Oakland passes homemade gun ban

(Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

The city of Oakland isn’t a very nice place to live or visit, based on my understanding. I have no interest in visiting, especially after defunding the police, then pretending they didn’t after violent crime surged to alarming levels.

The lawmakers in the city are still convinced of their own infallibility even after watching it blow up in their faces spectacularly over the last year or two.

We know because they’ve just passed a new bit of gun control.

The Oakland City Council passed legislation banning the distribution and creation of ghost guns.

The percentage of firearms seized by local law enforcement that were Privately Manufactured Firearms jumped from less than 7% in 2019 to nearly 17% in 2020.

As of March 2021, Privately Manufactured Firearms account for nearly 22% of guns confiscated last year.

Now, first, let me just say that a percentage of total guns seized is infinitely more useful a metric than just giving us a total number of weapons.

However, it still doesn’t mean banning such guns is going to be particularly useful.

Oakland had problems before homemade firearms ever became an issue, and the city will keep having them after. More than that, though, by definition, criminals don’t obey laws. As a result, the only people who will stop making their own guns will be law-abiding people.

For the record, law-abiding folks who build their own firearms aren’t out there selling them to other folks, especially since California law requires homemade firearms to be serialized during the build and registered with the state.

Of course, this isn’t just homemade guns, nor do we know how many homemade guns are actually part of the issue here.

So-called “ghost guns” are simply defined as guns without serial numbers. This includes firearms that have had the serial number removed – an act that’s already illegal and has been for ages. Yet, they get lumped in with firearms that have been built in someone’s home workshop, thus muddying up the waters.

Regardless, let’s say they’re all homemade firearms for the sake of argument. This law will stop them from being built, right?

Nope.

These are criminals. Finding ways to break the law is part of the job description, and they delight in doing so. They’ll simply get the kits – assuming they actually need kits – via some other method. Maybe they’ll have a friend buy them elsewhere and ship them in. Maybe they’ll open a PO Box in another city or state so they can have these shipped to them.

It’s not that hard to work around this kind of thing.

However, anti-Second Amendment politicians don’t care about that. Laws like this are about optics, not public safety. They don’t care that the city has gotten more violent so long as they can convince the voters that they’re doing something about it. It can be complete and total BS, but that doesn’t matter so long as they can convince the voters it’s true.

To really address violence in the city would require hard work, discussion, and understanding. That’s more than anyone should expect from any politician, but especially from those whose actions directly led to the current mess.