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Ghost gun ban moves forward.

Joel McCord/WYPR

Both chambers of the General Assembly moved forward Friday toward banning “ghost guns,” those unregistered and untraceable firearms that can be bought online without a background check.

The Senate gave preliminary approval to its version with no debate.

The House of Delegates gave final approval to its version, but not without uniform Republican opposition.

Del. Haven Shoemaker, of Carroll County, argued lawmakers were criminalizing hobbyists and collectors by requiring all guns to have serial numbers.

“Here’s a rhetorical question,” he said. “Wouldn’t it make more sense to punish criminals? Here's a novel idea. How about we felonize the theft of guns.” 

Del. Johnny Mautz, of the Eastern Shore, charged the bill violates the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.

“Passing this not only threatens their civil rights but it sends the message, an incorrect message, that we're making our community safer,” he said.

The Senate is expected to take a final vote soon. After that, lawmakers will have to reconcile the differences in their bills before sending the ban to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk for his signature.

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.