"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."
Undetectable firearms include guns that cannot be detected by standard metal detectors, including 3-D-printed guns; ghost guns are any firearms that lack unique serial numbers and are therefore untraceable by law enforcement. Under today's legislation, manufacturing, selling, transferring, purchasing, or possessing an undetectable firearm or ghost gun, including 3-D-printed guns, is punishable by up to ten years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both. People unlawfully seeking a gun are likely to pursue and purchase a ghost gun, as they are untraceable by law enforcement and do not require a background check.
The legislation makes Rhode Island the fifth state to regulate ghost guns. Since Governor Raimondo took office in 2015, Rhode Island has led the way on multiple gun safety initiatives, including implementing a red flag law, banning bump stocks, and restricting domestic abusers from owning firearms.
"There is no one measure, or even set of measures, that will solve the gun violence problem facing this country," said Attorney General Neronha. "Ghost guns, 3-D printed guns and undetectable firearms are a threat to public safety. The bill signed by the governor today banning them is one important thing we can do to make progress, while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners."
"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."
"3-D printed, undetectable, and untraceable firearms present a major public safety risk to the people of Rhode Island," said Rhode Island State Police Colonel James Manni. "This legislation proactively curtails that risk by creating clear guidelines. I am grateful to the Governor and the General Assembly for giving the Rhode Island State Police the ability to stop the sale, use, and possession of these weapons."