Why do so many gun owners distrust the media? Perhaps it’s because so many media outlets routinely exhibit their ignorance about firearms and gun owners.
Case in point- the Ventura County Star, which recently misinformed its readers about a firearm seized from a suspected gang member.
Oxnard police say they found this gun – the type that can be made with a 3D printer – loaded and in the possession of Edwin Garcia as he was in a car illegally parked in an alley. Garcia was arrested on suspicion of several felony firearm violations. https://t.co/X6KL10B8x6 pic.twitter.com/5ZCKDHJpRE
— Ventura County Star (@vcstar) February 2, 2020
What does the paper mean when it says “this type” of gun can be 3D-printed? A handgun? A Glock? As many users on Twitter pointed out, the P80 polymer frame is available commercially, and isn’t an item that someone would just print at home using a 3D printer.
However, the P80 frame is sold as an 80% receiver, which means it does not meet the federal definition of a firearm and must be finished by the purchaser. That appears to be what the Ventura Star was focusing on with its misleading tweet. There’s a huge push underway in California to ban so-called “ghost guns,” and if anti-gun advocates have to use sloppy reporting to make their case, they’re apparently happy to do so.
As the paper notes, however, the suspect caught with the gun is still in violation of several of the state’s gun control laws, even without a ban on “ghost guns.”
At about 3:55 p.m. Friday, officers with the Oxnard Police Department’s gang unit spoke with four people in a vehicle parked in the south alley of the 300 block of Canterbury Way, authorities said. The block is southwest of Pleasant Valley and Saviers roads in the Southwinds neighborhood.
The subjects were reportedly drinking alcohol in public and were illegally parked in the alley, according to police, and were known to be Oxnard criminal street gang members.
Officers searching the vehicle found a loaded .40-caliber Glock 23 pistol in the possession of Edwin Garcia, 19, of Oxnard, police said.
The gun turned out to be a finished polymer “80 percent frame” Glock-style gun that was not registered to Garcia, authorities said. Kits for the polymer firearms, which can be made using 3D printers, are typically sold 80% complete.
Garcia was arrested on suspicion of several felony firearms violations. He remained in Ventura County jail Saturday afternoon with bail set at $500,000, jail records showed.
California has plenty of gun control laws on the books, and plenty of criminals like Garcia who are willing to violate those laws. Instead of cracking down on violent criminals, however, lawmakers in California are aiming their legal fire squarely at the state’s legal gun owners, aided and abetted by media outlets like the Star newspaper and Los Angeles TV station ABC 7, which recently ran a piece pushing for new laws restricting the 80% receivers.
Here at Eyewitness News, we purchased a gun kit to build a pistol and it arrived within 10 days. There were 13 pieces in the box with the exact jig included to guide the buyer on where to drill the gun frame. We did not drill into our frame, because in California, there are state laws you must follow first. That includes applying for a serial number with the Department of Justice before building a pistol or rifle, and most pistol kits do not meet California’s latest handgun standards to get serial number approval.
In other words, people making unserialized firearms in California are already breaking the law, but somehow another law will stop them. It’s an asinine assertion, but given the fact that this is California we’re talking about, that argument may be enough to turn another bad bill into a bad law in the state.