Denver City Council votes to outlaw ghost guns, which can be assembled at home and are untraceable

Ghost guns are one step closer to becoming illegal after Denver City Council voted on Monday to ban them. The bill now heads to the mayor’s desk for a signature.

City Attorney Kristin Bronson speaks during a COVID-19 update in the City and County Building's Parr-Widener Room. May 5, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

City Attorney Kristin Bronson speaks during a COVID-19 update in the City and County Building's Parr-Widener Room. May 5, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Ghost guns — untraceable firearms that can be assembled at home through kits bought online — are one step closer to becoming illegal after Denver City Council voted on Monday to ban them.

Technically, the bill makes it unlawful in Denver to create, carry, transport, discharge and sell guns that don’t have serial numbers, which ghost guns do not have. The bill was sponsored by Denver city attorney Kristin Bronson, who told lawmakers last month the bill would close a loophole in the city’s gun laws. She noted the country has seen an increase in ghost gun use over the past several years, and in Denver, about 2% of guns confiscated in the city since 2019 have been ghost guns.

Breaking the law could result in forfeiture of the gun, a fine of up to $999, and up to 300 days in jail. The bill goes into effect immediately after Mayor Michael Hancock signs it into law. It passed Council by a 10-1 vote, with Councilmember Candi CdeBaca as the lone no vote. She did not say why she opposed the bill.

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