California has the strictest gun control laws in the United States. While they look downright liberal to someone from the UK, they’re draconian by American standards. In fact, it’s hard to believe that many of them would hold up to constitutional muster if they found themselves before the Supreme Court.
Yet violence continues to persist despite the myriad of gun control laws on the books.
It seems that part of the reason is that gun control regarding the buying and selling of guns cannot and will not stop criminals from obtaining guns. Even if they can stop them from buying them–something they’re unable to do–they’ll just make them.
Several media outlets in California have teamed up with the anti-Second Amendment organization, The Trace, to investigate and write about homemade guns in California. They claim that BATFE sources say 30 percent of guns confiscated in California are homemade. Given there are over 400 million guns in private hands in the United States, and the border between California and other states is porous, and only lightly regulated; it seems an extraordinary number. From nbcbayarea.com:
An Investigation by NBC Bay Area in partnership with NBC San Diego, NBC Los Angeles, and the non-profit journalists at The Trace found that law enforcement agencies across California are recovering record numbers of ghost guns. According to several ATF sources, 30 percent of all guns now recovered by agents in communities throughout California are homemade, un-serialized firearms, known on the street as “ghost guns.”
Guns have been made at home and in small shops for the entire history of the USA. From criminaldefeselawyer.com:
Individuals in this country have been making their own guns for centuries. The practice is deeply rooted in our constitutional history and tradition. Legal scholars have recognized that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms would be meaningless in practice unless the state afforded individuals the ability to exercise that right—which includes making their own guns.
For the past almost half-century, however, the sale and subsequent control of firearms have been heavily regulated by federal law. It may come as somewhat of a surprise that even in this era of regulation, it is still completely legal to make and own a homemade gun. Even more surprising is the fact that a gun made wholly or even twenty percent at home need not be registered and its owner is not required to be licensed.
The individual manufacture of guns has not been illegal or regulated at all until very recently, and then only ineffectively. California recently required people who wish to make guns at home to apply for a state-supplied serial number before they make the gun. The law has been largely ignored.
Government regulation of individual making of firearms is probably unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, as applied to the states by the fourteenth amendment. It should be unconstitutional for the federal government because of lack of jurisdiction, but with the promiscuous application of the commerce clause to all activities, that remains to be seen.
Even if such bans aren’t unconstitutional, they’re pointless.
While gun control seeks to limit who can possess guns, they cannot account for what people with technical know-how do in the privacy of their own workshops. Many anti-gunners look at things like 80 percent receivers and think that’s where the issue is. What they ignore is that those are hardly necessary.
After all, it’s possible to make a submachine gun in your garage with all off-the-shelf materials.
Guns aren’t going anywhere. The sooner anti-gunners come to terms with it, the sooner we can start trying to find some real damn solutions for any of these problems and stop pretending we can just wish it away. After all, that’s all gun control really is.