Illinois Governor First in Midwest to Ban Untraceable Do It Yourself Ghost Guns Designed to Evade Gun Laws

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a bill making dangerous "do it yourself" untraceable guns, which are increasingly being recovered by police, illegal in Illinois

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Ghost guns printed on a 3D printerMitch Barrie/flickr

Illinois has some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation yet it's not a secret that the state has a lot of problems with crime and homicides related to gun violence. According to the CDC, there have been1745 firearm related deaths in Illinois since the beginning of 2022. Much of this violence has been attributed to guns that are being trafficked from nearby states that have weak gun laws.

Ilinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, has worked hard to try to increase regulations on guns since taking office. He has passed laws that require firearms to be registered, with penalties imposed on any dealer who does not retain records of private firearm sales. The Governor also passed a law that reduces the number of straw purchases made across state lines and prevents people from purhasing guns for those who can't legally own them.

Now Governor Pritzker has signed a new gun control bill into law. House Bill 4383 makes possessing or selling unmarked, iuntraceable “ghost guns.” Illinois is currently the only Midwest state to ban these weapons.

Ghost guns are becoming an increasing menace in Illinois as their popularity grows. Anyone is capable of making a ghost gun with a 3D printers or a "do it yourself" kit. A quick internet search reveals kits or 3D printing patterns for a number of guns including Glock, Sig Sauer, Stealth Arms, Colt M1911 semiautomatic guns and a number of tactical weapons that you can assemble or print in your garage for under $300 each. 

Opponents of the ban say the law doesn't target the majority of illegal target weapons in circulation in the state but it does significantly effect numerous hobbyists and collectors who enjoy making their own firearms as a crafting activity.

“This is a favorite hobby of America. These people are not committing any crimes,” said Richard Pearson, president of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

When signing the bill into law, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, “A child should not be able to build an AR-15 Like they're building a toy truck. A convicted domestic abuser should not be able to evade scrutiny by using a 3D printer to make a gun.”

The Illinois law will go into effect in six months. After this, anyone in possession of a gun kit or gun without a serial number will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor if it is the first offense. Additional offenses will Class 3 felonies. Anyone found selling either the unmarked ghost guns or kits for making them will be charged with a Class 2 felony.

Current owners of ghost guns will be required to have a registration number engraved onto them. The law doesn't apply to firearms that have been made permanently inoperable.

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