“Ghost guns” are untraceable homemade weapons that can be assembled from kits purchased online.
These guns lack serial numbers, bypass background checks, and have no transfer records.
Authorities said this makes ghost guns attractive to individuals who are legally prohibited from buying firearms.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said there is an alarming trend of these ghost guns ending up at crime scenes across North Carolina.
“We were one of the top ten states in recoveries for privately made firearms,” Special Agent Anthony Spotswood said.
Spotswood, who works with the ATF, said many police departments don’t even know what ghost guns look like.
“There’s ghost guns in every neighborhood that we see, and it’s our job that our law enforcement partners are aware of what they look like and how they operate,” Spotswood explained.
The ATF said it is expanding education for local officers by holding training at different locations, such as Central Piedmont Community College’s Huntersville campus.
>> Channel 9′s Anthony Kustrua delves into the various ways these ghost guns are being used, in the video at the top of the page.
VIDEO: Ghost Guns: What you need to know