Delaware lawmakers aim to outlaw "ghost guns"

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Democratic lawmakers in Delaware have introduced legislation to outlaw so-called "ghost guns" that can't be traced by law enforcement officials.

The bill introduced on Thursday makes it a felony to possess or manufacture an untraceable firearm.

It also criminalizes "covert firearms" designed to not resemble a firearm, as well as "undetectable" firearms made of nonmetal substances so as not to set off metal detectors.

"Ghost guns" is a term used to describe homemade weapons constructed from component parts that do not have serial numbers or other identifying markings that can enable authorities to identify their manufacture, sale, or original owner.

Under federal law, only the receiver, a component of a gun which houses the firing mechanism, is considered a firearm. But the law allows individuals to bypass criminal background checks required for firearm purchases by buying "unfinished" receivers, which do not have serial numbers and can be made fully functional with additional machine or tool work.

The bill makes possession of an unfinished firearm frame or receiver with no serial number a felony.