Homemade firearms have been around since before this nation even existed. Back in the day, people would buy parts from a gunsmith and assemble them into their own firearms. Some with the aptitude might even have made them from scratch.
Yet today, these are called “ghost guns” and they’re treated like some kind of plague.
Take this piece from the Huffington Post titled, “How The Far Right Is Escaping Biden’s Attempted Crackdown On ‘Ghost Guns’.”
That’s right, folks, the “far right” is following the rules and not doing what the folks at the Huffington Post think they should be doing.
When President Joe Biden announced a new rule to regulate ghost guns in April, he said he hoped to reduce crime and make it harder for violent people to access untraceable weapons. Ghost guns are firearms without serial numbers or registrations that people can generally buy without a background check. They come in kits that are about 80% complete, which skirts most legal restrictions on gun sales, and the customer assembles the parts into a finished weapon.
“A felon, a terrorist, a domestic abuser can go from a gun kit to a gun in as little as 30 minutes,” Biden said when he announced the rule. More than 20,000 ghost guns were reported to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after being recovered in criminal investigations last year, according to a White House fact sheet.
The ATF said it would begin to identify certain gun parts, specifically frames and receivers, as meeting the definition of a firearm, thereby subjecting them to federal regulations such as background checks and registration.
But most ghost gun enthusiasts saw the new rule — the first of its kind for do-it-yourself kits — as either a total joke or an assault on their freedoms.
Oh, now, don’t be silly.
Many of us saw it as both. That’s because it is. It’s a joke because this is behavior you’re literally never going to stop, particularly among those you need to be concerned about.
Ah, but they don’t stop there.
You see, the problem is more than that for the writer.
HuffPost has found that far-right ghost gun enthusiasts are boldly threatening law enforcement more than previously seen on mainstream platforms, brandishing logos and designs of known anti-government groups such as the Boogaloo Bois and sharing tips on how to evade the new regulations. Technology has also emerged that offers novel ways for gun parts to be constructed while avoiding ATF regulations.
Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization focused on preventing gun violence, has described ghost guns as “the fastest growing gun safety problem in the country,” and they’ve been a weapon of choice on the far right primarily because they aren’t registered or traced. In an investigation last December, HuffPost identified groups 3D-printing gun parts and outlined how these groups avoid detection: anonymizing their online presence when sharing prints, tips and points, using cryptocurrency to avoid trails on purchases, and displaying overtly anti-government sentiment on social media and in chat rooms.
Except, what’s not being mentioned is that sharing prints, tips, and buying parts aren’t actually illegal actions. The kits themselves are effectively banned but the parts aren’t.
In fact, the vast majority of those parts really shouldn’t be because they’re also replacement parts for traditionally manufactured guns. The only part that’s not is the receiver itself.
“But people can buy those and that’s an issue.”
They can, but they can also print those, as the writer mentions, and that’s an important thing to remember. The 3D printer is the effective end of any hopes of meaningful gun control. If I can print a receiver then there’s absolutely no way you’re going to put an end to gun ownership.
As for the claims that the Boogaloo Bois are threatening law enforcement, well, that is an assertion offered up without evidence, which means it can be dismissed without evidence.
Further, that particular group is a small minority of people on the right, a lot of them talk a lot of smack, but they’re generally just that, talk. Most of it is actually dark humor, even, so while I won’t condone it, I’m also not going to lose any sleep over it.
But the Huffington Post must because they can’t help but run breathless stories about “ghost guns” every couple of months, all with little evidence of there actually being a huge issue.