Ghost guns ban signed into law
STATE HOUSE – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne and Rep. Patricia A. Serpa to prohibit the manufacturing, transfer, purchase or possessing of any plastic, fiberglass or 3-D printed gun, as well as “ghost guns,” untraceable guns and undetectable guns was signed into law today by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo.
The legislation (2020-S 2004B, 2020-H 7102Aaa), which was approved by the General Assembly Wednesday, is meant to help eliminate weapons that skirt protect public safety protections.
“Ghost guns, 3-D printed guns and undetectable plastic guns can easily facilitate criminal activity because they totally bypass the safeguards that protect the public. Our state laws should be very clear that possessing, creating or selling them is a criminal act, and we should be doing everything we can to keep these dangerous weapons from proliferating here,” said Senator Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence).
Said Representative Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), “While I am a strong proponent of people’s right to bear arms, these devices simply lack the safety, reliability and accountability of conventional firearms and have become a menace to society.”
Governor Raimondo signed the bill in a State House ceremony this afternoon.
“Today marks a meaningful step forward in our fight to end gun violence in Rhode Island,” said Governor Raimondo. “We know that untraceable guns put our community at risk. I’m proud to sign this legislation to help ensure that every gun in our state is registered, traceable, and in the hands of someone who is fit to carry the responsibility of owning a firearm.”
The new law prohibits anyone from manufacturing, selling, offering to sell, transferring, purchasing, possessing, or having under his or her control any firearm that is made from plastic, fiberglass or through a 3-D printing process; or a ghost gun — one that lacks a serial number under the requirements of the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968; or one that would be undetectable by a metal detector after removal of all parts other than a major component, or whose major component would not generate an accurate image if subjected to the type of screening equipment used at airports and public buildings.
It sets a punishment for violations at up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, and is enforceable 30 days from today.
The legislation was supported by Attorney General Peter F. Neronha, the State Police, the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence and Rhode Island Moms Demand Action.
Regardless of lawsuits, federal decisions and restraining orders preventing their original authors from posting them online, blueprints for 3-D printed firearms remain available over the Internet, allowing those with access to a 3-D printer to create an untraceable plastic gun.
Banning 3-D printed guns was one of the recommendations made in 2018 by the Rhode Island Working Group for Gun Safety, a 43-member task force that was assembled following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
IN PHOTO: Gov. Gina M. Raimondo signs the legislation as sponsors and supporters look on. Behind the governor, from left, are Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett), Attorney General Peter F. Neronha, Rep. Justine A. Caldwell (D-Dist. 30, East Greenwich, West Greenwich), Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence), sponsor Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) and sponsor Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence).
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903