Law banning ‘ghost guns’ starts Wednesday

FILE - This Nov. 27, 2019, file photo shows "ghost guns" on display at the headquarters of the San Francisco Police Department in San Francisco. The Biden administration is expected to come out within days with its long-awaited ghost gun rule. The aim is to rein in privately made firearms without serial numbers. They're increasingly cropping up at crime scenes across the U.S. Three people familiar with the matter tell The Associated Press the rule could be released as soon as Monday, April 11,2022. They could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity. (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)(AP/Haven Daley)

Starting on Wednesday, “ghost guns” are illegal in Maryland and those who already own them now have a deadline to have them registered in Maryland.

This new law requires personal identification numbers for all unserialized firearms and unfinished frames and receivers, commonly referred to as 80% lowers (ghost guns) or build kits.

Starting on Wednesday, all firearms must be imprinted with a serial number or personal identification number before a person can sell, offer to sell or transfer a firearm.

And those who get these guns and parts through inheritance, after June 1, will be required to comply with the above marking requirement by the 30th day after inheriting the firearms.

Beginning June 1, 2022, a person who currently owns these guns, will be required to have each marked with a personal identification number. The deadline to complete this new requirement is March 1.

The registration can be obtained by any Federal Firearms Licensee authorized to provide marking services in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.

“Unfinished Frame or Receiver” is defined as “a forged, cast, printed, extruded, or machined body or similar article that has reached a stage in manufacture where it may readily be completed, assembled, or converted to be used as the frame or receiver of a functional firearm,” according to the description in the law.

Firearms being marked are required to be registered with the Maryland State Police via the Licensing Portal and will be subject to a full background investigation, according to the law.

Violators of the law are subject to a penalty of up to two years of prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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