WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressmen Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and David Cicilline (RI-01) just introduced legislation to reduce gun violence by banning the home manufacture of “ghost guns” — firearms that require no background check, have no serial number, and are essentially impossible to trace if used in committing murder, robbery or other crimes.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a nationwide surge in “build-it-yourself” gun kits used for creating homemade ghost guns. These kits often come with the tools and instructions needed to turn the functional parts of a firearm – the unfinished frame and receiver – into a weapon. Because some buyers think the do-it-yourself stage takes too long to complete the weapon, metal milling machines specifically designed to rapidly finish ghost guns are now being marketed and sold to the public.
The Raskin-Cicilline legislation will prohibit the sale of metal milling machines that turn private individuals into de facto gun manufacturers and dealers in their own homes. These types of machines are readily available and reasonably inexpensive for someone seeking to finish and sell black market weapons. Just as there is no background check or oversight over the sale of ghost gun kits, there is also an absence of regulation of these milling machines.
This bill complements and backs up the Untraceable Firearms Act, H.R. 3553, which prohibits ghost guns by also prohibiting private individuals from owning machines that have a primary purpose of finishing firearm receivers and frames to create a functioning gun at home.
“The terrible threat of ghost guns to public safety is growing on a daily basis,” said Rep. Raskin. “It is time for Congress to ban ghost guns and the flourishing traffic in the technology which manufactures them. Law enforcement is finding that ghost guns compose a growing share of weapons used in deadly crime. Let’s act now as an institution to remove this increasing and lethal threat to our people.”
“Ghost guns serve no legitimate purpose,” Congressman Cicilline said. “We have laws for a reason. The ability to skirt the background check requirements and federal firearms licensing to sell a gun made at home is dangerous and should be illegal. This legislation will prevent dangerous firearms from getting into the hands of the wrong people.”
Read the Stop Home Manufacture of Ghost Guns Act of 2020 bill text here.