Three men were arrested and 45 firearms were recovered during an operation led by the San Diego Police Department’s Ghost Gun Apprehension Team on Oct. 7, 2021. / Photo courtesy of the San Diego Police Department

The city of San Diego this fall passed a measure banning so-called ghost guns, or unfinished firearm frames, receivers or unserialized frames that can be assembled into guns by people who would otherwise not be allowed to own them, evading the state’s background check system.

The action has won the city praise, including this weekend in a story in the New York Times, and the San Diego Police Department has touted the increasing prevalence of ghost guns on city streets.

But the ordinance raises a host of questions, freelance writer James Stout reports in a new story for us, about how SDPD will enforce it, how much it differs from existing state laws that police are already using, and what should be done by people who might not realize that an object they owned a month ago and haven’t touched since has become illegal.

Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert, who introduced the ordinance, stood by the ordinance in a statement, but would not answer specific questions, deferring to SDPD on how it would enforce the measure. Supporters, like the national gun-control nonprofit Brady United, said the measure closes an important loophole and builds on the existing body of state laws.

But a pro-gun legal advocacy group is already suing over the state measure – SDPD cited the lawsuit as its reason for not describing its enforcement plan.

Click here to read the full story. 

Opinion: Time to say “CEQA later?”

California is proud of its Environmental Quality Act – a 1970 law known as CEQA which requires local agencies to consider the environmental impact of their decisions. But Matthew Boomhower, a member of city of San Diego’s Planning Commission, argues in a new opinion piece that the law, frankly, isn’t being used for much of anything environmental.

Boomhower argues that while the law had good intentions, it’s being used to slow down construction on desperately needed urban housing, driving up costs that are then passed on to renters and homeowners. 

Not-in-my-backyarders, or NIMBYS, are to blame for leveraging CEQA against projects that increase density in urban areas, he writes. Two infill San Diego projects are being held up by CEQA litigation in Rancho Penasquitos and Carmel Mountain Ranch.

CEQA is weaponized in an attempt to delay or kill these critical projects by current residents,” wrote Boomhower. 

Boomhower criticizes use of the law by special interest groups, namely union labor which use threats of CEQA litigation unless a developer is willing to meet their terms. 

Photo of the Week

Southeast San Diego Mountain View
Southeastern San Diego on Nov. 4, 2021. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

From Adriana Heldiz: Flying a drone is as fun as it looks. It provides a look at an area from a rare angle, reinforcing how small we each are. 

But no one warned me how much anxiety it would give me.

First, are the nagging logistics: Is the battery charged? Where are backup batteries? Is there enough space in the memory card? Am I allowed to fly here?

And then, when I actually take off …

Did I remove the camera lens cover? Am I about to hit any wires or trees? Am I flying too high or low? Do I have enough battery to fly that far? Am I actually recording or taking photos? Are the angles right? What about lighting? And please, don’t press “land” if the drone is miles away.

All these questions run through my mind when I’m out using the drone for work. It’s a true rush of anxiety and adrenaline. But the images, as you can tell from above, are priceless. 

In Other News

This Morning Report was written by Andrew Keatts and MacKenzie Elmer. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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