A Federal Ban On Machine Shops? Legislators Bungle ‘Ghost Gun’ Bill Language [VIDEO]

This Week in Gun Rights – July 11, 2020

This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. For another look at the topics discussed here, check out this week in gun rights at FPC

Gun-grabbers introduce bill banning “ghost gun machinery”

silencerco pistols

Dan Z. for TTAG

If you’ve ever spent any time reading legislation (we don’t recommend it), you know that most lawmakers are terrible at writing laws. Just take a look at dog’s breakfast that is the Affordable Care Act. So it should come as no surprise, then, that anti-gun rights legislators have managed to botch their latest pitch: banning access to what they’re calling “ghost gun machinery.

The bill is called the Stop Home Manufacture of Ghost Guns Act of 2020, and it calls for a ban on any “device designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be used primarily to make or convert a product into, a frame or receiver for a firearm, and any combination of parts designed or intended for use in making” such a device. 

If you think that sounds like a bunch of unintelligible gibberish, you’re right. The problem with the bill’s language is that although it might appear to advocate for a ban on specific products, it’s actually so vague that it could apply to machines or componentry that are commonly used for machining things as innocuous as car parts and porch railings.

It makes no sense, but that’s never deterred Congress from advancing anti-gun legislation before. After all, these are the same folks who brought us the 1994 assault weapons ban. Maybe their time would be better spent issuing a national moratorium on qualified immunity or addressing the other problems in our society instead of grandstanding about things they can’t stop people from building or possessing.

Northam hosts ceremonial signing away of Virginians’ gun rights

Ralph Northam

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Speaking of grandstanding, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam decided that he would hold a ceremonial signing of several pieces of anti-gun legislation last week. Some of the laws which went into effect include universal background checks, a red flag law, handgun rationing, and a safe storage provision.

No matter what your personal opinion on firearms, it’s clear to everyone that a substantial portion of the people believe these types of laws to be a violation of our fundamental rights.

You’d think that, when doing something so many view as such as so extreme, it would be done hastily, kind of like the Hughes Amendment. But here, we have individuals with national significance celebrating the signing like it’s a good thing. It seems to indicate that those clearly and openly stated concerns people have for their civil rights, at least to the Virginia establishment, are of little import. 

Did Subway cave to anti-gun zealots?

subway guns statement

Eat disarmed. Or at least, I guess, that’s their new slogan. After a half-hearted media campaign — really, it’s a stretch to even call it that — Subway has decided to institute the open carry ban that fresh-eating anti-gunners were asking for. Or did it?

The truth is, the company only slightly revised its policy; instead of banning open carry in their stores, Subway has advised its stores to kindly request that customers not open carry, or to at least conceal their firearms. It’s an interesting half-measure, and we’re not exactly sure what to take from it.

Hawaii passes new gun control law restricting interstate commerce

Slow Lava Flow From Kiiaeua Volcano Hawaii


On Wednesday, the Hawaii Senate passed yet another pointless gun control bill. This time, the state is implementing a new requirement on soon-to-be non-residents, who will be required to report any firearms that they are permanently removing from the state. Failure to report the removal of firearms may result in a $100 fine.

So why is this stupid? For starters, Hawaii doesn’t even know how many firearms are within its borders and imposing this new requirement won’t ever produce the information required to figure out the answer. Second, there’s no way for the state to determine whether someone has a firearm on their person or among their household goods when they move unless the firearm is listed on a manifest or is discovered prior to or during transit, so it’s essentially unenforceable.

That said, of all the states, Hawaii is the most likely to be able to give force an interstate travel law on account of how difficult it is to leave the state in your personal vehicle. Just another piece of red tape for the people of Hawaii to deal with.

Boogaloo and BLM protestors work together to fight for civil rights

Boogaloo members

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

We’ve previously covered the media and tech community’s attempts to paint the boogaloo “movement” as a bunch of white supremacists and far right extremists. Well, here’s more proof that the people who are making these claims are painting with too broad a brush or are willfully ignorant of the facts.

Over the Independence Day weekend, Boog Bois and BLM protestors joined together in Richmond, Virginia to protest the exercise of no-knock warrants, the dangerous practice of police raiding homes which resulted in the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Duncan Lemp. When open white supremacists announced their presence and began speaking, both groups denounced them, shouting “white supremacy sucks,” with event organizer Mike Dunn exclaiming “we don’t do that Nazi shit” to his group after the event.

While it’s great to see this kind of unified support for police reform, it would be nice to see more media coverage of it instead of the same rote, biased, anti-gun “reporting” intended only to slander upstanding members of the gun community.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    The dems are working overtime to crash the economy prior to the election. Shutting down machine shops are chump change to these evil bastards.

    1. avatar Lucy says:

      Senate better veto it and Trump better not allow it ether, the government needs Sued they are Infringing on our Rights, Constitutionally Carry that mean No license No Registering they have No right knowing what kind how many guns if you are a mentally impaired that is different you would be on heavy medication, that is the only one that they have a right to interfere and only the type of heavy medication

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yeah, it’s the democrats fault, not the idiot in chief that exclaimed back in February that covid would ‘magically disappear’ and then repeated it LAST WEEK.

      Had Hillary won in 16, we would have no more gun control than we do now. We may have had less if the republican congress had pushed back on the bump-stock ban more than they did with Trump. But in 2020 when the dems sweep congress and the White House because of the utter incompetence of this administration, things are going to get bad.

      The only chance for that not to happen is for Biden and whatever idiot he picks as his running mate to really screw things up- way beyond what he’s doing now.

      1. avatar enuf says:

        Yes, it is important to remember that Shrillery Clinton had zero accomplishments to her name beyond snagging up titled positions and posturing in speeches. She was bad news for her inability, her incompetence. Especially where security of documents and communications is concerned.

        Doubtful she’d of had any success at gun control.

        Biden has greater likelihood of success at gun control but even that is not a significant threat. Even if he won both houses of Congress, it would not be a Filibuster proof majority in the Senate. That and few are the bills upon which all Dems agree, they tend to tear their coalitions apart fighting over the details.

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        Hannibal – stick to popo BS. You know diddly squat about politics.

      3. avatar Geoff "I sold all my guns" PR says:

        “Had Hillary won in 16, we would have no more gun control than we do now.”

        You have to be shitting me.

        Had Hillary won in 16, we would have ‘Wise Latina’ Sotomayor 2 and Kagen 2 instead of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

        Are you seriously telling me 2 rabid Leftists on the high court is better than what we have now?

        If you think so, Hannibal, can I have some from your bag of weed?

        1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          but..but..Super-Soldier Hilary Clinton low crawled under enemy sniper fire!!!

          She should have been the first high speed, low drag woman President.


        2. avatar jwm says:

          Geoff, hannibal has openly stated he’s left of center on the pol spectrum.

          He’s a kool aid drinker. Sad thing is he claims to be a cop. The dems are openly working to trash him and he’s still licking their hands.

      4. avatar jwm says:

        hannibal. Look where things have gotten bad. Democrats own this unrest and the lockdowns in the major states of America They are also responsible for the defund cops movement. They threw you and your fellow cops under the bus.

        There will be no democrat sweep. There will be a law and order, right wing backlash at the polls. Why do you think the best the dems can come up with this cycle is slow uncle joe? No dem with half a brain wants to be known as the one that Trump used for toilet paper this time around. The dems had to sacrifice some one. So uncle joe, who is basically done anyway, got thrown under the same bus you got run over by.

        1. avatar RGP says:

          I think you’re right, but remember that whoever counts the votes has more influence than who votes, and there’s a pretty good chance that the new residents of the Social Security Death Index suburb are all voting Democrat.

        2. avatar enuf says:

          It was a certainty six or eight months ago that Trump has a second term coming to him. It is far from certain now. Of course it does not require a Democratic sweep for that to happen and I don’t think a sweep is at all certain anyway.

          There will be some Republicon losses. There should not be, but Trump has damaged the party and strengthened the opposition. That far at least, the balance of probability has clearly shifted.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          enuf. 6-8 months ago the dems had a better shot at unseating Trump. Then they derailed the booming economy and set loose antifa and blm. And they’ve done nothing to hide the fact that they are trashing the economy. The dems are dead on their feet and just don’t realize it yet.

          I live in the San Francisco bay area. I’ve seen no support for Biden here. On the contrary, I’ve seen a gathering of Trump supporters waving Trump banners and American flags on a freeway overpass.

          The democrats will not have a party after November.

        4. avatar MADDMAXX says:

          The dems had to sacrifice some one. So uncle joe, who is basically done anyway, got thrown under the same bus you got run over by.

          NAILED IT!! I’ve been saying that since Creepy Uncle Joe announced, (there’s your shark food)….. Everyone else gave up too easily and Joe (who was broke by the way) suddenly wins the South Carolina (Senatorial primary) on (Super Thursday) and Bernie gives up ceding the presumptive nomination to Biden who has now adopted Bernies platform…

        5. avatar Rattlerjake says:

          The left doesn’t need to get Trump out of office, all they need to do is distract us while they increase their house and senate seats through mail-in vote fraud. Trump will be powerless if the senate and house are both leftist majority!

      5. avatar Ralph says:

        I don’t know if Hannibal is a cop or not, but he could be. I mean, he certainly has the IQ of a cop.

        1. avatar Rattlerjake says:


        2. avatar Matt in SC says:

          You, sir, are a treasure.

      6. avatar DinWA says:

        “Had Hillary won in 16…”
        …we’d have had many different judical appointments.

  2. avatar SteveO says:

    “The hallmark of authoritarian systems is the creation of innumerable, indecipherable laws. Such systems make everyone an un-indicted felon and allow for the exercise of arbitrary government power via selective prosecution.”

    -Ayn Rand

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      “You bring me the man, I’ll find you the crime.”

      – Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s Chief of Soviet Secret Police

      1. avatar Geoff "I sold all my guns" PR says:

        Did some reading on Beria last night, holy crap, that was evil in the flesh…

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “Did some reading on Beria last night, holy crap, that was evil in the flesh…”

          Stalin wiped out his military officer corps on the eve of German invasion. He also destroyed a slick money swindle that was keeping his country in hard currency while the stability of Russia/Soviet Union was still in doubt.The swindle was a shadow government that was raking in donations from refugee elites who fled the revolution. Stalin was suspicious this fake shadow government (established by Stalin’s great secret police mastermind Feliks Dzierżyński). The money dried up, and nearly strangled the communists.

      2. avatar Southern Cross says:

        A lesson passed on to all affiliated revolutions. Keep someone awake for 3 days and they will confess to almost anything.

        Physical torture is at the pleasure of the interrogators.

        1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

          Physical torture is at the pleasure of the interrogators.

          Much easier to keep em awake that way, also naked in a totally dark super cooled room and loud obnoxious music with intermittent flashes of bright lights directly in their eyes works well, oh and only give them water in a reclined position (head slightly lower than feet) filtered through a towel or an old t-shirt…

    2. avatar enuf says:

      Ayn Rand was an America hating bitch. She pretended to love this country but listen to her interviews and she had a very different vision, a deeply self serving and anti-religion, athiest philosophy. Glad she’s dead, sorry death did not find her sooner.

      1. avatar Adub says:

        You have said a lot of stupid stuff on this site but now I’m compelled to respond. Ayn Rand loved this country and I honestly wish death would find you sooner rather than later, and that I could find your grave to piss on it.

  3. avatar d says:

    I smell tyranny

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Smell, nothin’. They’ve come out of the closet. I see tyranny.

      1. avatar No one of consequence says:

        Oh, you can still smell them, too. (Let’s just all pretend it’s patchouli oil, and not … whatever that actually is, though.)

  4. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    In some communist countries the possession of hand tools is limited by law. Also the tools are chained to the floor. To limit just how far you can take them in the shop.
    It seems this is the direction the democrats are going.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Chris T in KY,

      Wow, I have never heard of that. Can you provide any citations?

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    Hawaii sounds a good place not to live in and a better place to leave.

  6. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Just because it rankles the tender panties of un American Leftards ,Boog,Boog,Boogieman and or Boogeyman.

  7. avatar Sam I Am says:

    How is it these anti-gun mobsters haven’t enforced the NFA regarding illegal firearm suppressors?

    Home Depot, Lowes, True Value, Ace, and a myriad of other “hardware” stores are in constructive possession of unregistered, untaxed, thus illegal suppressors.

    Where is the perp walk?

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Re: Ayn Rand comment above from SteveO. Everything is illegal so enforcement and prosecution is arbitrary.

  8. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    “Gun-grabbers introduce bill banning “ghost gun machinery”

    So they want to ban drills,files ,razor knifes and rotary tools, once again proving the insanity of the un American Left.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      No, they don’t want to ban any of those things. They want to be able to go after YOU, if you become a problem…. Just remember: don’t be scared of rats, and the answer to the math question is “5”.

      1. avatar Someone says:

        The answer to the math question is not 5. It’s “Whatever you (the Party) want it to be.”

  9. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “A Federal Ban On Machine Shops? Legislators Bungle ‘Ghost Gun’ Bill Language”


    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      After all Leftardism is a mental disease,rendering them babbling idiots,example their chosen candidate for the presidency.

    2. avatar California Richard says:

      They didn’t bungle anything. The vague language is a feature. They can use it as weapon as they see fit.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Or, as has happened before, an entire “law” can be struck down due to vagueness. Works both ways.

  10. avatar enuf says:

    A bill doomed to failure. If only all bills inspired by Hoplophobic utopian delusions could be so doomed!!!

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Normally I would agree with you, but recent events and the arbitrary and blatantly biased enforcement (and interpretation a-la SCOTUS) of laws lately, make me believe that anything is possible within the context of law. The mask is off. The tyrants are showing themselves. The lines are being drawn.

      1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

        It’s still an ineffective unenforceable pile of unintelligible and inconceivable gibberish…

        1. avatar California Richard says:

          Tell that to the BATFE when they enforce it, and to SCOTUS when the challenge/appeal comes up for Certiorari and gets rejected.

        2. avatar MADDMAXX says:

          Tell that to the BATFE when they enforce it

          Number (1) It will never become law, and (B) IF it should pass the Senate (no fucking way) it would face the veto stamp AND (3) IF it became law the two words PRIMARILY and INTENDED are all the defense you will need… You would have to be a pretty prolific finisher of 80% lowers (and NOT use your machinery for ANYTHING else) in order for any court (jury) to determine that your stuff is PRIMARILY INTENDED for the completion of 80% lowers… It’s a shit bill, poorly worded that will go nowhere, but the assholes that wrote it can go home and say “hey we tried”.. Don’t get your panties all bunched up, the rest of the country is not KOMMIEFORNIA…. yet…. (Hmmmm YET, another key word)

  11. avatar MADDMAXX says:

    ban on any “device designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be used primarily to make or convert a product into, a frame or receiver for a firearm, and any combination of parts designed or intended for use in making” such a device.

    I think the key word(s) are INTENDED and PRIMARILY… I can buy an 80% with a jig and complete it on my drill press… The drill press PRIMARY INTENDED function is NOT the completion of a lower AR fire control housing/receiver and is only rarely used for that purpose, anyone who can show that the primary purpose of their “machinery” is something other than finishing 80% lowers has nothing to worry about from that sad attempt at relevance..

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      No, no, no. Your are absolutely wrong. Any device/tool that can be used to build or maintain a firearm has those functions as the primary use, especially any of those devices/tools that can be purchased and used in the home. This is proven by the fact that the person in possession is a gun owner. If not a gun owner, then those devices/tools are not primarily intended for building or maintaining firearms.

      See? The proposed law is not vague, you jess have to gitcher mind right.

      Or spend three days in the box.

    2. avatar Someone says:

      There is one piece of machinery sold to general public that is primarily meant to be used to finish firearms. Its a table top CNC mill named ironically enough ‘Ghost Gunner’.
      This bill practically bans it.

      1. avatar MADDMAXX says:

        So what? With the right bits, some patience and the proper jig I can turn out a very nice, quite functional AR lower with my mufti speed Craftsman drill press and and a Dremel AND I use that stuff regularly for fabricating parts for cars and motorcycles, nothing to see here folks just a car/mc enthusiast hobby shop…. If you need something “literally ” CALLED a “Ghost Gunner” you probably need to reassess your machine working skills AND why you would want to call attention to yourself by buying something like that…

  12. avatar Pat Wallace says:

    Subway “Subway respectfully requests that guests refrain from openly displaying firearms”
    TTAG “Subway has decided to institute the open carry ban”

    1) Isn’t a request is different from required or mandated?
    2) if you paid for a meal you are a paying customer not a guest.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      It’s a meaningless statement corporately designed to avoid conflict with anyone. Moms against everything get to claim a hollow victory but stores aren’t likely to actually tell anyone they can’t come in.

      As to ‘guests’ that’s more corporate speak. The same way they like to call employees “associates.”

  13. avatar Bob Bobby says:

    They will have to pry my lathe from my cold ,dead hands. Anybody need a prop shaft?

    1. avatar Darkman says:

      3 Feet long and Four inches in diameter hollowed out to fit a golf ball size object. With a triple walled expansion chamber on one end capable of holding approximately 3-4 oz. of dry material.

      1. avatar arc says:

        That sounds like a small cannon.

        1. avatar DinWA says:

          It’s a device to help disabled folks play golf.

  14. avatar Pants says:

    How many of these bills are intentionally written poorly so fingers can be pointed after it’s inevitable demise?

  15. avatar SkorpionFan says:

    When will Democrats admit that magazine capacity restrictions for the public (but not LEOs) do not “make it safe” from known, mentally-deranged violent criminals who have no respect and do not follow the law? Maybe if all LEO carveouts are eliminated and they have to live under the same laws they endorse for us non-LEO civilians?

    This bill Hawaii HB1902 is still moving forward in the Hawaii state legislature. It would prohibit sale or transfer of magazines over 10 rounds. It is already prohibited to sell or transfer pistol magazines of more than 10 rounds. On 7/8/2020, the Hawaii State Senate rceived notice of House intent to agree to the amendments proposed by the Senate. 

    If I remember correctly, the bill is a response to the January 19, 2020 incident, where two Honolulu police officers responding to the scene of a stabbing near Diamond Head were shot and killed during a violent sequence of events that is believed to have ended when the suspected killer died after setting fire to the home he was hiding in. The 69-year-old murderer had a history of mental instability, with symptoms including delusions that he was being tracked by the Secret Service and FBI. Court records also show numerous restraining orders had been filed against Hanel by three neighbors. But because this mentally-deranged murderer used an AR-15 to murder 2 police officers, the Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard made an appeal for legislative  proposals to ban rifle magazines that hold more than 10 bullets and for new restrictions on the sale of ammunition. Some Hawaii State lawmakers said this bill would close loopholes and prevent gun-related crimes.

    “We’re asking them to please, please pass these bills, for law enforcement, for all of our public safety, for the safety of our officers, for the safety of our community,” Ballard said. “These bills are there to make it safe.”

    HB1902 HD2 SD

    Measure Title:RELATING TO FIREARMS.Report Title:Firearms; Large-Capacity Magazine; ProhibitionDescription:Prohibits the manufacture, possession, sale, barter, trade, gift, transfer, or acquisition of detachable ammunition magazines with a capacity in excess of ten rounds, regardless of the type of firearm with which the magazine is compatible. Allows possession of large-capacity magazines that were legally possessed prior to the effective date of this Act. Allows acquisition by means of inheritance of large-capacity magazines that were legally in possession prior to the effective date of this Act. Allows possession and use by law enforcement agencies and officers. Allows the use of blank-fire assault weapons and detachable ammunition magazines with a capacity in excess of ten rounds for use solely as props for motion picture film or television program production when authorized by the chief of police of the appropriate county and not in violation of federal law. (SD2)

  16. avatar Rob Rosen says:

    My drill press has killed less people than Teddy Kennedy’s Oldsmobile.

  17. avatar tdiinva says:

    The boog bois are part of the sovereign citizens movement which is the logical end point in faux Libertarianism. There is nothing new or good about the faux Libertarian-BLM-Antifa alliance.

    1. avatar CentralVirginian says:

      On top of that they’ve given an agenda to Hawaiian shirts other than partying and vacation, not cool.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Those are the real Boogaloo Bois. This group are idiot imposters who took them seriously.

  18. avatar Boogeyman says:

    A politician with a law never stops a bad guy with a gun…or, now, a machine shop.
    He only controls the good guys, which is his true intentions.

  19. avatar Debbie W. says:

    What else do you expect coming from gun control azzhats who get away with carrying around an agenda rooted in racism and genocide?
    The slaves may turn a wagon wheel into a gun and where would those democrat slave masters be then? You slaves can’t turn no wagon wheel into a gun now get back to picking cotten before some democrat cracker cracks his whip.

  20. avatar Broke_It says:

    The tool ban reminds me of the time my neighbor called the cops on me for welding. After the officer showed up she kept demanding he get my license. I still can’t wrap my head around the kind of mind that thinks a license is required to weld stuff in my garage.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Wow, what was your neighbors issue?

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        RF from his welder was probably interfering with “her shows.”

      2. avatar Broke_It says:

        She didn’t like the flash and the electrical noise was described as “scary.” Gotta hand it to the officer for not just laughing in her face.

  21. avatar adverse6 says:

    I love this political BS.

  22. avatar A. C. says:

    “Did Subway cave to anti-gun zealots?”

    Or perhaps Subway management got sick and tired of hysterics from hoplophobes who had seen a gun and run out.

  23. avatar CWT says:

    No sitting politician had a hand in writing Obamacare. It came part and parcel from a liberal think tank much the same as NY’s Safe Act.

  24. avatar john piesyk says:

    If we don’t have guns we will not have a country. We should have the same as the government.

    1. avatar edward kenway says:

      Outside of automatic fire capabilities many civilian small arms are comparable to, or of superior quality to the small arms sold under government contract to the military.
      The military learned an expensive lesson in Afghanistan with their overpriced Colt, FN, and HK rifles. This is exactly why they’re spending millions of dollars on the NGSW upgrades and new ammo. The new weapons and ammo will require the services to re-vamp marksmanship training. They’re just now figuring things out commercial firearms and ammo makers have been doing for two decades now and still getting it half-assed right by switching to a 6.8mm round. Full-auto is nice, but it’s overrated unless you’ve got accuracy and stand-off distance to go with it.

  25. avatar Alan says:

    Legislators Bungle! Is this something new and strange?

  26. avatar James Singer says:

    Boog Bois and BLM protestors joining together show how Ignorant so-called 2A, militia, III%, and other pro-gun Rights groups are. BLM’s “leadership” are self-admitted Marxists. They openly talk about OVERTHROWING Our Constitutional Republic and replacing it with a socialist/Communist system. WTF?! As an FFL, I refuse to sell firearms to anyone who supports BLM, ANTIFA, etc. I make it a habit of NOT selling guns to people/organizations today that Patriots may be shooting at tomorrow.

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