Minnesota kids are getting their hands on ‘ghost guns’

Contrary to popular belief, "ghost guns" — firearms produced without serial numbers — are not technically illegal in the state of Minnesota

Maplewood Police Department/Facebook

Two teenagers possessing “ghost guns” were apprehended in the aftermath of an alleged shootout in the St. Paul suburb of Maplewood.

According to a criminal complaint, Tamarion Deshaun Ramsey, 18, has been charged with gross misdemeanor possession of a firearm. The charge stems from a May 22 incident on the 2000 block of Clarence Street, where multiple gunshots were reportedly fired.

Several males were witnessed fleeing the scene, with a Maplewood police officer soon encountering Ramsey walking by himself across Manton Street. When the officer ordered Ramsey to get on the ground, Ramsey announced he had a firearm but not a permit to carry it. He added he was heading to a nearby park to “walk the trails and smoke.”

“The firearm was a gray and black ‘ghost gun’ with no serial number printed on it,” the complaint reads. “The gun had a laser attached below the barrel and had a black rubber grip covering the gun’s grip. The gun had a 31 round extended magazine with 31 9mm cartridges in the magazine and a round in the chamber.”

One other apprehended suspect, a 16-year-old not named in the complaint, also had on his person a 9mm “ghost gun,” but with a “50 round drum magazine and a round in the chamber.”

The officer who apprehended Ramsey found 14 9mm casings and a black satchel outside the door to an apartment building near the scene of the reported shots.

Ramsey is not being charged for carrying a “ghost gun” in itself, but rather for carrying a gun without a permit. Contrary to popular belief, “ghost guns” — firearms produced without serial numbers — are not technically illegal in the state of Minnesota. It is only illegal to produce them for the express purpose of selling them, or to possess them if state law prohibits the possessor from having a firearm in the first place (e.g., if he or she is a convicted felon).


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.