Tag Archives: ghost gun

Last Chance to Comment on ATF Receiver Rule Change

This is the last day to comment on the ATF’s pending idiotic proposed new receiver rule. Go do your part if you haven’t already.

The rule, pitched as a fix for “dangerous ghost guns” is actually far more complex and filled with minute tweaks, with the ATF’s ambiguous summary running to 1,600 words alone, and its analysis clocking in at 67 pages. Besides establishing a de facto ban on so-called 80-percent frames and receivers in the way they are in circulation today, it could also stand to regulate “split/multi-receiver” and “modular firearms” such as the AR-15 and P320 in ways that could require AR uppers and pistol slide assemblies to be a serialized firearm.

This would effectively end the days of uppers or unfinished frames/receivers shipped directly to the door of otherwise law-abiding folks, treating them instead as Title I firearms that would have to transfer through a licensed dealer with a Form 4473 with a NICS (and/or state) background check. 

All you need is a couple of sentences. Just say something like, “I am writing AGAINST ATF’s proposed rule (Docket No. ATF 2021R-05). They seek to change the definition of a firearm receiver that’s been defined in law for 53 years. If a change is needed, it should be done by Congress!”

Just a couple of quick sentences and a NO or AGAINST is all you need.

Again, it is not about ghosts, it is about adding tons of new regulations without Congressional oversight or blessing, and you should be highly concerned with how it is being done. 

The Two Biggest Flaws in a “Ghost Gun” Ban

Unless you have been under a rock, President Biden last week took executive action to order the DOJ to come up with a rule to regulate 80-percent complete firearm frames and receivers, something that has long been pushed by anti-gun groups and progressive politicians looking to get their face on the news.

The basic problem with the “80 percent” designation is that it is a marketing gimmick just as much as the term “Ghost Gun” is, and is not a real-life thing. The ATF looks at a firearm as being 100 percent a firearm, or 100 percent not a firearm. There is no such thing under the law as being anything between, hence the ability to sell such kits through the mail with no checks or regulations– because they just are not guns.

It is too hard to come up with a realistic rule for such things.

Take an AK47 or G3 style rifle. They have a receiver made from folding a flat piece of sheet steel together and making the required cuts. Super simple tech. A guy even famously made an AK from a shovel once.

How do you regulate that?

Even ARs begin life as a plain block of aluminum that doesn’t need that many steps to mill out to a receiver– a process that is in the public domain. 

Do you ban blocks of aluminum? Only transfer said blocks after a background check?  A couple years ago, a fellow with a simple sand forge melted down 265 coke cans to make an AR receiver then built a functional rifle from it.

Then there are guns like the STEN and the like, for which a myriad of plans and parts kits are floating around, which were specifically designed to be made DIY-style with commonly available parts and simple hand tools. Have you ever heard of Harbor Freight? 

Finally, the biggest elephant in the room: criminals will still find a way to make guns. In England, after intense gun control was established, blank guns and starter pistols were converted to fire projectiles while a cottage industry sprouted up to make obsolete 19th-century ammo for relics that had not seen factory-loaded a cartridge produced since Victoria was on the throne. The answer? More gun control on Sherlock Holmes-era firearms. Sure. 

Take this specimen recently picked up by the SFPD– a town without any (legal) gun stores since 2017 and in a state with an “assault weapon” ban since 1989.

Homemade with a DIY frame, this Glock-pattern 9mm also has a selector switch on the back of the slide to make it full auto. Now such switches have been illegal without a tax stamp since 1934 and banned from new consumer production since 1986, but here one is, just floating around the Bay Area. Guess making something illegal doesn’t magically mean it will vanish and that no one would break the law to make one. 

You just can’t really regulate this stuff and expect it to have an effect on crime.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, stepping down off my soapbox. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. 

Those pesky ghost guns

In California, it is pretty tough for one of the 13 million estimated legal gun owners to buy an AR-15 or similar gun deemed by local law since 1989 to be an “assault weapon” without seriously neutering the firearm itself to be compliant. Fast forward nearly 30 years, numbers of (non-compliant) ARs still pop up with regularity in gun crime. Recently, the ATF and LAPD busted a group associated with street gangs that were operating DIY gun mills from Hollywood area weekly-rent hotels that made ARs and Glocks from 80 percent lowers.

Some of the firearms appear to violate National Firearm Act regulations for short-barreled rifles. Go big or go home, I guess. (Photo: LAPD)

So, just regulate “ghost guns” right?

Here’s the funny part: under a bill, signed into law in 2016 by Gov. Jerry Brown, legal builders of homemade firearms have to first obtain a serial number through the state Department of Justice to complete their built and abide by a myriad of California laws.

Sheesh.

More in my column at Guns.com

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.

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.

 

If you have 23 12-packs, you have enough raw aluminum for an AR-15 lower

With some 10th-grade metal trades skills, the guy over at Farm Craft brewed up an AR lower from 265 beer/soda cans.

Nothing really high-tech involved. He melts the cans down in his foundry furnace, first into muffin tin ingots and then pouring the molten recycled aluminum into a plywood and sand mold box.

Cutting off the sprue and machining out the billet, he threads and mills until he gets a relatively mil-spec receiver to which he drops in a LPK, attaches to an upper, and rips some rounds through.

Now if he could turn an AR lower into a can of beer, that would be magical.

Remember to recycle!

When things are so bad that you have to send it to the people

So in California, which has had an assault weapon ban going all the way back to 1989 and yet still have mass-shootings with California-compliant firearms, lawmakers tried to pass over 20 legislative actions on increased gun control this session.

A baker’s dozen of these made it through the legislature in Dem-heavy votes of which Gov. Jerry Brown signed 7 into law and returned five with vetoes.

Since gun rights groups and Republican lawmakers couldn’t derail these, a group of gun owners on a gun forum (Calguns) got together and decided, “Let’s try for a ballot referendum to repeal these…”

And that’s exactly what they are doing.

With a pressing deadline of Sept.29, they are trying to get 450,000 signatures on 7 different propositions. Of course, California has 13 million gun owners, which by definition should all be capable of registering to vote, so it’s not far-fetched.

I’ve spoken with the man behind the effort, a San Diego tech company executive, and it’s a hail Mary play with a lot of spunk behind it.

More over in my column at Guns.com here and here.

‘This is my ghost gun…there are many like it, but this one is mine’

I’ve written extensively about the controversy with Cody Wilson and his Ghost Gunner device– a desktop CNC milling machine that you insert an 80 percent lower into and about four hours later have a finished lower ready to assemble. Well Wired managed to get their hands on one (I’m still on the waiting list 😦 ) and went about crafting one. Better yet, they compared the finished result to one they tried to make on a drill press and a second 3D printed lower made on a desktop replicator and took the lowers to a gunsmith for his inspection.

This is my ghost gun. To quote the rifleman’s creed, there are many like it, but this one is mine. It’s called a “ghost gun”—a term popularized by gun control advocates but increasingly adopted by gun lovers too—because it’s an untraceable semiautomatic rifle with no serial number, existing beyond law enforcement’s knowledge and control. And if I feel a strangely personal connection to this lethal, libertarian weapon, it’s because I made it myself, in a back room of WIRED’s downtown San Francisco office on a cloudy afternoon…

GhostGun-02-1024x683

Kinda long but really neat article here

This is a Ghost Gunner

I covered this last week for Guns.com. Apparently Cody Wilson, the self-professed anarchist law student from Austin– you know, the guy who printed the first 3D gun which scared the ever loving shit out of folks when it came out even though it tends to blow up self disassemble rapidly after the first shot– just came up with a device he calls the Ghost Gunner. It’s a $1K desktop CNC machine that will turn an 80 percent AR-15 blank into a functional lower in an hour. Well he debuted it Oct 1, by Oct 3 it had sold out with over 300 orders rushing in. You have to admit, you gotta love the overthetop quality of the video he put out: