“Ghost guns” are a product of a loophole that allows criminals to get guns without background checks or a firearm owner’s identification card. A bill aiming to restrict the sale of these untraceable guns is working its way to the Illinois House floor.
During a national surge of demand for gun regulation, this is a bill the Legislature should pass.
In Illinois, individuals must present a valid FOID card and often undergo a background check to purchase a firearm. But with ghost guns, no safety measures are required to buy the parts needed to assemble a firearm. By providing nothing but a mailing address and payment information, nearly anyone can buy a gun — just so long as it comes in pieces that can be put together.
Issues with ghost guns surfaced after a November 2017 shooting rampage in which gunman Kevin Neal killed five people in Northern California with guns he assembled himself. A court order barred Neal from owning a firearm, but he was able to purchase the parts online and build weapons himself.
Buying a kit stocked with the parts needed to assemble a firearm is as easy as ordering a toy train set on Amazon. And not much tougher to put together.
A few weeks ago, WGN-Ch. 9 reported purchasing a ghost gun kit online, which included a handgun that was 80 percent complete upon arrival. Only about an hour of assembly was needed before it was ready to fire.
No hurdle stands in the way of convicted felons or those with mental health issues from purchasing and assembling these weapons in Illinois.
State Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, plans to change that. Having already passed a bill through the House that would prevent the sale of bump stock gun attachments, Moylan is sponsoring a bill he says will ban the sale and ownership of these easy-to-build guns in Illinois.
This is a bill that needs all the traction in the Legislature that it can get.
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