HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Federal agents are sounding the alarm about illegally obtained ghost guns and other gun parts they’re finding in Hawaii homes.

The weapons are increasingly being used in violent crimes.

“We are seeing a significant increase,” said John Tobon, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations.

“Whenever we execute a search warrant or an arrest warrant, it’s now almost a normal thing for us to find one or more ghost guns as part of these enforcement actions.”

Recently seized ghost guns in Hawaii(None)

Most of the ones they are finding are assembled in homes ― from parts purchased online ― giving access to people who normally wouldn’t qualify to own a firearm.

On Oahu, two teen boys ordered a pair of ghost guns and were able to assemble them at home using YouTube videos. Because of their age, they would have been prohibited from properly purchasing a firearm.

Ghost guns illegally purchased & assembled by teenage Oahu boys(None)

“You don’t have to be a gunsmith or take any particular course,” Tobon said, adding that ordering the parts and kits is often much cheaper than buying the firearms legally.

In theory, the government is supposed to know about every gun manufactured because each one is serialized but ghost guns don’t have serial numbers.

“If that firearm is used in a crime, then it’s difficult for law enforcement to trace that firearm,” said Jonathan McPherson, special agent in charge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Ghost guns in Hawaii are not new. Agents have been finding them at crime scenes for years.

Alan Jennings was killed in 2019. The first murder in Honolulu involving a ghost gun(Alan Jennings Family)

One violent crime that involved a ghost gun: The 2019 killing of Alan Jennings at Ala Moana Center.

The 20-year old Waianae man was shot by Kapono Miranda. The Honolulu police officer who captured Miranda reported finding “Polymer80″ ghost gun in the vehicle.

This was the first shooting death in Honolulu involving a ghost gun. At the sentencing hearing last week, Jennings’ adopted mother, Ramona Tacadena, spoke to the court and her son’s killer.

“I pray that someday you’ll have a chance to come out and that your life will be transformed.”

There are some privately-made firearms that have been serialized and registered in Hawaii.

But recent changes in the law restrict that practice to licensed gun manufacturers and dealers.

Privately made firearms registered in Hawaii(None)

County police departments tell Hawaii News Now that 96 ghost guns were assembled, serialized and registered in the state in 2020. In 2021, the reported figure dropped to 66.

So far this year, there was only one ― in Maui County ― that was reported.

But while fewer privately-made guns are being registered, federal agents are reporting a soaring number of illegal ghost guns on the streets ― and turning up after crimes.

Seized by federal agents in Hawaii(None)

And it’s not just the guns, the ATF and HSI are seizing more attachments, too, including silencers and high-capacity magazines.

HSI agents even recovered a magazine for an AR-15 that holds 100 rounds ― illegal in Hawaii.

Recently seized ghost guns in Hawaii(None)

The two agencies are also finding more of the items known as “Glock” switches, which allow the gun to rapidly fire bullets with a single pull of the trigger.

Just possessing a switch is a federal crime.

Hawaii Attorney General Holly Shikada has joined other states in calling for more federal efforts to regulate ghost guns, but Shikada refused to comment for this report.

The Honolulu Police Department did not respond to HNN’s request for comment.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.