Ghost Guns and the Deeply American Tradition of Gun Privacy

Ghost Guns and the Deeply American Tradition of Gun Privacy

Earlier this month, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act, a bill that targets “ghost guns,” or unregistered firearms without serial numbers. Also called “kit guns ” or “80% guns,” most are built at home from manufacturer-produced gun kits. Improvised weapons, also known as “pipe guns,” are another variation, and they’re constructed using 3D-printed parts or salvaged and repurposed materials. The proposed law would place strict limitations on the obtainment and manufacture of these guns. For example, it would prohibit building or housing a homemade, 3D-printed firearm, as well as trading a kit gun with a friend. Punishments for an initial violation include fines and up to a year in prison. Subsequent violations can incur up to a five-year sentence. A False Premise According to Blumenthal, the goal of the act is to “ensure that violent extremists, domestic abusers, and foreign terrorists can’t evade background checks and other safety measures by building weapons at home instead of buying them from a store.” Yet, the data simply do not support the premise that ghost guns promote violent crime. Last month, RealClearPolitics reporter Philip Wegmann asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for data on how many violent crimes are actually committed with “ghost guns.” Psaki was stumped for an answer, but offered that “the experts who are joining us here today have a bunch of data that they could share with you.” That didn’t happen, however. Instead, the White House later forwarded him […]

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