When President Joe Biden announced he was going to direct the ATF to enact new rules on unserialized firearms–so-called ghost guns–many heralded it as the end of this horrible scourge that is plaguing our cities.
Of course, these firearms appear to account for just a small fraction of firearms in criminal hands, but that’s irrelevant to these types of people.
In fact, as soon as they were put into place, people stepped up to provide a way around them.
It’s been less than a month since new federal rules took effect attempting to rein in the proliferation of so-called “ghost guns,” a catchall term for unserialized, home-built firearms that Democratic leaders, law enforcement officials, and gun control groups say are turning up in the hands of criminals across the United States.
But barely a few weeks into the new regulatory regime, the firearms industry has already adapted and scored an early legal victory. And gun enthusiasts have created and released open-source blueprints for a simple plastic tool that offers a relatively quick, easy—and apparently legal—workaround for anyone who still wants to build an untraceable weapon.
The tool, known as a jig, is designed to help with the assembly of the exact type of Glock-style pistol frames that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is trying to restrict. One version was posted by Ethan Middleton, a Wisconsin-based 3D-printed gun file designer known online as Middleton Made.
“It’s the biggest middle finger to the ATF,” Middleton told VICE News. “Whatever they’re going to do, we’re going to try to find a way around it.”
This reminds me of that Second Amendment spirit I wrote about earlier today.
I’m not going to lie, this is just beautiful.
Critics will likely claim that those who created these jig files are trying to arm criminals. They’re not.
What they are doing, however, is recognizing that criminals are obtaining firearms regardless of what laws are put into place. They’ve been doing so for decades and will continue doing so for decades yet to come. You can’t stop that.
So, they’re making sure law-abiding citizens have the ability to build guns without the government–or our credit card companies, apparently–being able to track it. They’re empowering hobbyists to continue to create and build firearms in the comfort of their own workshops.
You see, the “ghost gun” rules don’t actually preclude someone from making their own guns. It just gets in the way of businesses that democratized the process by making it so you don’t need special tools in order to do so.
That means there was an opportunity, and the pro-gun crowd met that opportunity. They provided a way for people to keep doing what they’d been doing, even though the government doesn’t approve.
In fact, I’d argue government disapproval made it almost imperative for someone to do this.
And really, the jigs are only part of how people get around this. The same machine that will make the jigs will also build the lower receiver for these “ghost guns.” That means that you can’t stop the signal and that you can’t stop the Second Amendment.