On Thursday, CNN reported that a 13-year-old boy in Douglas County, Georgia who was making and selling so-called "ghost guns" fatally shot his 14-year-old sister while firing at a pair of thieves trying to rip off his operation.
"Two people had come to the family's home in Douglasville, about 20 miles west of Atlanta, on November 27 to purchase a gun that the 13-year-old made, Douglas County Sheriff Tim Pounds said in a news conference livestreamed by CNN affiliate WGCL Wednesday," reported Dakin Andone. "But instead of buying the firearm, the pair stole the gun from the 13-year-old and fled the scene, the sheriff told reporters. The boy then shot at them as they were leaving, Pounds said, but instead struck his 14-year-old sister, who was identified by the sheriff's office as Kyra Scott. Investigators believe the weapon he used was one that he had made."
According to the report, "Authorities have arrested Kyra's 13-year-old brother and 19-year-old Yusef Jabryil McArthur El -- one of the two people who had come to buy the homemade gun."
The 13-year-old brother admitted to shooting his sister, while Yusef is being charged with felony murder — the killing of someone during the commission of an inherently dangerous crime.
"Ghost guns" are firearms made at home with readily available materials. They range from crude "zip guns," to guns built from kits sold online, to more sophisticated designs built on 3D printers — and are nearly impossible to trace in conventional ways because of their lack of a serial number and, sometimes, of metal components.
Some jurisdictions, like the city of Los Angeles, have sought to pass laws outlawing the possession or sale of ghost guns in recent years. The State Department also waged a multi-year legal battle with Defense Distributed, a company that sells 3D printer designs for guns.