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Lawmakers in Annapolis hold hearing on ghost guns

Posted at 6:06 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 18:10:52-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — As crime and violence in our state continues to rise, lawmakers are looking for ideas to reverse that trend.

On Wednesday, house lawmakers held a hearing about ghost guns, more of which are showing up in the state and being used in violent crimes.

Delegate Lesley Lopez has worked on these bills for the last four years and says the increased violence brought an urgency to this matter.

"We're seeing so many shootings involving them and they're becoming the norm. This isn't a coincidence anymore," Lopez said.

The bill would make it illegal to sell, possess or lend someone a gun or the lower receiver of a gun that does not have a serial number on it.

The lower receiver is the part of the gun with the trigger and firing mechanism on it. Lopez says this will not stop people from building them, they just need to have a serial number on them.

"It does not banish the sale of unfinished receivers or kits in anyway. It simply requires that manufacturers serialize these things so we have a way of tracing these things and it comes into the system," Lopez said.

Those against the bill say if the law is passed, someone can just remove the serial number the same way they do to guns now. Lawmakers say even if gun owners have a ghost gun now, all they have to do is have an identifying number put on the gun and register it.

Some of the people speaking for the bill on the virtual hearing were Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and States Attorney Brian Frosh and they all say they want to make Maryland a safer state.

Eight other states and Washington DC have some legislation for ghost guns.