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Moms Demand Action, Everytown Applaud Legislation to Prohibit Ghost Guns, Named in Honor of Victims of Gun Violence

February 14, 2020

The New York chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statements after lawmakers named recently introduced gun safety legislation in honor of two victims of gun violence. Together, the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act and the Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receivers Act would prohibit the manufacturing of ghost guns and expressly ban the sale and possession of unfinished receivers.

“Since my brother’s death, it’s been my mission to turn something no one should ever experience into a catalyst for change,” said Nathalie Arzu, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network, whose brother, Jose Webster, was shot and killed just blocks from their home in 2011. “We can’t bring Jose back, and I have to live with that every single day. But seeing my lawmakers recognize my family’s pain and respond with common-sense legislation means we’re one step closer to preventing someone else from going through what we have.”

“This is honoring Nathalie’s late brother with action,” said June Rubin, a volunteer with New York chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Prohibiting people from assembling their own guns from unserialized parts should be a no-brainer. We look forward to seeing this legislation advance, and we thank our lawmakers for their continuing dedication to gun violence prevention.”

Both bills were introduced and named by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, along with Senator Anna Kaplan and Assembly Member Charles Lavine.

The Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act was named in honor of Jose Webster, who was shot and killed just 10 days after his 16th birthday. His sister, Nathalie Arzu, is a volunteer with the New York chapter of Moms Demand Action and member of the Everytown Survivor Network. Read more of their story at Moments That Survive.

The Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receivers Act was named after a victim of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s Teacher of the Year. Today marks two years since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were shot and killed and 17 more were wounded. 

Ghost guns are do-it-yourself firearms, often built using unfinished receivers and parts and kits that – as seen in a New York Times investigation – can be acquired without a background check. These unfinished receivers, as well as rapidly-advancing 3D-printing technology, make it easy for people who are legally prohibited from purchasing firearms to evade background check laws and build their own deadly weapons. Because these DIY firearms aren’t marked with serial numbers, they cannot be traced by law enforcement if they’re used to commit crimes. 3D-printing technology can also produce all-plastic firearms that are invisible to metal detectors.

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