Maryland gun control advocates push for homemade gun ban

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

People in this country have all kinds of hobbies. Tons of them. Some collect various things, like vinyl records or coins. Others learn and practice various crafts.

One thing many people do, though, is craft homemade guns.

Being able to make your own gun is something that’s been legal in this country since before we were our own country. It’s something we’ve done for centuries now.

And, of course, some people want to ban it. They’ve done so in some places, but now they’re trying to do so in Maryland.

Top Maryland lawmakers vowed Tuesday to ban “ghost guns” in the state this year, hoping to disrupt the supply of unregistered and untraceable guns that can be bought easily online, sidestepping background checks.

Efforts to ban ghost guns have languished in Annapolis the past few years, but lawmakers and activists are making a renewed push for the ban as the weapons are becoming more common.

“It is clearer now than ever that we need to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous extremists, as well as those who are in crisis and pose a danger to themselves or others,” said Melissa Ladd, state chapter leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Ladd was among dozens of Moms Demand members in red T-shirts, jackets and surgical masks who gathered Tuesday in Annapolis to make a public push for the ban on ghost guns. The members planned to have video meetings with more than 140 of the state’s 188 lawmakers on Wednesday.

Ghost guns are generally sold as kits that are 80% complete, typically with no serial number, that purchasers finish putting together themselves. Buying gun kits online allows purchasers to avoid Maryland’s requirements for gun ownership, including background checks and, in the case of handguns, a training course and a special license.

Except homemade firearms aren’t just that. People can build firearms without a kit. The material components are readily available and are also used in a wide variety of other industries and hobbies, making restricting them impractical. All it takes is the right tooling and knowledge and you can build a gun from scratch.

In fact, improvised firearms were common enough well before kits became readily available.

The truth is, banning homemade guns only makes homemade guns more attractive to unscrupulous people. They know they can obtain something and sell it for a profit to other criminals that they otherwise wouldn’t have bothered with.

What it doesn’t do, though, is actually stop bad people from getting homemade guns.

Hell, the Kyber Pass is known for turning scrap metal into some pretty decent copies of well-known firearms. Do you really think Americans are somehow incapable of that level of industriousness? While criminals aren’t known for hard work, some will be happy to turn that kind of industriousness into profit.

At the end of the day, I suspect Maryland will pass this particular flavor of insanity. What I don’t expect is to see the use of homemade guns by criminals to be reduced one bit.