A 16-year-old male who had been reported as a missing person several months ago has turned up in Utica, NY. Police say the teen was taken into custody this week during a traffic, and was found to be carrying a loaded 'ghost gun'.

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If you're not familiar, a Ghost Gun refers to a firearm with no serial number. In many cases, experts say pieces of a firearm are purchased then assembled by those who are too young, or for some reason are not allowed to legally purchase a firearm. Via BradyUnited.org:

Ghost guns are unserialized and untraceable firearms that can be bought online and assembled at home. They are often sold through "ghost gun kits," which include all of the parts and often the equipment necessary to build these weapons at home. These kits are widely available and can be purchased by anyone, including prohibited purchasers, domestic abusers, and gun traffickers — without a background check. As these kits and guns are sold at gun shows and online every day throughout the country, they undermine all of the life-saving policies that state legislatures have fought so hard to put in place.

During a traffic stop on Albany and Blandina Streets, officers say after asking a few questions to the vehicle's occupants they had 'reasonable suspicion' to believe one of the occupants was armed.

Ultimately, one of the occupants, the 16-year-old male, was asked to exit the vehicle, police said. After a 'pat frisk', officers say they found the 'ghost gun' in the teen's waistband. Further investigation uncovered the teen's status as a 'missing person'.

When asked for more information, Utica Police clarified the teen had been reported missing although not an Amber Alert, missing or abducted child-type situation.

Charges against the teen are pending.


This ghost gun seizure by Utica Police is the latest is a series of recent traffic stops that have resulted in illegal guns being taken off the streets.
UPD officials say they were assisted during the stop by the Oneida County Sheriff's Office.

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