magazine. Investigators say was it holding forty-six bullets when pulled from a felon after a foot chase near Broadway and Clinton two years.

Lou Cappelli the head of the Camden County Board of Commissioners spoke directly to members of Congress who take campaign cash from what he called the "sleazy" gun lobby. 

"Take a deep breath and think about the particular weapon you currently permit in the U.S. and what it can do to our police officers and the public," Cappelli said.

Camden’s leadership said it’s not just ghost guns that have them concerned, they report 80% of the 322 illegal guns officers have pulled from the street this year are from out of state. 

They argue many come from across the river in Pennsylvania where gun laws are less restrictive.