As technology continues to advance with leaps and bounds, so does the danger that comes with it when it is not utilized for the betterment of communities, but Council Members I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica) and Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) are remedying that when it comes to so-called “ghost guns.”
On Wednesday, two pieces of legislation passed the City Council to ban “ghost guns,” weapons that are 3-D printed and are unable to be traced because of the lack of serial numbers on them or detected by metal detectors since 80 percent of the frames and receivers are plastic, according to Miller’s office.
Currently, the NYPD only reports the seizure of pistols, rifles and shotguns quarterly, according to Miller’s office.
“As legislators, we must protect our communities from new and emerging threats,” said Miller, co-chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus. “My bill – Introduction 1548 – requiring reporting on the seizure of these firearms will give us crucial information about these untraceable and deadly firearms.”
Intro. 1548 would close that loophole that keeps 3-D gun seizures from being fully reported, as well as parts of guns during arrests, according to Miller.
Rosenthal’s Intro. 1553 bill would make it illegal to possess or dispose of an unfinished receiver because once consumers are able to obtain the remaining 20 percent of the weapon that is easily purchased online it is able to function. Violators of the bill could face a year in prison or get charged with a misdemeanor and a $1,000 fine. “We cannot go backwards when it comes to gun violence. We must take every possible measure to block untraceable weapons in New York City.”
In June 2019, the NYPD did report that they seized 67 ghost guns since the beginning of 2017 and have expressed support for the bans on the weapons.
In upstate New York, there are currently 20 criminal cases involving ghost guns, according to Miller’s office.
“The recent influx of ghost guns in other parts of New York State highlight the need for comprehensive legislation to ban their sale,” said Miller. “Otherwise, these weapons will surely find their way onto our city streets in greater numbers.”
June Rubin, a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was pleased by the passage of the bills.
“Today’s City Council vote is a victory for public safety,” said Rubin. “No one should be able to circumvent the law and build their own untraceable firearms. We’re grateful to our council members for taking steps to protect our city from ghost guns.”
The City Council also passed Resolution 866, which calls on Congress to pass and President Donald Trump to sign H.R. 7115, the 3-D Firearms Prohibition Act, which requires anyone making a firearm to attain a serial number and identifying mark prior to a weapon’s completion.
“Through my and Council Member Miller’s legislation, New York City will join with New Jersey (and soon California) in closing this loophole, and set an important precedent for other cities and states to follow,” said Rosenthal.