Montgomery County to introduce bill restricting untraceable “ghost guns”

Maryland

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) – A Montgomery County Councilmember led a discussion with officials on Friday about introducing legislation to close loopholes on “ghost guns,” homemade firearms without serial numbers.

Council Vice-President Gabe Albornoz said he will introduce Bill 4-21 to the council, which would implement various restrictions on ghost guns.

Bill 4-21 would:
• define terms related to firearm laws;
• restrict the manufacture, possession, use, sale, and transfer of ghost guns, undetectable
guns, and certain other firearms with respect to minors;
• restrict the manufacture, possession, use, sale, and transfer of ghost guns, undetectable
guns, and certain other firearms within 100 yards of places of public assembly; and
• generally amend the law regarding firearms and other weapons.

Bill 4-21, Weapons – Protection of Minors and Public Places – Restrictions Against Ghost Guns and
Undetectable Guns

Albornoz said ghost guns have become a growing problem in the area, as they are untraceable, can be purchased online, and don’t require a background check.

“Our total number for 2020 was 73 recovered ghost guns within our community… We have recovered a total of 25 ghost guns in previous years,” Police Chief Marcus Jones said. “So as you see, this trend is truly heading up.”

Maryland Delegate Lesley Lopez representing the 39th district and Senator Susan Lee of District 16, are introducing a similar bill to limit ghost guns throughout the state.

“My bill will require that manufacturers serialize any un-finished receivers and it also requires a handgun qualifying license for the sale of an unfinished receiver,” Lopez said.

Lopez said neither of the bills seek to stop citizens from lawfully manufacturing guns at home for private use, but still establishes safeguards to keep them out of the wrong hands.

“We must be diligent and do all that we can to prevent more of these tools of destruction [from] getting into the hands of people who should not have them and of our vulnerable populations such as our youth,” Albornoz said.

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