Pa. AG Shapiro asks Congress to regulate homemade firearm parts

Written by on May 12, 2021

 Pa. AG Shapiro asks Congress to regulate homemade firearm parts

By Sam Dunklau / WITF

May 12, 2021

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro walks to the podium during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro says Congress should more strongly regulate parts used to make homemade firearms, also known as ‘ghost guns.’

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The state’s top law enforcement officer told a U.S. Senate panel that Philadelphia police have found more than 200 of the untraceable guns at crime scenes this year, double the number in all of 2019.

Shapiro told the U.S Senate subcommittee individual parts should have traceable serial numbers, and anyone who buys them should undergo a background check:

“This is common sense. We know these kits can be fully-functioning firearms in minutes. We know they’re being used to kill people on the streets of our communities, and this body has the power to do something about it.”

Shapiro says too many end up in dangerous hands because the parts, also untraceable,  can be easily bought and assembled without a background check.

“While my office has made great strides and experienced success operationally in getting these firearms off the street, law enforcement cannot keep up with the supply,” Shapiro says. 

Earlier this year, one of the state’s biggest gun show promoters agreed to ban its vendors from selling homemade firearm parts.

Plus, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it wants to regulate the parts the same as guns.

Shapiro says if Congress makes that change, police could make sure they don’t end up in the wrong hands.

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