The 16-year-old who shot five classmates last week at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., before turning the weapon on himself, used an unregistered, untraceable "ghost gun" assembled by hand from various parts, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
It was unclear who assembled the weapon and authorities did not rule out Nathaniel Berthow, the gunman, as the architect of the.45 caliber handgun.
The teen’s deceased father owned an arsenal of weapons, many unregistered, which were seized by law enforcement. Mark Berhow, his father who enjoyed big-game hunting, died in 2017 of a heart attack in 2017.
Ghost guns are a growing problem for law enforcement. The parts are relatively easy to obtain and the guns do not take much expertise to build. So even though California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, they are only based on traditional firearms made by manufacturers where ownership can easily be traced.