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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2022 11:13 AM
From: Senator Vincent J. Hughes and Sen. Wayne D. Fontana
To: All Senate members
Subject: 3D-printed Firearms and Undetectable Firearms
In the near future we plan on reintroducing two pieces of legislation relating to 3D-printed and undetectable firearms.
Both 3D-printed firearms and untraceable firearms, or “ghost guns,” are firearms assembled by an individual at home that lack many of the standard safety features of a traditional firearm, such as serial numbers and parts making them detectable by a metal detector.  Without adequate safeguards in place, 3D-printed firearms and ghost guns are untraceable, undetectable and readily available.
Our legislation would address the lack of safeguards in untraceable and undetectable firearms.
We hope you will join us in sponsoring these pieces of legislation.
Please contact our offices if you have any questions.

Document #1

Introduced as SB48

Description: This legislation will be a reintroduction of Senate Bill 413 from last session.
Several police departments have expressed concern about the dangers 3D-printed firearms pose. 3D-printed firearms are untraceable and lack identifying features commonly found on firearms, such as a serial number.
The proposal amends Title 18 to ensure 3D-printed firearms are subject to the Uniform Firearm Act and would ensure a 3D-printed firearm is considered a firearm for purposes of Title 18. In addition, our legislation would prohibit anyone from printing a firearm without a license from the Federal Government to manufacture firearms.

Document #2

Introduced as SB49

Description: This legislation will be a reintroduction of Senate Bill 414 from last session. The legislation would amend the Uniform Firearm Act to make it crystal clear that an undetectable firearm or a “ghost gun” is a firearm.
In 2019, the Attorney General announced a legal opinion that found 80% receivers were considered a firearm for purposes of the Uniform Firearm Act.  During the announcement of that opinion, the General noted that his office had recovered more than 100 untraceable, unserialized firearms in Philadelphia alone.  These types of firearms have quickly become a dangerous threat to the public and in particular law enforcement.
From 2019 to 2020, the number of recovered ghost guns in the City of Philadelphia jumped from 95 to 250.  In 2021, 571 ghost guns were recovered, more than double the previous year.  Estimates from the Philadelphia Police Department expect the 2022 numbers to continue to climb through the end of 2022.
Similar to 3D-printed firearms, undetectable firearms lack standard safety features, such as a serial number, and are typically not subject to background checks.
Our legislation would amend Title 18 to ensure that an 80% receiver is considered a “firearm” for purposes of the Uniform Firearm Act.