CHICAGO - Gun control advocates are applauding President Joe Biden after he took executive action to crack down on so-called "ghost guns."
The untraceable homemade weapons are flooding the streets of big cities across the country, including here in Chicago.
"There’s no mystery as to why us, Chicago, all over the country, we’re seeing an explosion in these guns," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
On Monday, Dart and his officers showed FOX 32 some of the ghost guns they’ve recovered over the past couple years. They are unserialized and untraceable firearms that can be bought online in kits and assembled at home.
Sheriffs police said the number of ghost guns recovered has tripled each of the last few years, and they’re often found in the hands of criminals or felons on home monitoring.
"So you have no ability to do any type of tracing whatsoever," said Dart. "And honestly, can you think of anything we need to trace more than guns? I can’t."
President Biden issued an executive order requiring serial numbers on the guns, and background checks for those who buy them.
"If you commit a crime with a ghost, expect federal prosecution," Biden said. "Not just state. Expect federal prosecution."
But gun rights groups are already preparing a lawsuit over the order and lobbying Congress to overturn the new rules.
"So, this stuff doesn't really stop the violent crime," said former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy. "It's really record keeping requirements, but, it allows them to say, 'See, we're, you know, we're against gun trafficking."
Over the weekend, Illinois lawmakers passed legislation making buying or selling ghost guns in Illinois a crime, and requiring that they be stamped with serial numbers to make them legal.
Sheriff Dart said the president’s proposal will help police here in the Chicago area, because as they’ve seen before, gun laws are only effective on a national level.
"Come on, I mean, what, so we had 40% of our murder weapons come over from Indiana last year," Dart said. "Does it have to get to 50, 60, 70 before we say, yeah maybe we should get around to a national policy here."