Like millions of Americans, I own an AR-15 that I built from scratch. It wasn’t a “ghost gun.” The lower receiver has a serial number. I underwent a background check to buy it as hunk of metal. I didn’t purchase the parts over the Internet (gunbroker.com won’t ship AR parts to California lest they fall afoul of the gun grabbers’ zeal). I assembled my AR-15 with parts from my local gun store, including the Wyndham upper receiver. But it’s still perfectly legal to buy a so-called 80 percent lower” and other AR parts and roll your own. But for how much longer? While Senator Kevin De Leon’s ghost gun legislation failed, all it really needed to sail through the Cali legislature was an example of a heinous crime committed with one of the guns. Like this . . .

In late July, police say 21-year-old Scott Bertics showed up at a house in Walnut Creek and shot and killed 19-year-old Clare Orton before using a second gun to kill himself. While both had been in a relationship, police are not saying what prompted the young man to commit this crime.

But police told ABC7 News that both handguns were homemade, built by the Bertics who ordered the parts through the mail.

In the infamous video above, DeLeon waved around a scary home-built “assault rifle,” not a handgun. Does that matter? Apparently not. As far as DeLeon and the media are concerned, an unregistered “ghost gun” is a “ghost gun,” right? But if the gun’s untraceability is the problem, why isn’t a handgun with the serial number filed off – a common practice amongst criminals – also called a “ghost gun”? Because guns.

I feel sorry for my soon-to-be-former home state of California. Shootings are common, especially in the Bay Area, and gun control laws are many. You would think by now that this would be enough evidence that laws and more laws and still more laws don’t work. Sadly, it isn’t.

Luckily, it’s still legal to build your own rifle or pistol, even in California. And even if it wasn’t, criminals would do it anyway if a home-built firearm was cheaper and easier than buying a previously stolen or illegally purchased gun. But it isn’t so they don’t. Next?

42 Responses to OMG! A Ghost Gun! In a CA Crime! OMG!

  1. I blame the girl, she knew he was an idiot, she knew he would break his heart. She would have let her dog down easier.

    If you’re going to blame my gun, then I blame your mom.

    • That would be true even if it sold NO T-shirts – that is, if the number of brain cells could be measured in negative numbers…

  2. Hmm, he runs the Senate Safety Public Committee. I guess where know where his priorities are (Senate Safety).

  3. I’ve only seen 80% 1911s, and cylinders to fire cowboy loads out of black powder revolvers. What other pistols can you order in pieces, that wouldn’t require a 4473 for the receiver at minimum.

    • You can buy black powder pistols and rifles without a 4473 because they are not considered firearms.
      You can buy 80% of any part that would be a firearm completed without a 4473, because it’s not a firearm.
      For example, 80% AR lowers are pretty common. You drill out the fire control area and trigger pin areas. You can even buy jigs to help with the process.

      • Yeah, I know the rules on black powder weapons, I have a few, all mail order. I was just trying to find out what pistols are available in 80% configuration, as I only know of 1911s.

    • Handgun-wise, I think 1911s are all that’s still on the 80% market. There used to be a company that made a SIG frame (228? 229? I don’t really know SIGs that well) and a Ruger Mk1 frame, but I don’t think they sell those anymore. And of course, you could make an AR “pistol”, but let’s be realistic, those things might technically be classified as pistols, but they aren’t pistols.

  4. I bought an 80% lower when De Leon was spouting his nonsense, just because I still could. I wasn’t even going to build it. But then I cut the fire control pocket…so I had to buy a lower kit and a trigger….and now I have an AR.

    Hopefully, having lost his two biggest legislative supporters (including the infamous Senator “Machine Gun” Yee) De Leon will keep a lower profile. This year, the only bill making its way through the legislature is one to ban CCW holders from carrying on campus (with of course a carve out for retired LEOs). I am not sure of the language of the bill–if it bans carry within the 1000′ school gun free zone, as opposed to merely on the school property, it will mean a ban on all CCW in every city in the state. I think that would be going too far, since open carry in cities and towns is also banned.

    • Yeah… I bought a couple of blemished 80% lowers from Ares Armor as paperweights for my desk, just to support them when they stood up to the ATF. They sat there saying– you can make us more than we are… a jig, a plug in router and now I’ve got a few- including a 300BLK pistol on a polymer80 lower. (I will never do another plastic lower). Learned a lot about ARs in the process though.

      • Really? I really like the TN Arms Co lowers. They seem pretty tough and they are very light compared to an aluminum lower.

    • I hope you are correct Mark N, but I read the ABC7 San Fran Bay Area spin on the Ghost Gun story as more evidence the State Run Media is in on the under-the-radar collaboration for Obamas Last Gasp Legacy of Gun Control.

      It only took about three weeks for Sacramento Dems to lawyer up, and agree on who would not talk to whom, on the Uncle Leland Yee crisis, and you could tell because the Bay Area media suddenly shut up…one day the SF Gate writers are tracking down inside leads with insane success, breaking the story way ahead of the law enforcement, and suddenly…reporting on community duck pond ceremonies…

      After the SCOTUS denial of cert on Jackson, as you pointed out- we are seeing emboldened left nitwits poke their pointy heads out of their holes in CA and talk about and generate one unconstitutional new law gun-or-ammo grab law after another, playing to the Left Liberal big money donors and the slave-LIVs and SJWs they pretend to serve as their Benevolent Masters of the Progressive Plantation.

      It only takes one big profile crisis for a DeLeon to exploit to propose an unconstitutional law, for the super-majority Dems in CA Congress to pass and Dem Governor Moonbeam Brown to realize he doesnt have the leverage to veto, and the bad bills start anew…

      It can take 10 years of hard-fought lititgation, well-funded by NRA and SAF, with CGF and CRPA and other state grass roots support, to reverse those laws…

      And in the meantime, more democratic sheep flow across the border to the Sanctuary State, the criminals among them of course not obeying the laws that are designed to disarm the law-abiding.

      Me, I am outta here, sad to say. Looking for land now, in the big sky country.

  5. Glock DIY perhaps? I know there was a guy on the NES forum I believe that made and sold folded pieces of steel that you could weld and make your own “iron glock” lower for. But I digress.

    I think it was the same guy who made the shovel Ak. Boris perhaps?

  6. This guy is full of more shit than a Christmas stuffed turkey! @ 6:15 he states the gun will disperse 30 bullets in 1/2 Sec., that’s a rate of fire of 3600 rounds per minute! Then he says “30 magazine clips in 1/2 second?? What the hell does that mean?
    You would think that if they want people to understand their cause, they would at least get someone that knew something about guns, and who could “splain” it a little better!

    • NO, logic does not sell. Emotion sells. Truth is a casualty. The more extremist wacko language they can throw out there the better, because most people are too lazy, stupid or just plain don’t care enough to check facts.

    • On top of which, 30 round “clips” were banned for purchase or sale after 1/1/91, and just this week LA banned their possession in city limits (SF did so last year), so where are people going to get these magic “clips”? Also, some of the “ghost” guns he is holding up are serialized but are illegal because California bans SBRs, not because they are unserialized and unregistered.

      The guy is absolutely clueless, but his mainly Hispanic constituency adores him, so he gets re-elected. I’d say it will be great when he finally terms out, but then he’ll probably run for Governor after Gavin Newsome gets elected in three years. (Lt. Gov. Newsome is another gun banner that hails from SF. He will run basically unopposed because Kamala Harris is running for Babs Boxer’s seat when Boxer retires.)

      • +1. And Harris wont be held accountable for her Executive Abuse on the Peruta v Gore, or Pena v Cid, as those wont be decided until after she has gone. If she was teflon on the fail of DOJ to fix the prohibited persons list in CA, or the goofy Masonic Police Chief on her own staff, she is untouchable in Left Wing CA.

        We just dont have a Republican party or enough conservative momentum to oppose the Radical Left, and its going to get worse before it gets better. We’ll be dealing with Pelosi’s mendacity on Obamacare, and Feinsteins failure on NSA, and Box-A-Rox failure to form logical thoughts in general, while holding a Senate seat, for generations in America, and Kamala Harris will inherit that moral fail, and undoubtedly add to it in her ambition, too.

        Lets just hope the rest of the country has woken to the threat. If California were fenced in, it would look like Venezuela in a couple years, but of course, its not, so the damage instead will be like looking at Detroit, and Baltimore, years later and only then recognizing this is what you get with Decades of Democrat Rule.

        • Not from Cali, but i LUV THIS “Box-A-Rox ”
          Commifornia sure grows ( or collects) some really strange people….
          Best person ( not perfect) politician to come out of California would probably be Ronny, (Reagan)
          California’s 3 Beeeches P.B&F well Not so much……………

  7. Little Kevin has a fool-proof plan to reintroduce his pet legislation after he lines up some power house celebrity endorsements. He will not rest until he gets Casper to agree to testify in a state senate hearing.

  8. Gov. Brown will occasionally veto anti-gun bills. He’s closet pro-gun…by California standards. Still, our gun laws suck. If I get a chance to move to a mountainous part of CA, with my promotional transfer, I certainly will. After that it’ll be WI or AZ – someplace with low taxes and good gun laws.

    • Yeah, I have read that too- Moonbeam supposedly has a ranch and a gun. I am becoming more cynical, after watching his nonsense on other issues, that are plainly radical left agenda dressed up in reasonableness, that simply wont work- the high speed train to nowhere, as evidence number one. Even a lawyer from Oakland can figure that wont work, except funnel vast amounts of federal money to his buddies- DiFis husband, for example, getting the no-bid contract on the design-architectural work.

      No, I’m thinking the swarm of gun-control bills passed after Elliot Rodgers knife and bmw kiling spree was more about spreading the wealth- letting every two-bit legislator representing each ultra-liberal pocket in the much greater moderate to conservative geographic expanse of CA, get their glory, knowing that Moonbeam would get credit for shooting down the blatant FUD, (even while the LIV was luvin’ it cuz DeLeon was jivin’ it)

      and letting enough serious gun control bills in, to help out his homies in Oakland, and SF, with the gun control they seek over us all, who he needs for his legacy agenda.

      “Forget it Jake, its China Town…”

  9. Anyone else notice how this tripe article is claiming that even the ‘gun industry is using the term ghost gun’? That’s got to be a direct line off of some Bloomberg propagandist manual.

    You know I wonder if anyone has been able to infiltrate them and lift some of their internal docs. Those guys from Anonymous do that kind of stuff all the time. And I know they’re a number of them that are pro 2A. They’ve publicly called out gun control in the past. Always best to know your enemies plans when you can get the info.

  10. I’m wondering why he killed her with one gun, then used a second one to off himself. Maybe his “ghost guns” were more like “single shot zip guns”?

  11. California is a shithole, I’m glad I left and not in a rush to move back.

    It’s appalling that an unfathomably bankrupt state with such an egregious cast of corrupt officials continues to have the audacity to feign superiority over and over again. High out of their own minds.

  12. A “ghost” gun, eh? Well, jeepers-jinkies-and-zoinks.

    Anything that comes from the left coast is as ignorable as that idiot dog and his hippie gang.

  13. Well, I’ve named mine Casper, Fatso, Stretch and Stinkie I’d name one for Kevin deLeon but I’ve named one of my toilets that…..the other one is Obama.

  14. This was bound to happen eventually. Sooner or later the criminal types would catch on to the fact that it’s EASY to get parts on the net, and not really difficult to put together a working firearm. The 80% lower thing makes it easy to put together an AR15 in any configuration, and even to make aluminum framed 1911’s. The fact that it doesn’t happen more often is a testament to the lazy nature of criminals that they don’t want to go through the trouble to hand finish out good firearms when they could just buy stolen ones.

  15. I question whether criminals will actually go the 80% lower / build it yourself route. Just to do the lower you need the jig and the various drill bits and end mill, and you need to have some basic metalworking skills. Rather than buy all the needed tools and figuring out how to do the machining, it seems like the average thug is gonna say F that and go buy something stolen in an alley somewhere.

  16. Wait drill presses already have serial numbers so we just background check and license everyone who owns one!

    BTW if this was so important you think this ignorant moron would have read through his speech before hand so he could actually say the phrase “ghost gun” and not keep blurting out “gus gun”?

  17. Whoa… an article by Sara Tipton, that doesn’t have her name in BOLDED CAPS in the title, AND she actually just talks about a subject that isn’t herself… only mentions in passing that California is her soon-to-former-home-state. Also, not a single picture of herself posing for the camera. Huzzah, TTAG!

    • She chose to leave Kalifornia. That makes her smarter than the 39 million mindless citizens and 7 million illegal aliens that stay there.

  18. The TV Series Murder In The First has a good bit of anti-gun propaganda this season.
    An 18 tear old student and a friend supposedly bought 80% lowers without back ground checks. The DA then says they modified the lower to make illegal fully automatic weapons.
    Correct me if If wrong here, but isn’t it the trigger mechanism that is modified? Not the lower?
    The left will use any lie any time because their demographic is generally ignorant of all firearms use/terminology/technology.

    • A mil-spec M16 lower has a fire control cavity with additional room for the auto-sear compared to the semi-auto AR15 lower. It is thus possible to modify a lower to make an illegal fully automatic weapon. It is also possible to use a drop-in auto-sear to do the same thing with an unmodified AR15 lower.

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