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Durbin Delivers Remarks in Hearing on Ghost Guns

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered an opening statement during a Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing entitled “Stop Gun Violence: Ghost Guns.”  Durbin expressed his support for taking action to rein in the proliferation of untraceable ghost guns, which are currently being sold without background checks and are increasingly being used in shootings and recovered at crime scenes.  Last week, the Department of Justice announced a proposed rulemaking that would close loopholes in federal law to address the proliferation of these weapons.

Ghost guns are firearms that can be assembled at home from “do-it-yourself” kits that can be bought online, and that do not have a serial number or record of sale and thus are untraceable by law enforcement.  Ghost gun kits are sold without background checks, which makes them easy to obtain by criminals and others who are prohibited by law from gun possession.  According to the Department of Justice, more than 23,000 ghost guns were reported recovered by law enforcement from potential crime scenes between 2016-2020. 

Key Quotes:

“We live in a brand new world now. Over the internet, you can buy these so-called kits to make your own gun, so-called ghost guns…and that’s what the Blumenthal bill is all about. Closing a loophole in the law that allows anyone to avoid the necessity of having a serial number on a firearm.”

“Hang on tight when you listen to the witnesses here. They’re going to give you chapter and verse of cities and counties across the United States where these ghost guns, without serial numbers, untraceable, are being confiscated in the commission of crime. Deadly, violent crime.”

“I think it’s not too much to ask, even for the hobbyist, that whatever they’re purchasing have a serial number and comply with the federal law.”

“The notion that we would have a proliferation of untraceable homemade guns – and that is in the best interest of our nation? I beg to differ.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.