HARTFORD, CT — A bill that would ban so-called “ghost guns,” which are essentially homemade firearms, passed the House on Tuesday.
The bill passed by a vote of 108-36 and now goes to the Senate. Two Democrats, Reps. Buddy Altobello of Meriden and Pat Boyd of Pomfret, joined 34 Republicans in voting against the measure.
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Ghost guns are partially completed weapons that do not meet the federal definition of a firearm and can be sold to anyone without background checks. They have no serial number and can be a path to gun ownership for felons or people with mental illness, or those who have been convicted of domestic violence.
Ghost guns also aren’t recorded as a gun sale, making them impossible to trace if the firearm is used in a crime, lawmakers claim.
Advocates of the bill state that what many gun owners are doing is going to websites online and getting three-quarters of the materials needed to make a gun sent to their home. Then they go to their local hardware store to get the necessary parts to finish building the homemade gun.
Rep. Matt Blumenthal, D-Stamford, told his colleagues that ghost guns have been used in shootings in other parts of the country and that Connecticut should be proactive.
“It is new and upcoming technology that evades gun restrictions,” Blumenthal said. “It is an issue that should be addressed.”
But the argument didn’t sit well with many Second Amendment defenders, including Rep. Doug Dubitsky, R-Chaplin.
Dubitsky said they use the term “ghost guns” to make it sound scary.
“It’s not even a weapon. It’s people who just want to take your guns away,” Dubitsky said. “Ghost guns sounds evil, doesn’t it?”
Dubitsky said the bill “slices off another little piece of your freedom,” continuing that “gun owners are good people. They are your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers.”
Dubtisky continued: “Bad guys don’t build guns. They buy them; they steal them.”
Similar legislation died on the House calendar last year.