CHICAGO (WMBD) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation, Wednesday morning, restricting the sale and possession of unserialized firearms, also known as “ghost guns.”
The governor stood side by side with Chicago leaders, advocates, and state law makers before putting pen to paper and banning the firearms in the state of Illinois.
“Ghost guns are deadly weapons with horrifying implications,” Pritzker said. “These are unregistered guns with no serial numbers that are often made at home or assembled from kits purchased online.”
Ghost guns cannot be traced by conventional means and can be created on a 3-D printer, leaving no record of their ownership.
Pritzker said more than 20,000 ghost guns were involved in criminal investigations nationwide in 2021. He also said these guns are falling into the hands of more children and they allow criminals to skirt background checks.
“A child should not be able to build an AR-15 like they’re building a toy truck,” Pritzker said. “A convicted domestic abuser should not be able to evade scrutiny by using a 3-D printer to make a gun.”
In late April, Peoria police Chief Eric Echevarria said about 7 ghost guns were found in Peoria since the start of 2021, making it hard to investigate their origin.
“You can’t trace them,” Echevarria said. “You don’t know where they originated from, who used it, who had it, who owned it.”
In Bloomington, officers said there have been about three ghost guns found in the past year.
According to the new law, anyone who sells or transfers a ghost gun can be found guilty of a Class 4 felony for the first violation, and a Class 2 felony for following violations.
Anyone who is also found possessing or receiving a ghost gun can be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first violation, and a Class 3 felony for following violations.
Brandt Parsley, the public information officer for the Bloomington Police Department, said hopefully the consequences from the new legislation should deter people from creating ghost guns.
“A lot of people that would potentially build these could possible be people that own guns legally.” Parsley said. “Regular guns and if you get charged with a felony you’re right to own a firearm goes away.”
Police said the law would ensure offenders face consequences for having and selling them as well as save lives.
Watch the full press conference below: