California man arrested with "ghost guns"

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The “ghost gun” has been set up as the boogieman for a whole new generation of anti-Second Amendment activists. They’ll still campaign against any other kind of firearm they can think of, but they’ll focus their attention on unserialized firearms because they’ve been told they’re bad.

Yet will those restrictions actually do anything?

Well, California has some already. How did it work in this case?

The Sacramento Police Department said officers and a SWAT team found a fully automatic ‘ghost gun’ and multiple other firearms during a search of a North Sacramento home Tuesday.

Police said officers served a search warrant at a home on the 600 block of Las Palmas Avenue where two AR-15 style rifles, one MAC style assault rifle, 13 handguns and five body armor carriers were found.

Nine of these were described as “privately manufactured,” which is more accurate than “ghost gun,” to be sure. One even was full-auto capable.

Still, how did California’s restrictions do? Not well, it seems.

“Oh, but that’s because kits are legal in other states,” someone will likely claim. That may be true in many cases, but not this one.

You see, police found a CNC machine and a drill press on the premises which they believe were used to manufacture the weapons. In other words, they didn’t buy an incomplete receiver and finish it. They used a block of metal and milled the gun themselves.

Whoops.

Honestly, that’s what’s next.

A hobbyist-grade CNC router that can work with metal will run you between $1,000 and $3,000. That’s a lot of money, sure, but if you’re planning on selling illicit weapons, it’s not a particularly steep investment. You can make your money back after just a few firearms, at most.

Meanwhile, the law-abiding hobbyists who want to comply with the law simply have to abandon their hobby.

It doesn’t stop many criminals. It never has and it never will.

I know that for many, that doesn’t matter. It might stop one or two and that’s enough, but I disagree. We’re told that we need these laws to make our streets safer, but so far, we’ve seen no evidence of that, nor have we really seen much evidence that the “problem” with so-called ghost guns is nearly as bad as it’s made out to be.

We’ve seen evidence to the contrary.

Meanwhile, if criminals want unserialized firearms, they’ll simply find a way to make them. Not all that many will do so themselves–they’re lazy, for the most part, which is why they’re criminals–but some enterprising soul will make some for them and pocket the cash.

So what do you end up with? A restriction on what the law-abiding citizen can do that does jack squat to actually limit crime.

Further, let’s remember that one of these was a full-auto weapon. That’s something we didn’t see nearly as much before everyone started freaking about “ghost guns.”

Once the bad guys found out they could make their own stuff, they started looking at what else they could do.

In other words, the Law of Unintended Consequences means these guns are going to be things we law-abiding citizens simply cannot get ourselves.

Of course, for some of these people, they’d prefer it if we couldn’t get anything.

Aug 18, 2022 5:30 PM ET