Last night, H7102 and S2004, identical bills to prohibit ghost guns in Rhode Island, advanced to their respective chamber floors for final votes. The votes, scheduled for next week, will be the last step before sending legislation to Governor Raimondo, who has said she will sign the legislation into law.
When the Rhode Island General Assembly reconvenes Tuesday, lawmakers have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to pass life-saving ghost guns legislation that will keep communities safe.
Legislation to prohibit the manufacture and possession of untraceable, unserialized firearms would prevent gun violence, like the kind already witnessed across the country. A woman was tragically shot and killed in Pawtucket in January with a firearm assembled from parts and lacking a serial number—something that would be illegal under the proposed legislation. Additionally, two students were shot and killed, and three more were wounded with a gun assembled from a kit last November in Santa Clarita, California.
Volunteers with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action supported similar legislation last session, only to see it stall out in the House. This year, the legislation has received overwhelming support from survivors of gun violence, law enforcement, and legislative leadership alike.
New Jersey, California and Connecticut have enacted laws to regulate ghost guns, and Pennsylvania officials announced plans to do the same. New York’s Governor Cuomo also signed legislation last year to specifically prohibit weapons that are undetectable by a metal detector, including 3D printed guns. In December, Everytown for Gun Safety called on the ATF to clarify that unfinished frames and receivers should be regulated like firearms in a petition for rulemaking.
Ghost guns made from parts that can be purchased without a background check and then assembled into a fully functioning, unserialized firearm put Rhode Island communities at risk. Volunteers with Rhode Island Moms Demand Action will watch as both the House and Senate vote on this legislation next week before sending it to the governor. If you’re interested in speaking with a volunteer or policy expert about the bills, please don’t hesitate to reach out.