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Reps. Adriano Espaillat and Brad Schneider introduced Legislation to close the Ghost Guns Loophole. Photo: Getty Images
Reps. Adriano Espaillat and Brad Schneider introduced Legislation to close the Ghost Guns Loophole. Photo: Getty Images

Ending the “Ghost Guns” loophole is the latest in Rep. Adriano Espaillat’s fight to end gun violence

“Ghost Guns” made headlines in Philadelphia following a new bill to fight the selling and distribution of gun parts.

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Congressmembers Adriano Espaillat and Brad Schneider recently unveiled legislation to close the “ghost guns loophole” that is currently gripping Philadelphia and other metropolitan cities across the nation. 

The loophole makes it possible for potential purchasers to buy incomplete gun kits online or in person to avoid federal background checks. Individuals who would otherwise be barred from purchasing firearms therefore have the ability to purchase a nearly-functional, untraceable gun without a serial number.

All they have to do is put it together.

The Ghost Guns are Guns Act would close the loophole, by requiring assembly kit customers to undergo federal background check, and to include firearm assembly kits in the federal definition of what constitutes a firearm. 

“The Ghost Guns Are Guns Act closes this loophole as these guns are more often used in violent crimes and pose serious safety concerns to our communities and law enforcement,” wrote Rep. Espaillat. 

His bill, co-written by Rep. Schneider, amends Title 18 of the United States Code to include firearm assembly kits in the definition of firearms. 

“It's unacceptable that dangerous individuals can be barred from purchasing a firearm but can still buy assembly kits for those same firearms. Ghost guns are untraceable & pose an incredible risk to our communities & law enforcement,” Rep. Espaillat wrote on Congress 

The bill comes as multiple cities across the country, namely Philadelphia, are fighting the little known fact that these firearm kits, once assembled, are just as deadly as regular firearms available for purchase, but ghost guns are slowly becoming the weapon of choice in crime.  

Last week the Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force aided in the arrest of four local men for allegedly making and selling ghost guns.

The four men were arrested in two separate cases and accused of buying the parts from a gun show in Berks County, PA, with the intent of illegally selling them in Philadelphia. 

Normally sold as “80% receivers” that are often in kits without background checks, they can be easily and quickly assembled, and in these cases, sold for profit to fuel the flow of firearms making their way into the city. 

Left to Right: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, both fighting the "ghost guns" loophole. Photo: Getty Images

Left to Right: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Rep. Adriano Espaillat, both fighting the "ghost guns" loophole. Photo: Getty Images

“Ghost guns are quickly becoming the weapon of choice for criminals.,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Shapiro wrote on Twitter. “My office, along with our federal and local law enforcement partners, is working overtime to target these gun traffickers and get illegal guns off our streets,” he continued. 

Rep Espaillat’s bill will likely face pushback from Gun rights groups, just as Shapiro’s own legal opinion against ghost guns in 2019 was met with a lawsuit.  However the data against their use, especially in Philadelphia, has since grown. 

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