California "ghost gun" dealer gets 37 months in prison

California "ghost gun" dealer gets 37 months in prison
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

So-called ghost guns are supposedly a major scourge in our cities. That’s why a number of states have banned homemade firearms in general. Even the feds have tried to regulate such firearms out of existence as best they can.


And yet, despite all that, these kinds of gun proliferate, though not much as the media would like for you to believe.

Still, they’re out there. Luckily, states like California have all kinds of laws to prevent them from being a problem in their state.



Oh, well…maybe not.

A Mill Valley man has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for selling guns without a license out of his garage.

James William Palmer, 38, was also ordered to spend three years on supervised release when his prison time is over.

U.S. District Judge James Donato sentenced Palmer on Monday.

Federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered Palmer’s operation in November 2020 while investigating another suspect who had been texting Palmer about a possible gun sale, according to a criminal complaint.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office searched Palmer’s car and home in January 2021 and found guns, gun parts, ammunition, magazines, a sales ledger and tools for privately manufacturing untraceable “ghost guns,” the complaint said.

Palmer accepted a plea agreement on Aug. 15, admitting to illegally building and selling guns from May 2020 to January 2021.

“To run his firearm business, Palmer communicated with buyers and sellers of firearms via text messages in which firearm prices, meeting places for transactions, and amounts owed were discussed,” the prosecution said in a statement announcing the sentence. “He utilized a white board to write down customer names and numbers along with amounts owed or paid by customers.”


So a high-tech operation, this wasn’t.

And yet, this is someone who was able to put “ghost guns” in the hands of people who couldn’t lawfully own such weapons. Granted, this is California, so my guess is that no one could lawfully own the kind of firearms Palmer was selling.

Gun control in the Golden State is supposed to stop this kind of thing, and yet, here we are.

What actually happened is that it drove the sale of these firearms deeper underground. People can’t buy some of these weapons at gun stores, so they find alternate methods of obtaining them.

Now, some of those were undoubtedly people who couldn’t lawfully purchase a firearm anywhere, but that’s also kind of the point. The reason for gun control, supposedly, is to keep people like those from buying guns. That didn’t stop them.

So-called ghost guns are demonized, but the issue here isn’t how the firearm was made, but that the laws meant to keep these people disarmed failed. Spectacularly. Again.

The truth is that California’s gun laws have been shown over and over to not do what proponents claim. It’s well past time to put an end to this gun control nonsense. The truth is that any hope of gun control ended when so-called ghost guns could be printed on a 3D printer.


Now it’s time to try a different approach. Too bad California would just prefer to infringe on people’s rights than actually accomplish anything.

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