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Senate Considers Ban on "Ghost Guns"


Members of the General Assembly are considering legislation that would prohibit people from evading gun-control laws by constructing a gun at home.

The specter of the ghost gun is haunting the General Assembly.  Some lawmakers are worried that people might use a 3D printer or build-it-yourself kit to evade all the new gun control measures they passed last year.

Delegate Marcus Simon, a Democrat from Fairfax County, introduced a bill to prohibit people buying kits with some assembly required.  "You build the gun yourself and it's got no serial number. You require no background check. There was no age limit to purchase it. It's untraceable, and it really evades the entire system," Simon argued.

Phillip Van Cleve with the Virginia Citizens Defense League says the bill won't help anybody.  "Before 1968, no guns were required to be serialized," Van Cleave noted.  "There are millions of them out there, and the world has not come to an end. By the way, tracing only affects something after a crime has already been committed. It will not lower the crime rate to have a serial number on a gun. It may help to get the gun back to the owner, but that's about it."

The bill has passed the House and a Senate committee, but it still has to go to the Senate Finance Committee to consider the cost of enforcing the new prohibition.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.