Washington – Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04) and Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie Thompson introduced legislation to enhance the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) response to the threat posed by ghost guns. Ghost guns are unregistered, untraceable weapons—making them highly desirable to felons, terrorists, and other bad actors. Since 2016, there has been a more than 10-fold increase in ghost gun seizures in the U.S.
The Bolstering Security Against Ghost Guns Act (H.R. 5460) directs DHS to assess how ghost guns impact homeland security, develop a strategy to address the threat, and collaborate with its Federal, State, and local partners. It would also bolster counter-ghost gun operations across key DHS components, including the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Ghost guns are untraceable firearms built and assembled at home and pose a significant threat to our communities and law enforcement,” said Congressman Mike Thompson. “Proud to introduce legislation with Rep. Bennie Thompson to require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a strategy to address the proliferation of ghost guns and help keep our communities safe.”
“With mass shootings on the rise, untraceable and unregistered ghost guns are a clear and present danger to our communities,” said Congressman Bennie Thompson. “Local law enforcement cannot manage this homeland security threat alone. That’s why I am introducing this legislation today – it directs DHS to focus on the threat posed by ghost guns as their availability could be exploited by terrorists and other bad actors to carry out attacks in our communities.”
This legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, Yvette Clarke, Donald Payne, Jr., Dina Titus, Eric Swalwell, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Lou Correa, Troy Carter, Shri Thanedar, Seth Magaziner, Glenn Ivey, Dan Goldman, Robert Garcia, Delia C. Ramirez, and Rob Menendez.
It has been endorsed by Brady: United Against Gun Violence, GIFFORDS, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“Ghost guns pose a clear and present danger to our communities and our country by circumventing all of our nation’s gun laws. Furthermore, the threat posed by ghost guns extends not just to public safety, but to our nation's security, and the agencies charged with protecting our homeland have few strategies and little research to prevent these firearms from being used to carry out a national tragedy. Brady applauds Representative Thompson for introducing The Bolstering Security Against Ghost Guns Act to better protect Americans from targeted violence and terrorism.” – Kris Brown, President of Brady: United Against Gun Violence.
“The threat of unregistered and untraceable guns does not only pose a significant threat to the public, but it also puts law enforcement personnel at a potentially deadly disadvantage. It is important that DHS maintains focused awareness to the homeland security threat that ghost guns pose.” – John Letteney, President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“Ghost guns are a dangerously attractive source of weaponry for people who would otherwise be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. The increasingly frequent appearance of ghost guns at crime scenes is evident of their enormous threat to public safety. We applaud Ranking Member Thompson and Rep. Mike Thompson for introducing the Bolstering Security Against Ghost Guns Act to improve coordination and prevention efforts to ensure that ghost guns are not used in acts of violence, including terrorism, and we urge Congress to pass this bill quickly.” – Adzi Vokhiwa, Federal Affairs Director for GIFFORDS.