3D printing introduced an exciting new world for inventors and other entrepreneurs. These incredible machines put fabrication into the hands of people who only dreamed of creating new gadgets.
However, along with the good also came the bad. In addition to useful tools, it was not long before 3D printer owners developed plans to create unserialized firearms, known as “ghost guns.” Now, Governor Pritzker has signed legislation to control these weapons.
Here’s what you should know about the new law and how it impacts ghost guns.
What are ghost guns, exactly?
Typically, during firearm production, a gun will be serialized. Then, when someone purchases the gun, the serial number is recorded as part of the transaction creating a record of the purchase.
When someone uses a 3D printer to build a gun, they can create a weapon that does not have a serial number. Without the serial number, these firearms become difficult to track if someone uses one to commit a crime.
Ghost guns tend to be less expensive and easier to obtain. In most cases, the person selling a ghost gun may not go through the ordinary process of verifying that the purchaser is eligible to purchase the firearm.
How will the new legislation change things?
The bill that Governor Pritzker signed earlier this year will make it illegal to sell or possess ghost guns. The legislation attempts to go after ghost guns on both the sale and ownership sides of the issue.
For those who currently own ghost guns, the bill allows 180 days to have the weapon serialized to conform with the new law.