PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, today applauded Governor Gina Raimondo, who was joined by Sen. Coyne and Rep Serpa, for signing into law S2004/H7102, legislation to prohibit the manufacture and possession of undetectable, untraceable firearms. The signing makes Rhode Island the eighth state with a law regulating ghost guns.
“Easy access to ghost guns undermines our gun laws, putting us all at risk,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “After years of advocacy, Rhode Island Moms Demand Action volunteers helped see this life-saving legislation across the finish line. Rhode Island has set a high standard for public safety that we hope other states will follow.”
“This law has been a long time coming, and we’re thrilled to see it signed today,” said Jennifer Boylan, a volunteer leader with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action. “After watching this legislation stall last session, we urged lawmakers to take action and regulate these dangerous weapons. With this new law, we’re hopeful that easy ghost gun access will become a thing of the past in Rhode Island.”
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. A woman was tragically shot and killed in Pawtucket in January with a firearm assembled from parts and lacking a serial number, a gun that will be illegal under the new law. 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 session, the legislation has received overwhelming support from survivors of gun violence, law enforcement, and legislative leadership alike.
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. Read more about the threat of ghost guns in a report released last month here.