WASHINGTON, D.C. – On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and several of his colleagues announced a package of gun violence prevention bills that would significantly decrease the pervasive threat of gun violence across the United States, including the reintroduction of the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act that would eliminate the 3D printing and distribution of ghost guns.
“On Gun Violence Awareness Day, we remember those who have been lost to gun violence, offer comfort to their families and friends, and sound a call to action to eliminate the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our nation.” Menendez said. “Last summer Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first new federal gun safety law in almost 30 years. The new law created federal penalties for straw purchasing and firearms trafficking, enhanced background checks for purchasers under 21, and closed the boyfriend loophole by barring individuals convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun. Our efforts last Congress were an important first step, but it is critical that the Department of Justice fully implement and enforce the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. In New Jersey we understand that background checks save lives – that’s why every gun sale – whether it is in a store, online, or at a gun show – should require a background check. Our work is not done, that is why I will continue to fight with my colleagues to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and ghost guns. We must also hold irresponsible gun dealers accountable, work with U.S. banks to report suspicious financial activity that can help prevent mass shootings, and incentivize states to adopt gun-licensing standards.”
The 3D Printed Gun Safety Act, co-led with Sen. Markey and Representative Jared Moskowitz (Fla.-23) in the House, would prohibit the online distribution of blueprints and instructions that would allow for the 3D printing of firearms, which is contributing to the proliferation of “ghost guns.” 3D printing allows individuals to make unserialized firearms out of plastic, which can evade detection by metal detectors at security checkpoints. This increases security risks in public spaces and secured areas, and creates challenges for law enforcement. The legislation would make it illegal to distribute online digital files that could automatically program a 3D printer to produce or complete the manufacturing of a firearm.
In addition, Sen. Menendez and his colleagues introduced the following gun violence prevention bills:
- The Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act would strengthen accountability measures for irresponsible gun dealers violating the law, and provide the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with additional resources for enforcement.
- The Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act would require the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) within the Department of Treasury to provide guidance to U.S. banks to help them identify and report suspicious financial activity that could indicate that an individual is planning to commit a mass shooting. Federal law already requires banks to report suspicious activity relating to money laundering, fraud, or terrorist financing. Reports show that mass shooters have relied on credit cards—including the Aurora, Orlando, and Las Vegas shooters—to stockpile weapons.
The gun violence prevention bills are endorsed by March For Our Lives, Giffords, and States United to Prevent Gun Violence.
“If we’re going to end the gun violence epidemic, we need to address it at its source—where they’re bought and sold,” said Zeenat Yahya, Director of Policy at March For Our Lives. “Dealers can give away guns like they’re candy with limited regulation and even less oversight, and it’s fueling gun violence across the country. Reckless dealers sit back and count their profits while guns sold in an irresponsible fashion terrorize our communities. Enough is enough. We’re proud to support this measure that would keep firearms out of dangerous hands and ensure gun dealers are held to the highest standard of responsibility.”
Sen. Menendez joined his colleagues in introducing the Wear Orange Resolution that supports the designation of June 2 as “National Gun Violence Awareness Day” and June as “National Gun Violence Awareness Month.”
In May, Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) cosponsored the Responsible Firearms Marketing Act, directing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study the dangers posed by unfair and deceptive marketing and advertising practices conducted by the gun industry. This year, Sen. Menendez joined several of his colleagues in forming the first Senate Gun Violence Prevention Caucus to coordinate common-sense solutions to battle the epidemic of gun violence in America. Earlier this month, Sen. Menendez joined with Newark officials, community violence intervention leaders and gun safety advocates to call on the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to implement rules to help close the background check loophole.
In February, the Senator led his colleagues in the reintroduction of the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would ban the importation, sale, manufacturing, transfer, or possession of high-capacity magazines. He also reintroduced the Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act, which would require the ATF and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to collect, preserve, and disclose gun records and gun tracing data. Sen. Menendez also joined several of his colleagues this year in reintroducing legislation to ban assault weapons, close the Charleston Loophole, and require gun owners secure their firearms in a secure gun storage.
In 2022, Sen. Menendez reintroduced the Federal Firearm Licensing Act that would require individuals to obtain a firearm license from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before purchasing or receiving a firearm. He also urged the Biden Administration to do more to address the ghost gun loophole based on legislation he has authored, which would prohibit the online distribution of blueprints and instructions that allow for the 3D printing of firearms. Also in 2021, Sen. Menendez, alongside 16 Senate Democrats and 99 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, urged the U.S. Department of Education in a letter to raise awareness about securely storing guns safely and away from kids following the tragic shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan.
In 2020, the Senator introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act to ban “ghost” guns, and in the same year introduced the Stop Online Fraudulent Sales of Firearms Act that would to prevent gun sellers from circumventing technology companies’ terms of service by making it illegal to fraudulently sell firearms and ammunition online.