Pennsylvania 'Ghost Gun' Bill a Waste of Time

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

So-called ghost guns are much demonized and maligned, but the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of them aren't in criminal hands. From what little context we actually have along with the rampant alarmism, it's pretty clear that companies that sell the parts for such firearms couldn't stay in business on just criminals buying them.

They'd have shut down in no time flat.

What's more, we also know that criminals are going to get guns no matter what. If you manage to stop one supply source, they'll just get them via another.

It's not like bad guys were known for having trouble getting guns illegal before "ghost guns" were a thing, after all.

But Pennsylvania's House just passed a bill that makes it clear the anti-gunners in the state haven't thought anything through in that regard.

A proposal to ban the purchase, sale and production of untraceable gun parts passed the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives on Wednesday, with Democrats in the House using their majority to propel gun control after years of stagnation in a divided state government.

The legislation passed the House 104-97, with almost all Democrats and three Republicans voting in favor of it.

The bill will likely face a cold reception in the GOP-controlled state Senate, which has not taken up gun control measures advanced by the House this session.

So-termed “ghost guns” are firearms that don’t have serial numbers, making them difficult to trace. The measure would criminalize the sale of firearms or firearm parts without serial numbers. Anyone who purchases a gun or gun part — such as a mufflers or silencer — that lacks a serial number would also face felony charges.

At least six other states have passed similar legislation, said the bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Philadelphia.

“I want to go on record in saying: In this body, for far too long, we constantly focus on singularly going after bad actors once the crimes are committed,” she said. “This bill is an opportunity to get in front of this issue like so many other states.”

The bill is part of a package of gun control reform measures Democrats have pursued since taking the majority in 2023. They passed a slate of measures, including an assault rifle ban, out of committee in January, which still require a floor vote. Other measures sent to the state Senate have halted.

The good news is that with GOP control of the Senate, it's not likely to actually pass, and that's a good thing.

See, the issue here is that bans on homemade firearms don't actually stop criminals from getting guns, particularly if the regulation is at the state level. These aren't considered firearms, after all, so if they purchase them in a state where they're legal, and then transport them into Pennsylvania, they've circumvented the law without a great deal of difficulty.

But the law-abiding citizens who happen to enjoy building their own guns as a hobby or just because they can are the ones who run into problems.

Yet those are the very people who don't represent an issue. They're not criminals. They're not the ones deserving of punishment.

The truth is that Pennsylvania Democrats don't really care about right and wrong. They're pushing an agenda and they expect Republicans to bow down and kiss their feet because their cause is righteous or something.

That's not going to happen.

So far, there's been a stalemate in the Keystone State, and that's good.

What would be better is for Democrats to start realizing this isn't a winning issue for them. They can keep pushing if they want, but it would serve them right to get their faces pushed in (proverbially) in the next election.

Frankly, that would be hilarious to watch, though there's zero chance of them learning from it.