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MA Lawmakers, Advocates: Steps Needed to Tackle Ghost Guns

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022   

CORRECTION: A previously inaccurately stated ghost guns have no metal parts. (08:40 p.m MST., May. 4, 2022)

Groups advocating for gun safety are raising awareness about the issue of ghost guns in Massachusetts.

Ghost guns are untraceable firearms with no serial number, often created by 3D printers or assembled from kits bought online.

Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, D-Springfield, joined with Everytown for Gun Safety, Springfield's mayor and police superintendent to hold an awareness event Monday. He pointed to data showing 27 ghost guns were recovered in Springfield alone in 2021, up from just six in 2020.

"Already, they've seen a number that will surpass that in 2022," Gonzalez noted. "Therefore, the police are on track to have recovered even more weapons that have no serial numbers, no way of tracing."

Gonzalez is chair of the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, which is working on a bill to prohibit assembling firearms unless there is a serial number on the materials, and would ban 3D printing of firearms without a license.

Rina Schneur, co-lead for the Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action, said ghost guns should be regulated like any other firearms. Massachusetts has the second-lowest rate of death in the nation, next to Alaska, and she argued it is largely because of the Commonwealth's stringent regulation.

"The ability of people to acquire ghost guns through 3D-printed firearms or the kits, really undermines and bypasses all this legislation," Schneur contended. "Because people can acquire them, they don't need any background checks, they don't need a license; it doesn't have to be registered."

At least 10 other states and Washington, D.C., have already enacted bans on ghost guns, and cities and local governments across the country have additional policies. According to the White House, about 20,000 suspected ghost guns were recovered by U.S. law enforcement last year, up tenfold from 2016.


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