Congressman Honda's Homemade Firearms Accountability Act Closes Gun Loophole
Washington, DC – Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA17) yesterday introduced a bill that ensures that regulations and safeguards already in place for firearm purchases extend to weapons that are self-assembled or manufactured at home.
“The laws should be the same for the gun you buy and the gun you make,” Congressman Honda said. “Our system of background checks and registrations are in place to ensure public safety. There’s absolutely no reason these checks and registrations should apply to guns made by a licensed manufacturer, but not apply to other, equally dangerous, weapons.”
This legislation responds to recent crimes and violent actions involving the use of homemade firearms, including a deadly bank robbery this July in Stockton, CA that left three dead, and the mass shooting in Santa Monica, CA last June at the hands of John Zawahri. In addition, this legislation responds to the growing black market for homemade firearms, as seen in recent federal investigations and raids that have led to the seizure of large stockpiles of illegal weapons.
Gun safety experts point to the growing popularity of incomplete lower receivers, which are easily purchased and converted into functioning firearms, and the emergence of additive manufacturing (3D printing) to produce firearms, as two major factors that have led to concerns about the increasing supply of untraceable firearms in circulation. Firearms that are homemade are currently not required to bear serial numbers or unique markings, making them impossible to trace back to perpetrators when used in the commission of a crime. There are also currently no federal background check requirements in place, such as those that apply to firearms purchases, to keep homemade firearms out of the hands of prohibited persons.
This legislation has been endorsed by the Violence Policy Center, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its California chapters.
“Emerging technologies, like 3D printed guns, are largely unregulated and have been deemed a threat by law enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)," said Brian Malte, Senior National Policy Director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "We applaud Rep. Honda for introducing legislation to regulate these homemade and self assembled guns to protect public safety."
“The bill will simply ensure that homemade firearms are subject to the same safeguards as guns made by licensed manufacturers,” said Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center. “We know that homemade guns have been used in a mass shooting in Santa Monica, CA in 2013 that left five innocent people dead, and in the killing of at least one police officer. The parts needed to build an untraceable homemade gun are readily available at gun shows and on the Internet. Now is the time to bring homemade guns under the same laws that apply to all other new firearms.”
This bill has been introduced with Representatives Henry Waxman, Karen Bass, Eric Swalwell, Barbara Lee, Alan Lowenthal, John Conyers, Jan Schakowsky, Raul Grijalva, and David Cicilline.
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