Legislation Would 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 applauding Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives Nicholas Mattiello and President of the Rhode Island Senate Dominick Ruggerio for announcing that they will prioritize legislation regulating ghost guns and 3D-printed guns in 2020’s legislative session:
“Untraceable, undetectable ghost guns have no place on our streets,” said Jennifer Boylan, a volunteer with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We’re thankful that Speaker Mattiello and Senate President Ruggerio will be doing their part to combat these deadly weapons – which are favorites of criminals and others who can’t legally buy guns – and we look forward to seeing legislation addressing these firearms debated in session.”
Ghost guns are DIY 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. After a New Years’ Day shooting in which a Pawtucket woman was killed using a 3D-printed gun, State Senator Cynthia Coyne announced that she will again sponsor that legislation this session.