PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ While meeting in person for the first time in months, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a bill banning so-called “ghost guns,” sending it to Gov. Gina Raimondo’s desk for final approval.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Cynthia Coyne and Rep. Patricia Serpa, would make it illegal to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive any firearm that is made from plastic, fiberglass or through a 3D printing process. Anyone who violates the ban could serve up to 10 years in prison and accrue up to $10,000 in fines.
The legislation is mean to help eliminate weapons that are untraceable and undetectable. Raimondo has already publicly indicated that she plans to sign the bill into law.
“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,” Coyne said. “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.”
If signed into law, the ban would be enforceable after 30 days.
“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,” Serpa said.
The Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America applauded the move, calling 3D-printed guns “a threat to public safety.”
“The sooner this legislation is enacted, the sooner our community will be safer from these untraceable firearms,” Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’s Anne Geertman said in a statement. “We’re grateful to lawmakers for advancing this life-saving legislation, and we look forward to seeing Governor Raimondo sign it into law.”
Banning 3D-printed guns was one of the recommendations made in 2018 by the Rhode Island Working Group for Gun Safety, which is a 43-member task force that was assembled following a school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Eyewitness News reached out to the Rhode Island Second Amendment Coalition for their response to the bill’s approval but has not yet heard back.