Colorado lawmakers move to ban ghost guns after 2 shootings
Colorado lawmakers want to ban ghost guns after two recent high-profile shootings involving untraceable firearms.
- Ghost guns are firearms bought in pieces or manufactured privately by the owner without registered serial numbers. The instructions for assembling them are available on the internet.
Driving the news: A bill set for introduction Wednesday at the state Capitol would prohibit the manufacture and possession of ghost guns, making it a misdemeanor for a first offense and felony for subsequent charges.
- Sen. Chris Hansen, a Denver Democrat and bill sponsor, says the measure is a response to the recent shooting of two staff members by an East High School student and the November mass shooting at the Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springs.
What they're saying: Co-sponsor Sen. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) says the measure will "interrupt the level of gun violence we are seeing in our state and across the nation."
Why it matters: Ghost guns are increasingly being used in crimes and frustrating law enforcement agency investigations.
By the numbers: A federal report published in February found officials recovered more than 19,000 ghost guns in 2021 — more than double the roughly 8,500 record in 2020. .
The big picture: Colorado's action — which is part of a larger effort by the Democratic majority to restrict guns — comes as the Biden administration and other states make similar moves to regulate the weapons.
- Other locations, including New York and Baltimore, are taking legal action against the gun parts makers.
- Denver banned ghost guns in 2022.
Of note: The state's new legislation would not ban distribution or possession of the instructions.
- It also includes a grace period to allow people with untraceable weapons to get them registered and undergo a background check.
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