House approves ban on undetectable and untraceable firearms

OLYMPIA – The Washington State House of Representatives approved a ban on undetectable and untraceable firearms today by a vote of 57-39.

House Bill 1739, sponsored by Rep. Javier Valdez, D-Seattle, would make it illegal to manufacture, buy, sell, or possess an undetectable firearm in most circumstances.

“This is a major public safety concern we know is on the horizon,” said Valdez. “Lawmakers must get out ahead of this problem before it’s too late.”

Untraceable and undetectable firearms are also referred to as “ghost guns” since they do not have serial numbers and may not contain enough metal components to be picked up by common metal detectors.

“Allowing 3D guns into our communities will fundamentally change society forever,” said Valdez. “I certainly don’t want to be on a commercial flight or at a sporting event knowing the person behind me could be carrying a plastic gun.”

There were 849 firearm deaths in Washington state in 2017, and nearly 40,000 firearm deaths nationwide, according to the CDC.

The issue of 3D guns is currently in litigation at the national level. In 2015, the Obama administration took action to prevent the online distribution of 3D gun blueprints. That action was overturned in 2018 by the current administration.

Several state attorneys general, including Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, have sued the Trump administration in an attempt to prevent the distribution of 3D gun blueprints online.

HB 1739 will now go to the Senate for consideration. The 2019 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn for the year on April 28.