State Senate approves measure aimed at banning ghost guns; bill now heads to Assembly

Originally published in News 12 Long Island

The state Senate voted Wednesday in favor of a measure that would ban so-called ghost guns.

Sen. Anna Kaplan says she has an agreement with the Assembly to pass the Scott Beigel Unfinished Receiver Law.

The bill is named in honor of Scott Beigel, a Long Island native who died in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.

The measure, which would make it illegal to possess and sell an unfinished gun part that doesn't have a serial number, was passed by a vote of 43-20.

"This bill will close a very dangerous loophole," says Kaplan. "It will ensure that anyone who wants to purchase a gun or a firearm to go through a background check. And the gun or the firearm they're obtaining has to have a serial number. Simple."

Linda Beigel Schulman, Scott's mother, says there is no reason for anyone to have a ghost gun.

Gary Hungerford, firearms chairman of Suffolk Alliance of Sportsmen, Inc., says, "The derogatory term of ghost gun is a politically based and intentionally derogatory bit of nonsense. That phrase is being used in an attempt to scare people."

Andy Chernoff, of Coliseum Gun Traders, says he's not opposed to the measure.

"If you're a legitimate person, you don't mind having a serial number on the frame," says Chernoff.

The measure now moves to the Assembly for a vote. Assemblyman Charles Lavine tells News 12 in a statement, "I am very confident this matter will be passed on the floor of the Assembly this session."

The session ends June 10.

If the bill passes the Assembly, it will go into effect 120 days after it's signed by the governor.