How to Build a "Ghost Gun" in Your Garage -- Legally
by Chris Campbell
The Second Amendment has been under attack. But the free market pushed back… How to Build a LEGAL Surveillance Free Gun in Your Garage: Flex your Constitutional right to make a surveillance-free rifle…And sticking to the subject of gun ownership, there are two notable innovations that have popped up you should know about.
“While we must work hard to defund Obama’s backdoor efforts to impose gun control,” the GOA wrote this time last year, “there is also a free market solution that has sprung up. One company that was hit hard by this FDIC policy has created an answer: McMillan Merchant Solutions.
“The McMillan family is no newcomer to the Second Amendment community, as they have been manufacturing guns and accessories since 1973.
“A victim of the Obama Administration’s policies, the McMillans recently invented and implemented Pistol Pay -- a product specifically designed to handle legal firearms transactions between two individuals in a safe and secure method.
Also, something else happened in the midst of the heated gun control debate that no one expected…3D printing became an incredible tool for Second Amendment-protecting civil disobedience.
Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, successfully 3D printed a fully functioning gun. And flipped the whole gun control argument on its head.
With 3D printing, it’s absolutely impossible to regulate the creation of “ghost guns” -- an unregistered, unserialized gun. The feds realized this and came after him, but by then, it was far too late. By the time the feds shut down his website, the file to print the gun had already been shared, copied and stored over 100,000 times. And Wilson, emboldened, didn’t stop there…
“Wilson’s latest radically libertarian project,” Wired magazine reported late last year, “is a PC-connected milling machine he calls the Ghost Gunner.
“Like any computer-numerically-controlled (or CNC) mill, the one-foot-cubed black box uses a drill bit mounted on a head that moves in three dimensions to automatically carve digitally-modeled shapes into polymer, wood or aluminum.
“But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver.”
Why the receiver? It’s simple: “That simple chunk of metal,” says Wired, “has become the epicenter of a gun control firestorm.”
The receiver, if you’re not gun savvy, is the “core” of the gun. It connects the stock, barrel, magazine and other parts together. Because of its ubiquity, it’s the most heavily regulated piece.
Pretty much everything else can be bought and sold freely -- everything but a finished receiver. What most people don’t know, though, is that it’s 100% legal (depending on your state, of course) for hobbyists to make guns in their homes. The catch is, you can’t buy unregistered finished receivers. So you have to buy them 80% finished (without the holes) and finish it yourself -- not exactly a simple task.
But now, says The Verge, “Users can buy a semi-finished lower receiver for an AR-15 (the civilian version of the military’s M-16 assault rifle), mill it to completion with the Ghost Gunner in a matter of hours, and then order the rest of the parts online and assemble the gun at home.”
“Semi-automatic firearms, including the AR-15 lower receivers,” says Wilson, “are generally legal to manufacture for private individuals per U.S. federal law Title 18 do not require serialization or other maker’s marks.
“However, some states/municipalities restrict either the manufacture of certain firearms, or, more recently, the personal manufacture of a firearm with a 3D printer and/or CNC machine.
“Under federal law, manufacturing a firearm for contemplation of future sale without an FFL is prohibited. Without a manufacturing FFL, you should manufacture firearms for personal use only. There are methods to legally transfer ownership of personally manufactured firearms, but they do not apply when the original manufacturing intent is to build a firearm for commercial or non-personal use.”
Unfortunately, due to the scattered state laws, Defense Distributed just ran into a speed bump…
FedEx has flat out declined to ship the machine. In a statement to Wired, the company said: "This device is capable of manufacturing firearms, and potentially by private individuals. We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state, or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated."
And a similar response from the UPS: "UPS is continuing to evaluate such concerns with regard to the transportation of milling machines used to produce operable firearms."
For now, Defense Distributed is looking into alternative ways to ship Ghost Gunners. But the free market, we’re sure, with a bit of creative thinking, will take care of this obstacle. And will continue to produce solutions to expand your rights as the government clamps down, whether the PATRIOT Act expires or not.
"I will find another way to ship the machine," Wilson wrote in an email to his supporters. "I emailed today because I feel you should know that FedEx is uncomfortable with the constitutionally protected right to make a rifle free from government surveillance."
What do you think? Interested in building a gun in your garage?