DENVER — Colorado lawmakers' effort to get "ghost guns" off the streets has progressed through the state legislature.
Senate Bill 23-279, a proposal to ban them passed the Colorado Senate Friday. The House Judiciary Committee plans to hear the bill Tuesday.
The term ghost guns is used to describe firearms that lack serial numbers, making them easy to access and difficult to trace.
The prevalence of these types of firearms has grown in recent years. They can be made using a 3D printer and can have no serial numbers making them untraceable.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (the ATF) said law enforcement seized over 20,000 ghost guns in 2022 from crime scenes.
In Colorado, district attorneys said they're seeing more criminals using ghost guns, including the Club Q shooting suspect in Colorado Springs.
State Senator Rhonda Fields introduced a bill that would make it illegal to make, possess or sell ghost guns in Colorado.
"We're seeing an increased use of ghost guns by criminals because you don't have to have a background check. So it's a way for them to undermine and evade what is required to own a gun," said Sen. Fields, "and you can make 'em in your basement. You can have these kits sent to your home and you can avoid the police. No one knows you have them. And if you're wanna harm someone or even yourself, this is the weapon that's becoming a a, a weapon of choice for for many."
Violations would range from a misdemeanor for the first offense to a Class 5 Felony for repeated offenses. For Coloradans who already own a ghost gun, they would have to get a licensed dealer to serialize it and undergo a background check by January 1.