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Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum testified before the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee on April 2 in support of stronger guns laws, specifically creating stronger regulations of untraceable “3D-printed” firearms and other “ghost guns,” said a press release. Senate Bill 978 is the legislature’s omnibus gun bill and focuses on safe storage and transfer of guns, gun liability, outlawing untraceable guns, regulating firearms in public buildings, and creating a minimum age for certain firearm sales.

Specifically, the legislation would require all individuals who build 3D-printed or other “ghost guns” to pass a background check and require all of these guns to have a serial number, said a press release.

“Like many of you, I am increasingly concerned about the growing incidents of undetectable and untraceable guns that can be built with a 3D printer, or by purchasing the physical parts and using a few common tools, to build your own ‘ghost gun,’” Rosenblum said. “What I am talking about is a person who can build a semi-automatic weapon all in the privacy of their own home. And the scariest part? Both of these classifications of guns have no serial number, do not require a background check, and there is no way they can be traced by law enforcement.”

A 3D-printed gun is made using a 3D printer, with the instructions typically being downloaded online, according to a press release. Ghost guns can also be assembled at home using parts purchased from internet websites, including firearms such as the AR-15. Neither a 3D-printed gun, nor a home assembled ghost gun, have serial numbers and their users do not have to pass a background check, said a press release. For example, an individual can purchase an unmilled lower receiver of a firearm, which just requires additional home milling in order to become a functional firearm. The individual would need a home drill and other tools to make their own AR-15, or another untraceable weapon.

During her testimony, Rosenblum described watching a video of how to build an untraceable AR-15 with unregulated parts purchased over the internet. “Even I could do it,” she said.

“Ghost guns are a real and dangerous menace, and allow individuals to lawfully purchase or manufacture a firearm despite a prior violent felony, all without a background check or serial number,” Rosenblum said. “Senate Bill 978 closes this dangerous loophole by imposing the established background check requirements and serialization expectations on both 3-D printed firearms and unfinished receivers. It also enhances expectations of safety by outlawing the possession of any firearm built to avoid metal detectors.  These are important and common sense protections that will enhance our public safety, and I urge the Oregon legislature to support this bill.”

In 2018, Rosenblum and 20 other Attorneys General successfully sued the U.S. Department of State to block the Trump Administration from reversing their rules that would have allowed downloadable 3D-printed gun tutorials to be made available online, said a press release. The U.S. District Court in Washington issued a nationwide injunction to stop the federal government from allowing online users to post instructions.

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