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Ghost guns could soon be illegal in Colorado

State lawmakers working on plan to ban so-called "ghost guns"
State lawmakers working on plan to ban so-called "ghost guns" 03:06

As hundreds of students from East High School converged on the Colorado State Capitol for the second time this month to demand changes to gun laws, two state senators announced they are introducing a bill to ban ghost guns in Colorado. For state Sen.s Chris Hansen and Rhonda Fields, the issue of gun violence is personal.


East High School is in Hansen's district, "I have two boys at Denver Public Schools. In fact, one of them is at the Capitol with friends from East."

Fields's son was shot and killed in 2005. She worries about her own safety too after a bullet shattered the front window of her house last month. Fortunately, she says, she wasn't home, "These kinds of things remind me of the trauma that our students are feeling  and neighbors are feeling."   

Which is why she and Hansen plan to outlaw a type of gun kids have easy access to: ghost guns. They come in kits you can buy online or, if you have a 3D printer, make at home. The suspect in the East High shooting was arrested two years ago for possession of a "ghost gun."

"You can essentially mailorder the parts and it might be two separate parts and you can put it together in about three seconds and you have a fully functioning firearm," says Hansen. 

The only difference is you don't need a background check and the guns have no serial numbers so they are untraceable. While it's a crime to file off the serial number on a gun, it's not a crime to own a gun that never had one to begin with.

"So if we can make it unlawful for you to print a ghost gun that's unserialized, it supports what people asking us to do is to have better, stronger, safer communities," says Fields. 

Under the bill, which will be introduced next week, all ghost guns would be illegal after a certain date. A first offense would be a misdemeanor. Repeat offenders could be charged with a felony. The bill also outlaws 3D switches that can turn semi-automatic guns into fully automatic machine guns.

Hansen is also pushing for $1 million to provide grants to schools for violence prevention and Fields is working on funding rapid response teams to help schools with trauma after a shooting.

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