There is a lot of talk about ghost guns, the supposed problems with them, and the threat they pose to the very fabric of our society, and if you read some “publications” such as American Progressive (sadly it was the first thing that came up in a search), they pose a threat to the very fabric of the universe. Or at least that is what you would believe based on their article, and politician rhetoric. But the reality is something else entirely. So let’s cut the BS and get to the bottom of this.
First, let’s dispel the common misconceptions (I actually call them lies and utter BS) being pushed by the media. If you read just about any article that mentions the words “ghost gun” they tell you that the 16 (or so) companies that make these 80% kits are skirting the law. They also say that these weapons are not considered firearms by federal law. And that is, well you know…
The 80% parts are NOT a firearm as defined (and you can be approved on a case by case basis before they were sold by the manufacturer to avoid federal charges) by ATF. And there is a VERY specific reason why they are 80% receivers. Because the federal law requires them to be only 80% complete.
The next piece of this is that reeks are the fact they want you to believe that the finished product is not an actual firearm and that criminals can make them with impunity without fear of prosecution. Yeah, not so much and if you are a prohibited person and get caught with one you are in deep… See above. They do this by trying to confuse two entirely different issues in the reader’s head, and play upon their basic fears of criminals running the streets, like this will lead to a society portrayed in RoboCop or something worse like Mad Max.
The harsh fact is, under US Code (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-44) it is COMPLETELY legal to build your own firearm as long as you are not a prohibited person, and it is a normal Title 1 (non-NFA) firearm. And though commonly disputed by gun owners, and this may be a healthy dose of paranoia on their part, you do NOT have to make it prior to selling it. In December of 2016, Firearms Enforcement Specialist L. Babbie of the Firearms Industry Programs Branch in Washington DC stated:
A person who previously made a firearm for personal use is not prohibited by law from selling such a firearm. Such a seller needs to ensure that he/she is actually selling a firearm that was previously made for personal use and that he/she is not engaged in the business of manufacturing without a Federal firearms license (FFL).
(https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/does-individual-need-license-make-firearm-personal-use) Moreover, you are not required to mark it with a serial number, as long as you did not make it with the intent to sell it later and this was also confirmed by Specialist Babbie.
Additionally, although markings are not required on firearms manufactured for personal use (excluding NFA firearms), owners are recommended to conspicuously place or engrave a serial number and/ or other marks of identification to aid in investigation or recovery by State or local law enforcement officials in the event of a theft or loss of the privately owned firearm. (emphasis added)
I have yet to find anything from ATF that contradicts this information to date. If you do have solid information from them that does, PLEASE send it to me or post it in the comments.
So now that we have eliminated the hyperbole and bs rhetoric from the issue, let’s look at actual criminal uses of these weapons. We will completely ignore the implied fact that modern city-dwelling criminals are well known for using mail order to buy parts and most clearly have a good-sized shop set up next to their meth lab kit or illegal pot grow and get right to the facts from ATF and other government sources. We will not be citing media outlets, at least not without ridiculing them, as they are often completely wrong. The Trace and Vice News reported in their stories Ghost guns are everywhere in Commiefornia ( https://www.thetrace.org/2019/05/ghost-gun-california-crime/) and People are panic-buying untraceable ghost guns online in the coronavirus pandemic (https://www.vice.com/en/article/g5x9q3/people-are-panic-buying-untraceable-ghost-guns-online-in-the-coronavirus-pandemic) that 30% of the guns recovered by ATF were these dreaded, untraceable ghost guns.
Yet the ATF reports something else entirely. In fact, the ATF reports (https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/firearms-trace-data-2019) that in the last 5 years they recovered 24,000 ghost guns, or an average of 4,800 guns a year. Yet they report that in 2019 they ran 250,000-350,000 trace reports (how do they not know the exact figure?). Taking the lower 250,000 number, that equates to .019% were guns without serial numbers. Channel 9 news in Chicago (https://wgntv.com/news/chicagocrime/ghost-guns-seized-by-chicago-police-steadily-rising-as-biden-administration-plans-to-target-them/) reports that over the last few years the number of ghost guns is steadily on the rise.
Here are the numbers, year recovered/ghost guns = percentage:
Hide your women and children! You have a greater chance of being killed by a drunk driver or while under your doctor’s care than the police finding a ghost gun.
So there you have it. An informational and factual breakdown of the realities of the dangers of the dreaded ghost gun. Next, we will get to the actual heart of who is building these horrific death machines and the reality of why the government is so hell-bent on protecting us, from ourselves. Until then, stay safe!