Law enforcement officials in New York have seen a sharp rise in the recovery of guns manufactured by individuals since they were first outlawed in 2019, according to an assessment by the Rockefeller Institute of Government released this month.
The number of these firearms recovered has grown from 100 guns in 2019 to 637 firearms last year, the analysis found.
The number is still small compared to the number of illegal guns seized by police overall that have flowed into New York from other states and have been linked to crimes.
Still, the growth in ghost gun recoveries underscores how much of a challenge the hard-to-trace firearms pose. The guns do not have serial numbers and can be manufactured without required background checks.
At the federal level, President Joe Biden's administration this year moved to enact new rules to manage the proliferation of guns manufactured with a 3D printer or through take-home kits. Those rules took effect in August.
Federal data also show a rise in ghost gun recoveries nationally: A 90% rise between 2020 and 2021 and a ten-fold increase between 2016 and last year, the report found.
All told, 11 states and Washington, D.C. have moved to enact measures meant to limit the spread of guns made through 3D printers.
"While the federal government has taken first steps to regulate these weapons, state and local lawmakers have for several years been exploring and enacting policies designed to monitor and prevent ghost guns from falling into the hands of individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms," the report found.
New York state officials have sought to crack down on the proliferation of illegal guns, and Gov. Kathy Hochul has touted the efforts by a regional law enforcement task force to deal with the problem. The number of shootings has been elevated in New York state over the last several years.