Back in November of last year, 16-year-old Nathaniel Berhow opened fire on Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. Using a .45 semiautomatic pistol, Berhow killed 15-year-old Gracie Anne Muehlberger and 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell and injured three others. Berhow shot himself in the head after the shooting and died a day later.
The gun Berhow used is what’s known as a ghost gun. That means that the gun was assembled from various parts that could be purchased from different vendors. Even though the gun is unregistered, it’s legal to assemble guns like this. It’s one of the loopholes that people use when they aren’t legally allowed to own firearms.
After the shooting, it was reported that Berhow’s father was said to be a known game hunter who kept several guns around the home before his passing in 2017. His father was also said to be an alcoholic who once had the police called on him for a domestic disturbance.
More recently, the fathers of Gracie Anne Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell have entered into a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arguing that the ATF refuses to regulate ghost guns.
As it turns out, Berhow’s father was allegedly barred from owning guns in 2015 after the above mentioned domestic disturbance and psychiatric hold. That reportedly didn’t stop Mark Berhow from assembling ghost guns in his home from kits that he is said to have bought online. The gun Nathaniel Berhow used was a gun that his father had constructed himself.
Bryan Muehlberger and Frank Blackwell join California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in the lawsuit against the ATF.
There are so many loopholes that allow those banned from owning guns to obtain one that they should be called loop-craters. Between the gun show loophole, sites like Armslist, and ghost guns, it seems even easier these days for anyone to bypass almost any kind of background check.
If the fact that a criminal like this can fashion a gun in such a manner that it flies totally under the radar doesn’t make you realize the gun laws in our country are severely lacking, then you’re not paying close enough attention.