"Ghost Gun" Arrests Illustrate How New Laws Aren't Needed

"Ghost Gun" Arrests Illustrate How New Laws Aren't Needed
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

One of the things the anti-gunners have been on a crusade about is so-called “ghost guns.” They’re alarmed that anyone can sell an incomplete receiver to someone else, who can then turn it into a functional firearm. It’s a hobby for a large number of Americans, something they do to relax and have a good time in their workshop.

Yet there’s been a huge panic in the media about ghost guns, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of specifics of criminals using them.

Well, there wasn’t, anyway.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office has brought charges against four Philadelphia men who are accused of purchasing kits to build and sell untraceable firearms from a gun show in Berks County.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Sunday said the transactions happened at the Morgantown Gun Show from Feb. 27-28. In two separate instances, suspects purchased multiple 80% receiver ready-made gun kits and returned to Philadelphia to partake in illegal gun manufacturing operations.

Authorities searched the home of 19-year-old Najaye Davis on Friday and found three ghost guns and a kit to make a fourth, as well as gun parts and ammunition. Prosecutors accused Davis of selling guns in Philadelphia for $500 each.

Shapiro’s office has charged Davis with six counts of Illegal Transfer of a Firearm and other weapons charges.

In another investigation, prosecutors claim Malachi Matthews and Kenneth Manni returned to a residence on North 21st Street after buying four 80% receiver ready-made gun kits at the Morgantown Gun Show. Investigators believed the property was being used to run an illegal gun manufacturing operation.

Now, some would likely point to this and use this to explain why we need a ban on so-called “ghost guns.” However, that’s ridiculous. After all, weren’t there already laws on the books that allowed law enforcement to catch these alleged criminals?

If the laws on the books are enough, why do we need more laws?

This is especially true considering that no law would actually stop criminals from manufacturing their own firearms. I mean, the information on how to do it is out there. It’s been out there for years. Dudes have made AK receivers from shovels, for crying out loud. People with CNC equipment at home can mill our AR receivers easily enough.

Then, of course, you have 3D printing, which allows people to make any number of complete firearms as well as receivers for other guns.

In other words, new laws aren’t going to stop the bad actors. Law enforcement catching criminals doing illegal things, however, will. That’s what happened in Philadelphia and that’s the only thing that can really be done.

Stop trying to inhibit law-abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong. They are not now, nor have ever been the issue. That’s not likely to change, either, unless gun laws become so onerous that it’s just easier to become the criminal the anti-gunners have treated them as. There are an awful lot of people who embraced the adage, “If guns are outlawed then I’ll become an outlaw.”

Meanwhile, the outlaws will keep making guns all the same.


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