DA Gascón working with credit card companies to halt online purchase of ghost guns

In the wake of the recent mass shootings across the U.S., LA County DA George Gascón is calling for massive changes in gun laws.

His plans include implementing reasonable gun control. He says people should not have access to assault rifles or ghost guns. Reinvest in struggling communities and address issues like poverty, homelessness and lack of economic opportunity and to fund programs that would help stop violence, like after-school programs.

During a press conference Wednesday, Gascón also said he is working with national credit card companies to prevent the online purchase of ghost guns.  

"In partnership with police and other community organizations, I have asked major credit card companies... Visa, MasterCard, and American Express to help stem the flow of these guns by stopping online payments for the process of ghost guns. I again urge companies to do the right thing and find ways to halt the sales. It is truly a matter of life and death," Gascón stated.  

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According to his office, ghost guns kits are sold online for approximately $350 to $500. People assemble them to make working firearms. The guns are not registered and do not have a serial number, also no valid background check is needed. 

He also highlighted the work of his Bureau of Victim Services’ Mass Victimization Crisis Response Teams, which are trained to help the victims and families of mass shootings.

The teams provide crisis assistance and connect people with counseling services.

The Crisis Response Teams have helped victims of mass shootings at Saugus High School and Long Beach in 2019, the Borderline Bar and Grill shooting in 2018 and the Las Vegas massacre in 2017.

"We are in this position today because we have leaders in our country who are willing to disregard public safety, sell assault rifles to 18-year-olds and spread racist hate if it helps them win elections," said DA Gascón.

However, the DA was met with criticism for not enforcing gun enhancements on the cases he is prosecuting.  

Gascón was quickly criticized by Eric Siddall, the vice president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, which represents more than 800 deputy district attorneys in Los Angeles County.

"California's gun laws are the strictest in the nation. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Gascón refuses to enforce them," Siddall said in a statement.

"Now he has the audacity to lecture the rest of the country about the danger of gun violence. His exploitation of this tragedy to spout political platitudes is unbecoming of his office. On one thing we agree with Mr. Gascón; thoughts and prayers are not enough. Nor are press conferences."

In February, the association announced that Los Angeles County prosecutors voted overwhelmingly in support of an effort to recall Gascón.