Did the Middleton Workplace Shooter, a Prohibited Person, Use a Homemade Handgun?

 

An employee of WTS Paradigm in Middleton, Wisconsin shot four co-workers last Wednesday. Three were hospitalized and are recovering. One was grazed by a bullet, treated, and released. The shooter, Anthony Y. Tong, was killed in a shootout with police.

Tong was prohibited from possessing firearms in 2004, after an incident in which he exhibited paranoia. When his home in Madison, Wisconsin, was searched, firearms parts, ammunition, and a silencer were found, according to police.

From wcfcourier.com:

The search of Tong’s house at 9738 Gilded Cider Blvd. following a court-authorized, no-knock entry revealed a cache that included six ammo storage cans filled with nearly 100 boxes of ammunition of varying calibers; black powder guns, a pellet gun and a knife; three ammunition belts, multiple magazines, scopes and a silencer; ballistic vests and helmet; and more than a dozen computers. The items were scattered in three bedrooms, the basement and living room.

The ammunition and silencer listed above were illegal for Tong to possess. The other items listed in the report are generally not prohibited and don’t require a background check to purchase.

As a prohibited person, there was motivation to obtain firearms and ammunition by means other than purchase from a federal firearms licensee.

It has been reported the 9mm pistol Tong used has been difficult to trace, because it is “unique.”

From apnews.com:

It’s also unclear how he acquired the pistol since he couldn’t legally purchase firearms. A search warrant unsealed Friday afternoon shows Tong had a cache of gun parts in his home, suggesting he may have built the pistol himself. Foulke said federal authorities were having trouble tracing the gun’s origin, calling the weapon “unique.”

One reason for the gun’s “unique” status would be if the firearm were homemade.

In an industrial society, firearms are not difficult to make. People have been doing that for hundreds of years. It is difficult to enforce gun control laws when the First Amendment insures that all the technical knowledge needed to make firearms is readily available on any smart phone.

Firearms can be built with tools no more sophisticated than a drill, a hammer, and a few files. Multiple sources of high quality steel are readily available.

In 1977, police in Washington, D.C. reported that one fifth of the guns they confiscated were homemade.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Analysis of Operation CUE (Concentrated Urban Enforcement), interim report 133-34 (February 15, 1977).

In countries with extreme restrictions on gun ownership, individuals or criminal enterprises often make their own firearms, including submachine guns. Homemade submachine guns are found from the Philippines to Brazil, from Israel to Canada and Australia.

It will be interesting to see if the AP reporter is correct in suggesting the handgun used by Tong was, in fact, homemade. It seems that no matter how many laws are enacted to disarm a society, anyone who really wants a firearm — criminals included — manage to find a way.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar ted says:

    If true, the gunman apparently didn’t know that obtaining a gun is easier than buying a book.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      If only Tong had taken a trip to obama’s Chicago….

    2. avatar CZJay says:

      Maybe he likes custom Glocks; they’re in fashion now. Got to have your CS:GO style gun to be considered worthy.

  2. avatar Andy Buckmichael says:

    I will bet that the scum cops stole most of what was found there.

    1. avatar AZgunner says:

      Why? What about the case or the article even remotely suggest that? Or are you just projecting your own dishonesty and paranoia into others?

  3. avatar Robert Powell says:

    the one source of firearms that the news media continue to over-look is the good old central intellegence agency they have a unlimited supply of ‘UNIQUE’ firearms .ie weapons without serial numbers, un-registered mfg companies . and foreign made illegal guns from eastern europe made specially for wet reasons,[not traceable], the swedish K comes to mind ,used extensively in viet-nam. supplied to locals for covert actions not traceable back to the us.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You really like those superspy movies, huh?

  4. avatar Rocketman says:

    The reporters comments might also be a “Red Herring” in order to give the anti-gun left ammunition (no pun intended) to claim that homemade firearms are a “threat” to the population and therefore must be banned. As political as this mess has become I wouldn’t put anything past these bastards.
    It’s also possible that if some cop saw a Frommer Stop Pisztoly 19M from 1918 or something like that for example they might conclude that it was homemade when it wasn’t.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      I was thinking ball and cap revolver(s). Maybe he did like John Mosby and did New York reloads. They said they found “black powder guns”, which aren’t controlled by the NFA’68 regulations and everything listed could be easily bought off the internet.

    2. avatar mark1955 says:

      Yep!

      Only, I believe it was another FBI Staged False Flag where no one actually got shot using ‘Crisis actors’, to Try and create a pre-text to ban non-prohibited firearms parts!

      All the FBI and ATFE have to do to prove me wrong, is show us al: The HD, time stamped, security video from start to finish.

      Hey FBI, prove there was a shooting and Show us the videos?…Needless to say I won’t hold my breath!

      1. avatar mark1955 says:

        Alert!

        Anniversary of FBI Staged Mandalay Bay alleged “Shooting” is October 1st 2018!

        https://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/10/04/crowds-on-demand-recruited-crisis-actors-for-las-vegas-event/ Advertisement by left wing company ‘Crowds on Demand’, looking for crisis actors for Las Vegas event.

        I fully expect more FBI Staged mass “Shootings” ( Where no one is actually hurt ) on or around that anniversary, up until right before the ‘Mid-Terms’ on at least a weekly basis!

        These “Shootings” would be Staged, so after the already Rigged elections where the democrats “Win” ( Sarc ) in a “landslide”, the democrats can say they have a “Mandate” ( More sarcasm ) for Gun Control!

        1. avatar Truckman says:

          The FBI and the ATF don,t care how many people they kill just remember WACO how many they killed or that Federal building they blowed up The reason I say they did it is they both had big offices in it but that day they were closed and the airliner that was shot down shortly after takeoff with people filming it showed rocket trail going to plane we will never know how many things these people have been involved in including Mandalay

    3. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      I wonder how much safer the world is if you CAN trace a weapon already used to commit murder verses NOT being able to trace it. Diversion from the narrative that should be pursued, the people at the job site could not defend themselves because of stupid restrictions. Families should sue for this reason.

      1. avatar Truckman says:

        I think everybody with clean record should be able to carry a gun most every place they work I can understand not allowing them in bars and sporting events where emotions run high even in courtrooms but not courthouses etc.

    1. That was great 👍! The Lurpa!

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    You can’t stop the signal…ammo is quite EZ to buy from most gunshops. No ID(FOID) asked for in the vast # of across the border Indiana shops-except Cabela’s where I have a Club card and usually get a discount. I even sent a gym buddy to Hoosierland I knew had a BS charge. No problem. Rolling yer own? Harder but obviously the dead loon was pretty handy…

    1. avatar chris. says:

      Rolling your own really isn’t hard, just more time consuming.

      and you can buy everything over the internet – Only issue is Primers/Powder would have to have a Hazmat shipment. (Which just means it isn’t cost effective – Unless you buy in Bulk).

      1. avatar John in AK says:

        During the early days of the Indian Wars, when fixed ammunition was not readily available to the plains tribes, ingenious Native Americans managed to reload their ammunition despite a lack of proper components.
        Our national government had already provided sufficient amounts of black powder for ‘hunting’ purposes; Supposedly, some tribesmen were able to make ‘iffy’ black powder from scratch. Reloading tools such as bullet molds and simple hand presses were already available, but in a pinch a block of wood with holes in it and a simple mallet would do the job. Old firearms being notoriously ‘loose’ in the chamber department, a mildly-swollen fired case was not a big issue to overcome.
        Primers were a problem, but even those could be made from percussion caps (also supplied by our benevolent government in quantity and available as ‘trade goods’ from various suppliers) forced into primer pockets.
        Native American ‘reloaders’ could even manage to reuse rimfire cartridges, as quite often not ALL of the primer was used up in the first firing, and enough would be left to touch off the cartridge a second time if it was hit in a different area of the rim.

        If a Stone-Age tribesman can manage it, so can somebody in the 21st Century. Once again, one can’t stop the signal.

        1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          Not meaning to be pedantic, but the “early” Indian wars began in the late 1500’s. What you’re referring to is towards the end of the Indian wars, which is defined as the 1850’s and later (early 1900’s).

        2. avatar John in AK says:

          “Not meaning to be pedantic, but stand by for a healthy dose of pedantry. . . ” [Smile.]

          That aside, your point is well taken.

          “In the late early middle toward the end of the Indian Wars when Plains tribes were involved and had managed to get fixed-ammunition firearms. . . ”

          That better?

        3. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          Excellent 😀

        4. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Did we get some kind of rule against pedantic? I thought that was what the site was about!

      2. avatar FedUp says:

        One day last week Brownell’s had ‘free shipping and hazmat on $150 orders’.

  6. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    It really doesn’t matter that he made his own gun if that’s what happened. The real problem we have is that long ago we decided that the seriously mentally ill should be allowed to run free.

    Libertarians Liberals and the Left were leading the “don’t force me into treatment” crowd.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      To be fair there were places where forced treatment was pretty fucked up.

      Forced incarceration in the funny farm is one thing. Forced electroshock so a doctor can see what it does is quite another.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        I know there are real horror stories about these sanitarium, insane asylum, Hospital clinic, Treatment Center, or whatever words you choose to use to describe where the seriously mentally ill are sent.

        We have a problem in our society when only the seriously dangerous who are mentally competent are locked up. And the seriously dangerous mentally ill are allowed to walk free.

        1. avatar Infidel762X51 says:

          A lot of the seriously dangerous mentally ill seem to be in Congress.

    2. avatar Nanashi says:

      Calling political opponents insane has always been the weapon of oppressive governments, including within the US (Adrian Schoolcraft, NYPD whistleblower comes to mind). The BS is that he was a prohibited person.

      1. avatar Erik Weisz says:

        That’s just crazy.

  7. avatar GS650G says:

    The story states the serial number was intact. Homemade guns seldom have serial numbers

    1. avatar J.T. says:

      Maybe some old foreign gun where they don’t have a manufacturer or importer they can go back to and start the trace? I don’t know where you would even start with something like a GI bring-back or something that was made or imported back before record keeping of serial numbers was required.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        If it was made prior to 1899 it is considered a non gun by fed law and records aren’t kept. Like a muzzle loader it can be sent right to your door with little to no paper trail.

        There are sites that specialize in handling these full functional antique firearms. A swedish mauser made in 1894 shoots just as sweet as one made in 1904. Pistols are covered under this law.

        Not saying this was how dude got his gun. But it is one way.

      1. Ahhh, The Definition of a corrupt 3rd world 🌎 country…With a whiny Globalist news reporter crying about firearms. Yeah, we wouldn’t want the peasents engaging in self-defense. Might lead to a rebellion against the government…

    2. avatar Dave Lewis says:

      I wonder if the shooter had an old WW1 or WW2 bring back. The French made a number of blowback automatics in .25, .32 or .380 that had a “Unique” brand marking. A good number ended up in German service in WW2. European .380s of that era were usually marked 9mm short. I’m just guessing but knowing how accurate the media can be I wonder if the account got changed from a Unique (brand) pistol to a Unique as in unusual, one of a kind, firearm.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Or, the deceased may have simply purchased his “unique” handgun from a black market source which could have imported who-knows-what handgun from who-knows-where.

    Perhaps the “unlicensed importer” acquired the handgun from the machinists in Pakistan (fast forward to 4 minutes, 26 seconds for the really juicy stuff):

  9. avatar GunnyGene says:

    The more a tyrant tries to control the peasants, the less control he will actually have. They never learn this lesson from history.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “The more a tyrant tries to control the peasants, the less control he will actually have.”

      Like North Korea?

  10. avatar Michael says:

    Many “Unique” firearms, sometimes referred to as “scratch guns” are manufactured from post SAA but still very old Colt double action revolvers. They do not require much in the way of hand fitting; are almost always department or agency trade-ins and were made, distributed and retired pre-’68. If you mix and match multiple revolvers in the rebuild/refurb., you will have something much more difficult, if not impossible to trace than one where the serial numbers have been obliterated. -30-

  11. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    “The search of Tong’s house at 9738 Gilded Cider Blvd. following a court-authorized, no-knock entry . . . ”

    Umm, the guy was killed by the police at the scene of the shooting. Why did they need to do a no-knock on his house?

    1. avatar Andy Buckmichael says:

      Because they are typical idiot cops.

    2. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

      Because maybe there were other likeminded people in the residence.

    3. avatar CZJay says:

      Because it’s fun! When you have the chance to put on your tacticool stuff and play mall cop, you go full mall cop.

    4. avatar neiowa says:

      If it will start is a great excuse to roll the MRAP.

      Is “scattered” anything like “located” or “stored”. I have the FEMA recommended 2weeks supply of food/etc stored between a couple spots in my house. Ammo and firearms accessories as well. A wacko MSM prog reporter would call that “scattered” when attempting to editorialize for idiots. Impossible for these twits to just REPORT FACTS.

    5. avatar jwm says:

      Without a warrant it would have been an illegal search. Paper work has to be proper, don’t you know.

    6. avatar GS650G says:

      Hopefully he didn’t have a dog or the pooch is toast.

  12. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    Maybe it was an 80% receiver?

  13. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    The idea of “ghost gun” implies that there is some government registration that catalogues all gun purchases and links them to specific owners. My understanding of law (and I think I’m right) is that this kind of national registration for guns and owners is illegal.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Absolutely correct. OTOH, for some reason fed law requires manufacturers to put serial numbers on their guns. It’s almost like there’s a wink and a nod in there somewhere. It is useless in solving crime, though, and won’t help much in mass confiscation either, since the whole world will know what’s happening within hours.

      1. As with a lot of stupid gun laws, it was a compromise, with the NRA fighting to have the least restrictive law, and LBJ working as hard as he could to get full registration and licensing of all guns. LBJ wanted to start the process they have gone through in England, but he could not quite get it through.

        So we ended up with the non-sensical “tracing” system that does nothing useful, costs megabucks, and is an ever present danger to be the basis for national registration.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      I know people who think guns are traceable and tracked as cars. The same people think you need a license to buy guns in every state and you have to register the gun at the store. A few I’ve met believe the FBI has a database of every gun’s cartridge stored as well as a nice big list of who has what guns.

      They can dream can’t they?

  14. avatar Jean-Claude says:

    If I was a felon who wanted a handgun, I’d do one of two things—if I wanted to involve as few people as possible.

    1) I would buy a black powder revolver at Cabela’s with cash. Same for the ammo components.

    2) I would buy a Polymer 80 frame and all the parts with cash at my next large gun show. Or just mail order all the parts–and some places are selling P80 frames and completion kits as a package deal. And it can all show up at your doorstep.

    If criminals aren’t doing it—-midlevel criminals, not street hoodlums—-then they’re not very smart. The Mafia and the cartels are undoubtedly making their own disposable handguns.

  15. avatar Bruce Clark says:

    Unfortunate that this kind of crap is bound to happen as a price of freedom in this country. But the reality is, although extremely rare in a society of 325+ million people it’s a fact of life folks. There is absolutely nothing that can be done about it. Gun’s are merely a tool to accomplish a deed whether good or bad. Without a gun as a tool there are plenty of other tools that would do just as adequate a job as a gun to kill someone. So don’t waiver in your support of the 2nd amendment because 40 to 50 people a year get killed by psychos on average do to the use of guns. Ban guns and the number of these incidents will certainly rise. Because as it stands it’s a proven FACT, that those currently illegally in possession of guns don’t give a damned about gun laws so what makes you think that they would if guns were banned. They would become even more powerful in an unarmed society. This country would become a “Law of the fittest society” the fittest being the ones with the guns. “Those that would give up Freedom and Liberty for temporary security, deserve neither”. – Thomas Jefferson. The Police, as great as they are, can’t be expected to come to your aid in less than 10 seconds. Responsibility for you and your family’s security depends on you, as it has always been and always will be. Regardless of all the useless bloviating seen by some of the clowns above.

  16. avatar Zundfolge says:

    Why do I feel like we’re being primed for an 80% firearms ban?

  17. avatar Ed says:

    “In 1977, police in Washington, D.C. reported that one fifth of the guns they confiscated were homemade.”

    1977 is ore-Internet.

    Seizure of a cache that included “more than a dozen computers” because access to information is dangerous to civilized society?

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