With the anti-gun zealots all up in arms about 3D printing and how that will arm criminals, remember that criminals have had no problems arming themselves at this point.
For example, California sentenced a man to 18 months in federal prison for selling guns he made, reportedly based on YouTube tutorials.
A Sacramento-area man was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Thursday, a year after he sold two homemade guns to an undercover federal agent.
Allan Rivers made the guns using tutorials on YouTube, according to his attorney. Federal prosecutors say in July and August 2017, Rivers sold three guns to an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Two sales went down in Sacramento, while a third took place at a Chevy’s in Richmond, according to court records.
The guns are described by federal prosecutors as machine guns, including an Uzi. Rivers’ attorney, though, described them more as amateur attempts at machine guns, and said ATF agents were unable to get them to function properly during test firing.
Ah, the incompetence defense.
Pretty sure that wasn’t going to work no matter what.
The issue here is that Rivers made what he believed to be machine guns, sold what he believed to be machine guns, and talked about making more machine guns. The fact that he sucks at it doesn’t make him any less criminal on the matter.
While I don’t like bans on automatic weapons because I believe our Founding Fathers wanted us as well armed as the military, I also don’t advocate breaking the law, especially laws like this. This case wasn’t one of civil disobedience, like refusing to register a firearm. No, this was someone who sought to make guns to sell to criminals.
I understand why his lawyer took that position. His job is to try and get his client off to the best of his ability, and they had Rivers dead to rights. His choices were very, very clear. His best option was to present his client as basically being too stupid to have committed a crime.
But that isn’t going to matter. After all, if the feds, in the course of a sting, provide someone with a fake rocket launcher and someone tries to buy it, they’re guilty of trying to buy a rocket launcher. Why would this be any different?
It’s important to note, however, that making guns is something you can do legally, as long as you’re making a firearm that is already legal. For example, you can make an AR-15 if they’re legal where you live, but you can’t build a full-auto anything without being licensed to manufacture Class III firearms.
What Rivers did was a bit of a double whammy. Not only was he building machineguns, but he was also trying to sell what he made. Home built firearms can’t be manufactured for sale. It’s not that you can never sell one, but it needs a serial number, and you can’t make it for the purpose of selling it.
Rivers did all of that, and now he’s going to prison for a little while. Can’t say that I’m sorry to see it happen.