Rhode Island banned so-called “ghost guns” this week in an effort to “prevent gun violence.”
Anyone caught with a “ghost gun,” by which they mean 3D printed guns, gun kits with 80 percent lowers, and unserialized firearms, 30 days from now will face up to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
“Banning ghost guns and untraceable firearms in Rhode Island is a major victory, but our work doesn’t end here,” said Gov. Gina Raimondo in a post on Facebook. “We will keep fighting to prevent gun violence in our state.”
(At present, there is no way yet to know how often “ghost guns” are used in crime because neither the DOJ nor the ATF tracks crimes committed with “ghost guns.”)
Last week, the Democratically-controlled General Assembly passed the measure with overwhelming support.
Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne, D-32, who sponsored it claimed that these “guns can easily facilitate criminal activity because they totally bypass the safeguards that protect the public.”
She added, “Our state laws should be very clear that possessing, creating, or selling them is a criminal act, and we should be doing everything we can to keep these dangerous weapons from proliferating here.”
Owners of “ghost guns” will have 30 days to serialize their firearm after that they become contraband, according to local media. Though, how the state of Rhode Island wants citizens to go about doing this is not exactly clear.
Per the ATF, licensed manufacturers or licensed importers of firearms must mark each firearm with an individual serial number. But firearms made by individuals for personal use do not require serial numbers or identifying markings.
As GunsAmerica reported back in May, gun control advocates launched a nationwide campaign urging lawmakers at all levels of government to “ghost guns.”
Rhode Island has heeded that call. It may be just a matter of time before more states follow suit.