Untraceable Ghost Guns Can Be Purchased Online With No Background Check, Thanks to ATF’s Failure to Regulate
Today, Senators Blumenthal, Murphy, and Others Introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act of 2020 to Address the Threat of Ghost Guns
NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund (“Everytown for Gun Safety”) and Giffords, the gun violence prevention group started by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for introducing the Untraceable Firearms Act of 2020, a bill that would address the rise of ghost guns––untraceable, do-it-yourself firearms made from parts available without a background check.
“This pandemic is spurring a deeply disturbing demand in untraceable weapons,” said Senator Blumenthal (D-CT). “Congress must act urgently to stop these homemade ‘ghost guns’ before they spur the next horrifying wave of gun violence. Currently, anyone with access to the internet can order a gun-making kit or use 3D-printing technology to build their own assault weapon, pistol, or shotgun, circumventing identification, licensing, and background check requirements. These untraceable homemade guns are just as deadly as guns already subject to these same requirements. My legislation would close loopholes and prevent this public safety emergency in the making.”
“Ghost guns are an existential threat to public safety. These do-it-yourself guns are virtually untraceable, making it easier for people who should not own a firearm to obtain one and more difficult for law enforcement officials to do their jobs,” said Peter Ambler, Giffords Executive Director. “Senator Blumenthal’s Untraceable Firearms Act will reverse this, ensuring that ghost guns are regulated in the same way as traditionally manufactured guns. His common sense legislation will make communities across America safer and is an example of the leadership needed to end gun violence. Hopefully, other members of Congress will show the same courage as Senator Blumenthal to pass this important legislation.”
“Ghost guns have become the weapon of choice for violent criminals and dangerous extremists because they’re completely untraceable and available to anyone, no background check and no questions asked,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “A gun is a gun, so we thank Senator Blumenthal for introducing legislation to apply the same rules to ghost guns as other potentially deadly firearms.”
“Thanks to pandemic panic-buying, ghost gun kits are flying off the shelves — and without action from Congress or the ATF, they can be delivered right to the front door of a convicted domestic abuser, gun trafficker, or white supremacist without a background check,” said Nick Suplina, managing director for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud Senator Blumenthal for stepping up and introducing this bill that would regulate these untraceable guns before they cause any more deaths.”
The bill’s cosponsors include Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
Ghost guns are one of the country’s fastest-growing gun safety problems, with the guns predictably emerging as a weapon of choice for violent criminals, gun traffickers, dangerous extremists, and, generally, people legally prohibited from buying firearms. Across the country, states like Connecticut, California, and New Jersey have taken action to quell the threat of ghost guns—but congressional legislation like the Untraceable Firearms Act of 2020 or action by the ATF is necessary to provide a national solution.