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Rep. Buckner introduces new legislation to protect communities

The Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC) and State Representative Kam Buckner (D-Chicago) announced the introduction of House Bill 5731, new legislation to protect communities from dangerous ghost guns.

“Ghost guns pose a great threat to our communities. Unregulated by the federal government, these homemade firearms are flooding our streets and taking too many innocent lives,” said State Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago). “To be blunt, these are weapons that are used so one can’t get caught. I am proud to introduce life-saving legislation that will stop ghost guns from harming our state.”

“These untraceable, homemade ghost guns are a clear and present danger to our communities,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of G-PAC. “Their easy availability is a constant threat to children, families and first responders and provides deadly firepower for people, especially white supremacist and terrorist groups, who want to commit acts of violence without being detected.”

This piece of legislation cracks down on these unregulated firearms that anyone – including minors and prohibited purchasers – can buy and build without a background check. Parts and kits to build these unserialized and untraceable weapons can be bought online and assembled at home in just 15 minutes. They are also intentionally marketed as unregulated and untraceable to appeal to those who want to avoid background checks and gun traffickers.

House Bill 5731 will ensure that:

  • The transfer, purchase, manufacture, importation, and possession of ghost guns is illegal
  • Printing ghost guns with 3-D printers is prohibited
  • Guns that are currently unserialized can become serialized and trackable

Nationwide, law enforcement discovered 10,000 ghost guns in 2019, but countless others are on the streets. However, there are no federal restrictions on who can buy gun kits or parts or on how many someone can buy. The absence of national leadership has led ten states to implement laws regulating ghost guns to keep their children, families and communities safe from gun violence.

Ghost guns make up a growing percentage of gun violence across the country, which has claimed more than nine thousand lives so far this year. Chicago police confiscated 455 ghost guns in 2021 (more than twice as many as in New York City), and more than 40% of guns recovered by California ATF officers in 2020 were ghost guns.

Alongside Rep. Buckner and G-PAC’s Kathleen Sances, advocates from Brady United and Moms Demand Action Illinois joined the press conference and spoke in support of the new bill.

“We cannot continue to allow gun traffickers to control our communities with fear and bloodshed,” said Annliese Dickman, City Program Manager for Brady United. “Ghost guns pose a major threat to every single person in our state, and we need to pass an essential policy that limits the possession of these dangerous weapons.”

“Ghost guns are dangerous, impossible to trace, and too easy to obtain without a background check – and they don’t belong in our communities,” said Maria Pike, a survivor of gun violence and volunteer with Moms Demand Action Illinois. “Protecting our communities from ghost guns cannot wait, especially as gun violence continues to devastate our state and ghost guns are turning up with alarming frequency at crime scenes in Illinois. We’re grateful to stand here today and join the call for lawmakers to prioritize this critical bill.”

“As gun violence has skyrocketed in communities across Chicago, Illinois, and the country, more and more of the guns fueling it have been ghost guns,” said David Pucino, deputy chief counsel at Giffords Law Center. “These untraceable weapons are sold by cynical companies evading our gun laws to flood the streets with unregulated weapons. We need legislation to stop this, legislation that says if your company is selling the ability to make a gun you must be regulated as a gun seller. This bill will do that and we are proud to support it.”

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