Both of Connecticut’s U.S. Senators—Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy—have introduced legislation to ban so-called “ghost guns, and they have two dozen co-sponsors, according to a press announcement from Murphy’s office.
The CT Mirror is reporting the announcement came on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court, buy a 5-4 vote, decided to grant a stay in a case challenging the “new rule” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives which considers gun parts kits to be subject to the same regulations as finished firearms.
The Mirror report noted Blumenthal joined several other people for a press event in Hartford to introduce what has been dubbed the “Ghost Guns and Untraceable Firearms Act.”
According to Murphy’s press release, the “ghost guns” are apparently dangerous because they may be assembled with a kit and “purchased from an unlicensed seller, (and) can be obtained without passing a background check and have become the weapon of choice for criminals and extremists.”
Joining Blumenthal and Murphy in the spotlight is New York Congressman Adriano Espaillat.
Blumenthal, displaying an apparent lack of knowledge about firearms, was quoted observing, “The awful, stark truth about ghost guns — they look like a gun, they shoot like a gun, they kill like a gun. They ought to be regulated as guns.”
The finished firearms actually are guns. The main complaint appears to be their lack of serial numbers by which they can be traced by the authorities.
A news release from Blumenthal’s office included this quote: “Ghost guns are a major threat to public safety and law enforcement’s ability to protect our communities. Without serial numbers and readily available for anyone to assemble, these untraceable weapons are a convenient tool for those that hope to cause harm. Our measure closes the gaping loopholes that allow domestic abusers, criminals, and terrorists to bypass background checks. A homemade gun is still a gun. Subjecting these weapons to the same safety measures and requirements will save lives.”
There is no evidence that the presence of a serial number has ever prevented a violent crime involving a firearm.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday shows 70 percent of Americans support requiring “ghost guns” to have serial numbers, and be produced only by licensed manufacturers. This would defeat the purpose of providing home gunsmiths with an opportunity to build their own firearms, which is a long-standing tradition in the U.S.