The average canine has about 50 times the olfactory sensors as you do. That means he can smell things you can’t (and many times wouldn’t want to). That’s why police use breeds like Bloodhounds, Labradors, German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois for everything from rescue work to tracking down criminals on the run, sniffing out trapped or lost people, or finding bombs or a joint in a traveler’s pocket at an airport.
But imagine how discerning a dog’s sense of smell has to be to determine if your gun has a serial number or not. How much incremental material does your gun have because it hasn’t been engraved? Or even better, how much has been removed if a criminal scratches out a gun’s serial number (many police departments now classify those as “ghost guns” too).
OK, that’s not quite what the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department’s dog Zeke is trained to do, but that’s how the department is claiming they’ll be using him.
Zeke’s now a trained gun-sniffer, but if this media report is accurate, he’ll be mostly looking for ghost guns.
From ksby.com . . .
“Zeke is trained to alert on what we call polymer 80’s which is the grip part of the handgun, he’s also trained to alert on the steel, the slides, and the ammunition we use for firearms,” Deputy [Shane] Moore said. …
The pair’s recent graduation from detection school comes at a time when the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says they’re seeing a rise in the number of ghost guns being confiscated during searches.
Theres’ a concerted effort to freak out the general public about so-called ghost guns despite the fact that they comprise a tiny fraction of firearms used in the commission of crimes. Whatever…non-serialized firearms aren’t legal in Californian and if Democrats in Washington have their way, they’ll soon be illegal nationwide.
“In 2020, we had 21 ghost guns found throughout the year and that’s a pretty significant number considering the two years proceeding, the numbers were five each,” Raquel Zick, Public Information Officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, said.
Zick says people can buy a gun that’s about 80% complete online and then put the rest of the gun together themselves. What makes the gun a ghost gun isn’t necessarily the parts in the gun, however — it’s actually what’s left out.
Zeke, of course, has been trained (how successfully is anyone’s guess) to sniff out firearms. How he can distinguish be tween, say, an 80% Arms GST-9 pistol and a DeWalt cordless drill — both of which feature polymer housings and steel — isn’t exactly clear. We’re just glad we don’t live in Santa Barbara County and risk being stopped because Zeke thinks he knows what we’re carrying.
— 𝙵𝚒𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚖𝚜 𝙿𝚘𝚕𝚒𝚌𝚢 𝙲𝚘𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 (@gunpolicy) May 15, 2021