Harlem Rep. Espaillat, Schneider Introduced Legislation To Close The Ghost Guns Loophole

April 7, 2021

Harlem Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Brad Schneider announce the introduction of key legislation to address gun violence in the United States.

The Ghost Guns Are Guns Act would close the “ghost guns” loophole which allows purchasers to avoid federal background checks by buying unassembled firearms online. H.R. 1454 amends Title 18 of the United States Code to include firearm assembly kits in the definition of firearms.

Click here to read the legislation in its entirety.

“It is simply inconceivable that an individual can be barred from purchasing a firearm, but can still purchase a firearm assembly kit online that they can then use to create untraceable ghost guns that pose serious safety concerns to our communities and law enforcement,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “These kits are often times completely untraceable because they seldom have serial numbers, and our bill, the Ghost Guns Are Guns Act, aims to close this loophole and potentially help save lives.”

“If someone cannot pass a federal background check, they should not be allowed to possess a firearm under any circumstance,” said Rep. Brad Schneider. “They especially should not be able to circumvent the background check process entirely by purchasing the requisite parts online to assemble their own, often untraceable, firearm. I am proud to introduce the Ghost Guns are Guns Act with Representative Espaillat to close this dangerous loophole and prevent more lives lost to preventable gun violence.”

“We can no longer turn a blind eye to the effects that firearms have on our children, our families, and our communities,” continued Rep. Espaillat. “The Ghost Guns Are Guns Act is critical to addressing gun violence in the United States and will undoubtedly save lives in communities throughout the nation.”

“During the coronavirus pandemic, individuals were panic-buying ghost guns online. Ghost gun kits are typically sold online and marketed as 80% complete to evade all federal regulations because they are not classified as real firearms by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. As technology advances in America, it is the responsibility of our elected leaders to consistently close the loopholes in our gun control laws to keep guns away from dangerous individuals to keep all Americans safe.” – Po Murray, Chairwoman, Newtown Action Alliance

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“We applaud Representative Espaillat for re-introducing the Ghost Guns Are Guns Act. Treating firearm assembly kits as firearms, by requiring a background check, is just common sense and will save lives. If it is imperative to conduct a background check prior to transferring a gun, it is imperative to conduct a background check prior to transferring a gun kit, because the result is the same, another lethal weapon out in our communities. Thank you, Representative Espaillat, for advocating for this life-saving legislation.” – Josh Horwitz, Executive Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

“Mass shooters used ghost guns to bring unspeakable pain and trauma to the communities of Rancho Tehama Elementary School; Middleton, Wis.; and Saugus High School. The ease with which ghost guns are obtained undermines life-saving laws and policies. It is beyond time to recognize ghost guns as firearms.” – Angela Weber, Cofounder, Honor with Action Coalition

The Ghost Guns Are Guns has been endorsed by the following organizations: Act Newtown Action Alliance, Honor with Action Coalition, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Violence Policy Center, Brady, and March For Our Lives.

Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill, and the northwest Bronx.

First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his third term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities.

He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves as the Second Vice-Chair and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where he serves as Deputy Whip.

Representative Espaillat also currently serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

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