March 6, 2020 | Press Release

Recent Votes on Guns and Public Safety

Council Votes on Emergency Measures to Help Get Illegal or Dangerous Weapons off the Street

The Extreme Risk Protection Order Implementation Working Group Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2020 (LINK) recognizes that the gun violence epidemic is unacceptable and preventable, and will formally coordinate the efforts of District agencies, federal partners, firearms safety experts, and community members to implement my red flag law, which allows community members to alert law enforcement when someone is planning to use a gun against someone else or themselves, so that it can be removed. 

The Ghost Guns Prohibition Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2020 (LINK):

  • The term “ghost gun” may be used to refer generally to guns that are undetectable, untraceable, or both. It includes firearms built to avoid detection, missing serial numbers, able to be manufactured using 3-D printers and other cutting-edge technology, or able to be manufactured or assembled through commercially available kits and without the expenditure of substantial time and effort. 
  • Undetectable guns pose an imminent threat to public safety because they may thwart security screening systems and endanger people, particularly in any building or at any event requiring visitors to be screened to gain entrance. 
  • They are also readily available to individuals prohibited from purchasing or possessing a commercially manufactured firearm, and untraceable gun trafficking occurs outside the scope of existing background checks, serial numbering, waiting periods, manufacturing quality control, and other established means of firearm regulation. 
  • As part of its longstanding and common-sense gun regulation policy, the District prohibits the unlicensed manufacturing, sale, or possession of firearms, and as such, District law contains prohibitions that could be applied to ghost guns but need to be explicitly applicable. 
  • In just one year, between 2018 and 2019, the District saw a 364 percent increase in the recovery of ghost guns. In 2017, the Metropolitan Police Department recovered only three ghost guns in the District; in 2018, 25 ghost guns were recovered; and in 2019, 116 ghost guns were recovered. 
  • In just the first six weeks of this year, 28 ghost guns have already been recovered. 
  • The types of ghost guns recovered in the District include handguns and rifles, including assault weapons such as AR-15s. There is an immediate need to clarify that District law prohibits the manufacture, sale, and possession of untraceable or undetectable firearms in order to protect the lives of residents, workers, and visitors. 


I will not desist from ending violence in our community. I encourage those who have not had the chance to do so to review the conversation we had at my January public safety meeting about all the resources we as a government are committing to public safety: https://bit.ly/39ljOGF

I am always available to talk with residents about their public safety concerns. Please reach out to me directly at any time at bnadeau@dccouncil.us. I do not regularly monitor list serves and may miss your message if you are trying to reach me there.