Tehama County Shooter Used Loophole in Gun Laws to Own Untraceable Weapons

SACRAMENTO -- The gunman responsible for a rampage that killed five people in Tehama County had a restraining order barring him from owning guns, but investigators say he found a way around it -- by building his own illegal weapons.

California has the strictest gun laws in the country. Groups fighting for tighter gun control say the laws are working, but then criminals, like Kevin Neal, find ways to skirt the law by building so called "ghost guns," which are untraceable without a serial number.

It was a horrific crime spree that put a school on lockdown and left five people dead Tuesday in Rancho Tehama.

"It's extremely easy," said Terry Fong, owner of Rocklin Armory.

Fong says there are two main ways criminals find guns: they steal them or they build them.

"Right now there are 80 percent glock frames and 80 percent lowers, so it's not fully complete," Fong said. "If it's fully complete there's a serial number, it's registered and you have to do a background check."

The Tehama County assistant sheriff revealed Neal built his own high-powered weapons.

Fong's shop sells a metal part, which can be converted into a semi-automatic weapon. He says most gun stores do too.

"This is a piece of metal I can sell over the counter to anybody, no background check involved," Fong said. "There's a huge market, every gun store on the corner is selling this, it's a big demand for this."

Fong beleives tighter gun laws arent the answer.

"Laws aren't the issue, the mental health is the issue," he said.

"When someone runs a stop sign we don't say, 'Let's get rid of all stop signs,'" said Amanda Wilcox. "The whole idea is to drop the rate of firearm injury and death."

Wilcox, with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says California's strict gun laws are working in preventing shooting deaths -- and they have the numbers to back it up.

"We've dropped our gun death rate by 57 percent," Wilcox said. "No doubt people will continue to find ways to get around the law."

Fong said buying unfinished gun parts is not the only way people are skirting the law, people have also started creating gun parts using 3D printing.