In 2008, Darren Peters founded a full-service machine shop in Florida with a vision of excellent quality and sterling-class workmanship. His small business has expanded its product line, adding professionals to his team and building a reputation for excellent service and products. In every sense, Darren’s workshop fulfills the American dream. But now, thanks to a bureaucratic rule from the Biden administration, that could all come to end.
What is Darren’s great crime? His business, Tactical Machining, creates American-made high-quality parts for guns and products for the home gunsmith. Darren helps others help themselves, and for that, the government might kill his business. One of President Biden’s campaign-trail promises was to crack down on so-called ghost guns. One of his very first recommendations to Congress was to pass sweeping gun-control laws, in part targeting firearms parts and kits that help citizens manufacture their own tools of self-defense. When Congress refused to do so, Biden turned to the administrative state to get the job done through bureaucratic rulemaking instead.
On the list of such policies is a recently enacted sweeping regulation — referred to as the Final Rule — drastically expanding the definition of what constitutes a “firearm” under federal law. Issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the regulation clocks in at a whopping 364 pages. If allowed to stand, the Final Rule would wreak chaos in the firearms market, create confusion among consumers about what items are regulated as firearms, and shutter the doors of countless small businesses such as Tactical Machining. Perhaps worst of all, however, it would undermine the historic and precious pastime and right of Americans to build their own firearms.
Individuals have been crafting and customizing personal firearms since before the American Revolution. The mass-production of firearms is relatively new. Fewer Americans today need to manufacture their own arms, as is the case with nearly all other mass-produced items we use regularly. Nevertheless, in the same way that we can grow food in our own gardens or sew our own clothes, our right to build our own guns is not negated by industrialization. Crafting a gun is no more unusual or sinister than any other act of self-sufficiency.
— Erin M. Erhardt in The Biden Administration’s Custom-Gun Grab