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Why I have always been a fan of 80 percent lowers

I have about dozen 80-percent aluminum AR and polymer Glock lowers on hand and about enough LPKs, extra barrels, slide and uppers to complete about half of those if/when I choose. The best thing is, as long as a follow NFA regs (no SBRs, no select fire, etc), and don’t move to sell them while “engaging in the business” it is all 100 percent legal to complete them to my heart’s content with no worries. I’ve even considered getting one of Cody Wilson’s Ghost Gunner desktop receiver mills, but am too cheap.

Ahhhhh

But then there is the Garden State.

Last week, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sent letters to a number of gun parts manufacturers threatening legal action unless they halt future sales in New Jersey.

Grewal’s action targets unnamed “ghost gun makers” who he argues advertise 80 percent receivers, builds and kits to New Jersey residents. The AG is threatening them with a possible civil action under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, with as much as a $10,000 penalty for initial offenses. He holds that fraud is committed because the makers do not disclose that possessing a firearm classified under state law as an unregistered “assault weapon” in New Jersey is a crime.

Of course, we are talking about solid lumps of partially machined metal here, so there is that…

More in my column at Guns.com.

Where NICS appeals go to die

Part of the Brady Bill, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) went live at the tail-end of 1998 and since then they have processed 289 million checks. Most go through in under a minute.

I can remember working at a sporting good store for a few years moonlighting from my day job in my 20s and performing hundreds of checks in that time period. However, every now and then, you would get a “delay” while they are making a decision that requires more than a simple look-see. These come back later as either a “proceed” or a “denied.”

While there have been 1.5 million denials over the past 20 years, that doesn’t mean 1.5 million people who shouldn’t have a gun were kept from getting one.

In a lot of cases, guys with a spotty record will shop around and run a check several times over several years. Then again, there are a good many legit mixups, especially on people with common names. Odds are, if your name is Bill Johnson, there are probably a few prohibited firearms possessors that share your moniker, and it can jack up your profile– seems far-fetched but remember, this is the federal government here.

A lot of denials are appealed by those who were told to buzz off and, when the FBI eventually figures out where the mistake is, they fix it and the person gets greenlighted to buy a gun.

The problem is, appeals for denials have been glacial since 2015 due to understaffing at NICS, which means people who were refused for no reason can’t often get their record corrected.

I spoke with a pair of lawyers representing five plaintiffs (and 100 more pending) in a federal lawsuit who are in just a such a pickle. In covering the case for Guns.com, I have gotten several emails from readers who have similar problems, leading me to think this may be more widespread than people know.

More on the case here

There could be more public shooting ranges

The USFWS Range in Brooklyn, MS. I trek there often when my normal ranges are booked and love to spend a quiet morning there. It’s free, and public, funded by PRWRA dollars. Everyone should have easy access to such on public land, but sadly, this is not the case. (Photo: Chris Eger)

A bipartisan measure that could see the number of shooting ranges available on public land expanded was reported out of committee last week in the U.S. House.

The proposal would use money already made available to the federal government through the Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, commonly referred to as Pittman–Robertson after the two lawmakers pivotal to its passage. This 80-year-old law uses an excise tax levied on all firearms and ammunition sold or imported into the country to perform conservation-related tasks as varied as restoring elk habitat to funding safety programs and establishing public shooting ranges.

It is hoped by supporters of the bill that the move to up the number of public ranges will help turn around flagging numbers of hunters in the field.

More in my column at Guns.com

If you have been on the fence about getting a bump stock, there might not be a fence moving forward

Bump stocks popped up in 2010, and, according to ATF, as many as 500,000 are in circulation legally* (except in California, Vermont, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Washington), but until 2017 when they were used by a madman, were generally just seen as a range toy or novelty (except for those in “constitutional militias” who advocated their use as a poor man’s squad automatic weapon when coupled with drum mags for suppressive fire). No matter what DOJ on Congress decides on them, those are big numbers.

With as many as a half-million factory-produced bump stocks in the wild, worth north of $100 million, what is going to happen to them all?

Now the only maker of the much-vilified devices is closing shop, though what is going to happen to his patents in a world of freely-shared CAD files and 3D printing, is subject to interpretation.

More on that prospect in my column at Guns.com

Meanwhile, in other news, photos of a relatively sophisticated operation to make off the books TEC-9/KG-9 style pistols/machine pistols complete with K-baffle suppressors at a Montreal-area machine shop have just surfaced, begging the further question of genies and bottles…

 

Meet the ‘Cali Commie Tommie’ gun

Blowback action, it uses a gas tube from a Saiga coupled with a bolt group, top cover and recoil spring from an 8mm Mauser Yugoslav M-76 rifle with a firing pin and locking piece from an HK91 modified with a Suomi bolt head and an AK-style ejector.

The fun thing is since it’s a featureless stock and the drum mag is welded to a 10-round limit, the gun is California compliant, earning it the name “Cali Commie Tommie gun.”

In all, the gun took three years to build, and once he field strips it out, the weirdness really starts to set in. Somewhere in the Khyber Pass, an assembly of artisanal gunsmiths in man dresses and pakol hats are getting ready to offer this guy a guild membership.

I talked to the guy behind it, V8 Merc, after I covered it at Guns.com and he was just flabbergasted that people dug it.

“It is humbling to see my build get well received by others out there. All I was doing when I made it was to create a unique rifle I envisioned 3 years ago,” he said.

Can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve for 2020.

 

Yup, they market bolt-action Glocks in Cali

the-bolt_-action-california-compliant-glock_-videos-1

Marketed to those on the Best Coast who want to home build their own Glock style 9mm/.40S&W pistol from a kit, here is a bolt-action for the slide to keep it California-compliant.

The manually-operated Inlander $149 Easy Bolt and extended 9-inch barrel bring compliance to the game. The kit, when added to a “zero-shot” magazine that is not readily detachable (see = bullet button demise) gives you a bolt-action Glock.

This abomination is due to recent changes in state law while taking into account the deletion of the single-shot exemption allowance. As Glocks are not on the state’s increasingly constricting approved handgun roster, many in Cally are using 80 percent frame kits (Polymer80’s PF940C comes to mind) and trying to do the right thing.

Because California.

More info in my column at Guns.com.

Could the NICS appeals backlog be next?

With signs that a historic swell in gun sales and associated background checks may be tapering, the federal government may soon tackle a logjam of denial appeals.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System is currently working voluntary appeals dating back to August 2015 — for individuals denied 18 months ago. However, it hasn’t always been like that. In September 2015, the average delay was three months.

The change came when the nearly 70 examiners dedicated to appeals were reassigned to assist in running initial criminal background checks because of surges in gun sales in October 2015. Since then the delay has grown, despite executive action to expand NICS’s workforce to meet increasingly robust sales figures, leaving appeals to stagnate.

But that could all be changing.

More in my column at Guns.com.

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