Are Ghost Guns Legal in Rhode Island

Ghost weapons cannot be found because they do not have the serial numbers normally used to track firearms. Weapons are often made from parts – or whole kits – purchased online. Leonardo Tavares was sitting in a car when he was targeted in the car shooting, according to police. Neronha says the victim was killed with a 9mm Polymer80 Glock-style ghost gun. Possession of a ghost gun: A Providence man sentenced to 14 years in prison for shooting in Washington Park Ronald Armand Andruchuk, 37, was arrested on Feb. 24 after firing shots into his neighbors` yard and over the heads of Burrillville police officers. He has been investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for buying masses of firearms since July, despite a history of drug use. Traffic control had led to a search, the discovery of a Polymer80 ghost gun on the ground under the passenger seat and the arrest of a masked young man. Theoretically, after dropping an unnumbered weapon, a shooter can disappear – like a ghost – to reappear elsewhere in the future armed with another ghost gun.

But police and prosecutors say this version of the AR-15 had ghostly features that set it apart from its cousins and siblings. He had been a substitute teacher at Providence and an unlicensed consultant at the DaVinci Centre in Cranston, but he told gun dealers that he had made a lot of money in cryptocurrency, according to court records. And that his new hobby was gun ownership. Last month, Jerardy Cruz was sentenced to five years in prison after failing to report the possession and manufacture of a ghost gun. Police issued an arrest warrant for his home in Providence last year, saying they found him building a ghost gun with a hand drill. Police said they seized a 9mm Polymer80 pistol and seven ghost gun kits from the same company. « I have 50 in front of me, » says the former US prosecutor. « Fifty. Five-zero. They are not only in Providence. You are in Tiverton. Newport.

State police have made arrests. These weapons are purchased throughout the state. Within days, the gun was at the Providence police firing range, where officers from the division`s weapons unit fired ghost guns as part of a trial. « Ghost guns are a growing public safety issue in the community and for our officers, » Hugh Clements, colonel of the Providence Police Department, said in an interview with Target 12 as he stood in front of several tables filled with dozens of ghost guns his officers had seized over the past two years. « Untraceable firearms, called `ghost guns`, have become the weapon of choice for those involved in drug trafficking and other criminal activities, » said Cranston Police Chief Michael Winquist. « These weapons pose a serious threat to public safety. I commend the officers and dispatchers of the Cranston Police Service who cooperated with the investigation and safely arrested the armed suspect. I would also like to thank the legislators who passed the law to combat these dangerous weapons and the prosecutors who obtained a conviction and a prison sentence. In this case, the weapon was in good hands from the street.

Neronha and others, including Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist, wonder how many other banned ghost guns remain in the hands of Rhode Island criminals. A review of Target 12`s judicial data between 2020 and this summer shows that 59 people have been charged with a total of 72 ghost gun offenses. And Neronha and Clements agree that they`ve only scratched the surface, as the weapons are still relatively new compared to more traditional firearms with serial numbers. Ronald Andruchuk, a 38-year-old man from Burrillville, is accused of illegally amassing an arsenal of weapons, including an AR-15 ghost pistol and an unmarked receiver for an AR-15. Rhode Island passed a law in 2020 banning the manufacture, transfer, purchase, or possession of plastic, fiberglass, or 3D printed weapons, as well as ghost guns, untraceable weapons, and undetectable weapons. Ghost guns are firearms with no serial number required by the Federal Firearms Control Act of 1968. In 2018, Roman had guns he had to lose after a guilty verdict for a drug trafficking offense, according to records. Federal authorities created a new rule earlier this year, which went into effect last month and now requires all locally manufactured weapons to have a serial number. All buyers must go through a background check in accordance with the rule.

The AR-15 at the scene of last summer`s domestic attack in Providence was among an unknown number of such weapons that have fallen into the hands of local criminals in recent years, according to Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha. A federal prosecutor argues that a Burrillville man who had stored more than 200 firearms would find a way to acquire more firearms if he were released — because he also made ghost guns. Neronha and others who want to eliminate ghost guns have been optimistic lately: A federal law passed in April went into effect last week, making it illegal to sell certain ghost gun parts without a serial number. In July, Nicholas Daly of North Kingstown advocated for ghost guns to be made at home using a 3D printer. He was later charged with bringing the firearms to work and showing them. Amid rising gun violence, President Biden unveils « basic common sense rules » targeting ghost guns The 3D-printed weapons were copies of the 9mm Glock 17 semi-automatic handgun, according to prosecutors. Illegal guns are still a minority of all street-fired guns, but Neronha said ghost guns have become increasingly popular because in the past they could be bought so easily online.

Court records reviewed by Target 12 show that the vast majority of firearms are ordered in part through a Nevada-based company called Polymer80. In late July 2022, a North Kingstown man pleaded for lack of competition after being charged with a much rarer kind of manufacturing ghost parts. Nicholas Dailey, 30, had been accused of using a 3D printer to make weapon components and assemble them into small arms. Two providence men charged with murder in 2021 who shot dead a 24-year-old Warwick woman late Sunday night, Providence police responded to a fight outside a Broad Street nightclub, where officers said they had a Polymer80 ghost gun « with a green top slide with nothing in the room and 15 9mm cartridges alive in a black magazine, which was introduced into the storage well, confiscated.  » says a police report. Providence police seized a ghost gun in 2020 and 15 in 2021, and they had seized 13 more in the second week of August 2022, said Providence Police Detective Lt. Dennis O`Brien. Ghost gun versions of the Glock are increasingly appearing among the weapons confiscated by the police. PROVIDENCE – It`s been nearly a year since then-Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a law banning so-called « ghost guns » in Rhode Island, and now President Joe Biden is targeting often homemade firearms. Roman is not alone, as ghost guns are increasingly appearing in criminal cases and court hearings across the state. For example, federal investigators arrested and charged Robert Alcantra in January, accusing the Providence man of transporting gun parts from Pennsylvania to Rhode Island, where they found a « ghost gun factory » in his apartment.

Proponents hope the new rule will curb the proliferation of ghost guns that end up in the hands of criminals, but Neronha fears it`s only a matter of time before gun companies find a new way to flood the market with something else to further complicate law enforcement`s work. Andruchuk had a previous record of illicit drug use, which he rejected on applications to purchase firearms, according to court records. A Cranston man has been sentenced to four years in prison under the state`s new law banning « ghost guns » that cannot be found. Maliek Smith, 24, was also convicted of possession of oxycodone with intent to spread it. While waiting for the law to come into force, Neronha has kept his optimism under control: the law faces legal challenges, he said. Even if it effectively eliminates any new proliferation of ghost weapons, it is likely that many dangerous criminals are already equipped. Neronha sits at a table where there are stacks of legal documents. The papers, he says, come from law enforcement in his office in dozens of cases. Many cases involve previously convicted criminals who were later charged with possessing ghost guns, in violation of Rhode Island`s ban issued in 2020.

Someone somewhere had assembled this « ghost gun » from components sold online. Due to a gap in gun control laws, the seller of these components was not required to verify the buyer through a criminal background check.