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Denver City Council Prohibits Ghost Guns — Colorado Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Applaud Historic Commitment to Gun Safety


The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Denver City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the possession and purchase of ghost guns – unserialized, untraceable homemade firearms, the building blocks of which can be obtained without a background check. The ordinance marks the first action by a Colorado locality to strengthen local gun violence protections since the state’s preemption law was repealed in 2021, giving local governments the authority to pass gun safety measures in their communities. 

“We applaud the Denver City Council for taking this critical and historic step forward – and we’re grateful to our state legislature for reinstating their power to do so,” said Rachel Barnes, a resident of Denver and volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Ghost guns are dangerous, impossible to trace, and too easy to obtain without a background check – and don’t belong in our communities. This local ordinance, the first of its kind in Colorado, will keep ghost guns out of our city and give local law enforcement officers the tools they need to better protect the Denver community from gun violence. All local governments in our state should follow suit.”

Ghost guns are one of the fastest-growing gun safety problems facing our country. Ghost guns are impossible to trace, and across the country, law enforcement officers are recovering increasing numbers of homemade, unserialized guns from people who are legally prohibited from having guns. Nearly 2,500 ghost guns were connected to criminal activity in 102 federal cases over the past decade. ATF officials recently estimated that approximately 10,000 ghost guns were recovered across the U.S. in 2019.  

In 2021, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed SB21-256 into law, which repealed the state’s burdensome preemption law, allowing local governments to adopt locally tailored solutions to gun violence and regulate where concealed handguns may be carried. The Denver City Council’s historic ghost gun prohibition marks the first time a municipality in Colorado has passed an ordinance strengthening local gun safety laws after preemption was repealed.  

More information about ghost guns is available here.