Lawmakers Have an Opportunity to Close Loophole Allowing Criminals, Others to Access Untraceable, Unserialized Ghost Guns, Avoiding Background Checks and Undermining Law Enforcement
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement as lawmakers advance legislation which would prohibit untraceable, undetectable ghost guns.
“There’s no good reason why anyone should have a gun that can’t be detected by metal detectors or traced by the police,” said Anne Geertman, a volunteer with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This life-saving legislation makes sure that criminals and other people who shouldn’t have access to firearms can’t exploit dangerous loopholes to avoid background checks and build their own untraceable guns. We urge lawmakers to continue advancing this legislation to keep Rhode Islanders safe.”
Ghost guns are do-it-yourself firearms, often built using unfinished receivers and parts and kits that – as seen in a New York Times investigation – can be acquired without a background check. These unfinished receivers, as well as rapidly-advancing 3D-printing technology, make it easy for people who are legally prohibited from purchasing firearms to evade background check laws and build their own deadly weapons. Because these DIY firearms aren’t marked with serial numbers, they cannot be traced by law enforcement if they’re used to commit crimes. 3D-printing technology can also produce all-plastic firearms that are invisible to metal detectors.
Last year, the Rhode Island Senate passed S.84 – legislation which would have prohibited ghost guns – but the bill wasn’t voted out of the House before the end of session. On New Years’ Day, a Pawtucket woman was killed using an unserialized gun – the kind of gun companion bills H7102 and S2004 would prohibit.