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Ghost guns! (courtesy

“Eight men were charged Thursday with making and distributing dozens of firearms, many of them assault-style weapons illegally equipped with silencers, in what federal officials are calling one of the biggest takedowns in California’s Central Valley,” reports. “Undercover agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives purchased or seized more than 230 firearms and silencers. Many are known as ‘ghost guns’ because they lack serial numbers and can be sold without background checks or transfer documents.” And now the law enforcement hysteria and anti-gun agitprop . . .

“Firearms trafficking such as that alleged in this indictment is one of the primary sources of crime guns found on the streets, and the manufacture of untraceable, unserialized firearms hampers criminal investigations, putting the public at greater risk,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said at a news conference. ‘High-capacity assault rifles, with silencers but without serial numbers, are some of the most lethal weapons that criminals can get their hands on.'”

THIS is the source of illegal guns fueling Golden State gang bangers? The vast majority of criminals use handguns when committing a firearms-related crime. And California cops depend on firearms tracing to lower “gun violence” like Jessica Ashley depends on her English degree to make a living. And everyone knows unserialized guns are WAY more lethal than serialized firearms. [/sarc]

Luckily, the cops arrested these bad boy backyard gunsmithing dudes before they could ramp up ghost gun production. Oh wait . . .

Wagner said the group ramped up its manufacture of the weapons after undercover agents first contacted them in February. Handguns were also purchased or seized. Wagner said he can’t recall as many guns being seized in one operation in his 20 years as a federal prosecutor.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (And Really Big Fires): manufacturing firearms-related crime since 1886. [h/t JA]

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    • actual numbers of his Personal Ghost guns was less then 1 dozen. All the Silencers were legit. this was a bogus raid ATF used for Show boating.

      he was a smithy and was NOT selling Ghost guns. the ATF requested them but the smith denied making them for him.

      they did not like him having more then a couple for his personal use. 100% legal, but they considered him a risk and had to make an example.

      beside 98% of crimes are with handgun…. NOT Rifles. NONE by NFA items legally owned or Purchased.

      the ATF agent Legally purchaced a few items. he siezed the smiths personal and proffesional inventory and called it all ilegal due to his Legal Ghost guns he had for Personal use.

      the Story will be forgotten After the election, no one will be punished for false arrest, smithy will not get his firearms back and may never be able to do his job again losing everything.

      just another Illegal action by the ATF followed by public lies and misdirections.

      • “All the Silencers were legit.”


        I was under the impression ‘Silencers’ are *not* legal in California.

        Can you cite a source on that?

        • You are correct. California bans silencers, SBRs and to a certain extent, automatic weapons. However, the local US AG is on the “ghost gun” bandwagon” and has been pushing for a re-introduction of the Senator De Leon “ghost gun” ban bill. AFAIK, a ghost gun has been used in only one crime, the famous bank robbery and miles long shootout in Stockton that ended up killing a hostage. The ATF was also responsible for shutting down “build parties,” where people with 80% blank receivers would gather at a place owning a CNC mill to complete their lowers. It seems to me that, at least in California, the feds have launched a program to discourage home-made weapons production.

        • Mark N, there was also the Santa Monica college shooting. The guy used an AR15, with a homebuilt receiver, to kill his family, shoot up a bus, and then shoot some folks at a college. I don’t know if he used it, but he also had a black powder revolver. So there’s two high profile ones. But the fact that they’re using those in California is because they can’t get the guns through other means, which only shows that the illegal gun market is as fluid as any financial market and bans don’t accomplish anything because they’ll find a way to get what they want.

    • the source of the guns fueling gang bangers,? is the fast and furious program ,, they made money fast ,and people are furious about the innocents being killed and maimed by them

    • I can see it now The next Call of Duty game will have a “Ghost Gun” damage increasing mode that allows your Rifle to remove its serial number for maximum damage and it will make it harder to find you. These dumb asses learn firearms technology from their kids. The ATF has some good people but a great majority are clueless, I have seen cases where they had to call for someone to come in from the field office just to clear an AR because they were clueless about how to do it, even though they had to fire them as a part of their training. Its disgraceful that they are supposed to be Subject Matter experts and are so clueless. They are such a joke and firearms are the only hobby that isnt policed by people who take part in the hobby. If you want to regulate aircraft you hire pilots, to regulate Radio traffic, you hire HAM radio operators, evidently to regulate firearms, you hire the dumbest bastards you can find who have no moral compass.

  1. I think this was a case of entrapment. The ATF probably kept making them bigger and better offers and giving them more and more good reasons to make the guns until they finally said they’d do it.

    One guy got arrested for supplying a drill press, and the prosecutor connected this to drug trafficking because three people were busted for what’s most likely possession. “Oh, so you have some pot huh? You must be working for the cartels.”

    • I don’t believe in entrapment. If you accept someones $10 million offer to have sex with you, you’re still a whore.

      While the laws against selling unserialized guns and silencers are stupid and useless, the guys who broke them new it was illegal and will pay the price.

      • It’s entrapment if they weren’t inclined to commit a crime before LE enticed it.
        Whether this case qualifies is unclear at the moment.

        What is clear is business as usual, the Feds working hard to combat the crimes they just wasted 8 months creating.

      • You don’t believe in entrapment? Do you mean you don’t believe that it actually happens, or that you don’t philosophically believe in it?

      • …and that begs the question of whether or not being a whore should be illegal. Not to speak to the entrapment thing, but being a whore shouldn’t be illegal and neither should silencers, sbrs, and making/selling guns from your garage without an FFL.

    • “One guy got arrested for supplying a drill press…”

      That’s an old ATF trick…calling that a “conspiracy to commit a felony.”

      Under federal “conspiracy” law, a person can be charged and convicted of “conspiracy” even if they were unaware that a conspiracy was in the works and never even intended to participate is such a conspiracy.

      Conspirator: “Hey, George; can I use your drill press? I’ve got a bunch of holes to drill and my hand drill isn’t working.”

      Dupe George: “Sure, Fred; just replace any drill bits you wear out or break.”

      ATF: “Hello, George: you’re BUSTED for conspiring to violate federal firearms law!”

      George: “WTF!!!”

  2. But selling a gun without a serial number is already illegal, as is manufacturing for anything but personal use without a license.


    • Selling a gun without a serial number isn’t illegal – if you have to fill out a 4473, you just list “None” or something of that ilk.

      There are many guns out there that do not have serial numbers as they weren’t required until the GCA of 1968 if I recall correctly (though most manufacturers did for their own tracking purposes).

      Even making and selling an 80% isn’t illegal so long as it wasn’t made with the intent to resell.

      Otherwise I agree, we need more laws; murder should be double, triple, or even quadruple illegal. Whatever it takes to make criminals obey the law.

      • I should say that manufacturing a gun without a serial number and then selling it is bound to get you ATF attention.

        I’m aware that it’s perfectly legal to trade/sell older guns that were pre/68 and may or may not have a proper SN#.

        • Not quite they have to prove that the manufacturing was with intent to sell. If you make an 80% lower, use it for a while, then sell it to someone, that’s not a crime as your manufacture was not done with the intent to sell.

      • Three years ago, purchased .22 bolt action with no serial number. Retailer at gun show still filed 4473. Serial number listed as none. We both looked at each other ala “what’s the use of this “.
        Last year , sold rifle, no paperwork.

        • The only non-serialized gun I ever bought (pre-60’s Winchester Model 37 break action 12 gauge) was from an individual. I always wondered what an FFL would have done had he/she been selling it.

    • It’s not illegal to sell a homemade gun. It IS illegal to manufacture a firearm with intent to sell, unless you have an FFL. The intent is the essence of the crime. If you manufactured a firearm for your own personal use, and then later decided you didn’t want it anymore and sold it you’d be legally A-OK (at least as far as federal legislation is concerned). If instead you manufactured a firearm for the express purpose of selling it to another individual, then you’d be breaking the law. Both cases involve essentially the same actions, manufacturing a firearm, then selling it, but one is legal, the other is illegal. Most people don’t want to bother with explaining the distinction, so they just throw their hands up and say they’re both illegal.

  3. “the manufacture of untraceable, unserialized firearms hampers criminal investigations, “

    How is that, Mr. US Attorney? Have you ever actually taken a Logic class in your life? Or, do you know this statement is pure, unadulterated bovine feces and you don’t care if you lie to push your Statist agenda?

    I’ve been involved in quite a few criminal investigations, and having / not having a serial number on a gun had never, not once, anything to do with solving the crime.

    The ONLY thing a S/N was ever used for in my experience was being able to ‘track’ a given gun as Chain of Evidence is easier to show with serialized items. In court, one could say, “Yes, this is the gun I picked up. See, I wrote the S/N down on this here piece of paper at the time.”

    That’s about it.

    Never, not once, did we have shooting scene and we stood around saying, “Dayum, if only we had the S/N of the gun that fired these bullets we could solve this thing!”

    Where do they come up with this crap, and why do people fall for it? Here’s the answer…the Statist Promise of “We’ll take care of you:”

    “putting the public at greater risk,”

    And good grief, Mr. Wagner…but you sure did pull out ALL the stupid for this quote:

    High-capacity assault rifles, with silencers but without serial numbers, are some of the most lethal weapons that criminals can get their hands on.

    What, pray tell, makes a rifle’s magazine capacity or noise signature…or a number engraved on the side…more lethal than any other rifle?

    GAH. My head hurts from the stupid.

    • Like stickers on a car, being a ‘ghost gun’ adds 20% more damage. Silencers increase headshot damage (and zombies cannot hear them…little zombies)

    • The other funny thing about calling them “high capacity assault rifles” is I see ZERO magazines of any size in the evidence pics. So who the hell knows what capacity these semi-autos were.

      • Pffft.

        Don’t you know all Ghost Guns have a:

        “.30-caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip in half a second.”

        -California State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles)

    • what they’re actually saying is that the manufacture of any unserialized firearm by an unknown individual is a threat to the criminals who also happen to be government officials.

      • No you wouldn’t because one of the “benefits” of being non official is the Agency won’t blow your cover so it’s off to the graybar hotel at least until things cool off.

        Interagency cooperation is shall we say “not very good.”

        • that was kind of the funny thing about the Fast and Furious scandal, the one guy they were specifically trying to take down ended up being an FBI informant who was immune from prosecution.

        • Read the article carefully. They claimed they were authorized and billed the government for $1mil+ for $10k worth of stuff. Sounds like fraud to me. However, if it was a legitimate operation they go to jail to keep from exposing the op. That is way this kind of stuff works.

  4. It’s OK. They were supposed to go to Fast & Furious MMXV

    Nothing to see here. Move along now…

  5. Any other agency I would say yeah these are bad guys, lock them up forever. This is the ATF which has a history of entrapment. For all we know the ATF agents represented themselves as CIA/DOD/Seals/Some Other group looking for untraceable firearms for a covert operation. Let the details come out in court and lets see if the case holds water.

    • Except that if they represented themselves as working a government covert operation no crime would have been comitted. The government has the legal authority to order and purchase these firearms.

      Producing a hobby shop ghost gun is no big deal. The capability and willingness to produce in batch is a sign of either a shop that actually supports covert ops or potentially criminal activity. People who make ghost guns knows that to make large batches of ghost guns puts you on collision course with ATF. They need a good reason to do it.

  6. Private enterprise trumps government always. Technology trumps regulation always. Neither can be controlled. That is the real fear that drives gun-control.

  7. Ok… So they had some guns. Did they hurt anyone with them?

    Seems like the quickest way to reduce illegal gun possession is to legalize it – especially since no one was hurt and all.

    • The real crime in cases like this, if you step back and think about it, is that they (the “criminals”) offended the bureaucracy by not filling out some forms and paying some fees.

      That’s about it.

      It’s not a crime to make or possess any one of those firearms. No, the real issue here was given by the US Attorney:

      they lack serial numbers and can be sold without background checks or transfer documents.”

      {my emphasis}

      Serial numbers, background checks and transfer documents. That’s what ALL this fuss is about.

      Crimes Against Bureaucracy…FELONIES of the day and age we live in, the most egregious crime you can commit is to offend the Almighty State.

      • “Crimes Against Bureaucracy”

        That is exactly what the “crime” was.

        We really need to get the word out about Common Law and hold bureaucrats’ feet to the Common Law fire. A really good attorney would move the accused person’s case to a Common Law court. After moving the case to a Common Law court, that really good attorney would demand that the prosecutor bring forward the victim to show what harm the accused had committed. Upon being unable to produce any victims, that really good attorney would then move to dismiss the case and an honest judge with integrity would throw out the case.

  8. “Many are known as ‘ghost guns’ because they lack serial numbers and can be sold without background checks or transfer documents.”

    Serialized guns can also be sold without paperwork and backround checks. I’ve bought and sold firearms several times without turning in forms and calling NICS. Legally. But I’m not in Kommiefornia.

  9. Life imitating art. Right in Sons of Anarchy territory.
    That series even had a plot line that mimicked Fast and Furious.
    And the series Prison Break plot line was copied by Obama.

  10. So the ATF contacted these guys to make illegal weapons for them, that from the sounds of it, that one guy was previously just making for himself. The ATF placed and order for illegal weaponry…. they committed a crime in order to catch somebody committing a crime…who may or may not have committed the crime without the ATF involved. And also from the sound of it, the ATF was their only customer. Once again the ATF is in the illegal gun trafficking business business….but they have badges, so its all good.

    • Here is something for you to think about.

      You make guns as a hobby and some
      guy(s) show up at the door with a big order. What so you do?

      As for me, Alarm bells are going off in my head. It’s either the Feds or something criminal. I am calling ATFas soon as they walk out the door.

      • Then the ATF would promptly find some off the wall reason serve YOU with a search warrant and tear your home/office apart. Fucking bafoons, the lot of them.

      • Tell ’em “No” when they try to place an order and you might get Randy Weaver’d. That’s kind of how his whole mess started.

      • I’d imagine only two type of people show up with large orders for unserialized silenced weapons. Real deal ™ criminals and Feds.

        Options seemed to be;

        a) It’s the former he refused and ends up dead.
        b) It’s the former he accepts and get a pay day and possible repeat business.
        c) It’s the later, he refuses and they keep upping the offer or take a different approach until he’s screwed.
        d) It’s the later, he accepts and end up in prison, getting acquainted with new friends.
        e) He calls the cops in California or the ATF. Then just gets raided and his Compound* is suddenly on the news and everything he has is confiscated. Option a is still on table with this one.

        I’m sure at no point did any agent try and suggest things would turn out bad for the guy if he refused to do the work. Still it’s the guys fault for taking the 50/50 over the obvious no-win.

        I’m sure if a group of dodgy guys turned up at most folks homes asking to buy weapons. Then they’d use that one course they took from the 19 year old two time MOH winning retired Navy Seal and take them all out without their family getting hurt and no comeback whatsoever.

        * Compound will include any land more than a half plot where the residence contains any of the following; more than 10 spare AA batteries, more than one handgun, more than a single box of 20 rounds of ammunitions, a don’t tread on me symbol, a bandana, a dog, any non-scented candle, non fair trade coffee.

        • If it’s the Feds the first call to ATF shuts down the deal if its intended as a sting If it is the criminal element and you call the Feds it witsec for you.

          If it’s another government agency that can legally do this, i.e., the CIA or other Title 50 operation your call to the ATF will probably lose you the business/

      • I like where you are going with this, but I would contact my local S.O. and offer to help set up a sting. Make rally, bring popcorn. And some trauma plates.

  11. The BATFE has zero credibility in my book. Every single effing day Police and Federal Agents are out actively manufacturing crime and criminals to keep the criminal legal system “pig” fed in this country.

    My bet is that this case falls apart and misdemeanors will be pled for all. Time will tell.

    • While they have puppet masters with agendas I think part of the problem is they cover at least 4 distinct issues. Management rather than keep that sectioned off with agents sticking to their own area of expertise, they end up with the former military officer who dealt with 500 IED’s in Iraq and no legal training having to make determinations on what’s NFA in a dark office without internet access.

      Then you have the guy who can field strip, clean and reassemble any handgun and long gun produced in the last 50 years blindfolded calling in the bomb disposal crews every time something putty like or having visible wires shows up.

      If it’s inept management then people needs fired and replaced, if it’s a deliberate thing people need imprisoned and replaced.

      • “If it’s inept management then people needs fired and replaced, if it’s a deliberate thing people need imprisoned and replaced.”

        There’s a third option: don’t replace, just eliminate…the whole shootin’ match.

        What real useful purpose does the ATF serve, anyway? Seems like the entire agency is nothing but bureaucracy fueling bureaucracy.

    • Why bother to retrieve them? We can just make more.

      That’s kind of the whole point of the U.S. Attorney guy’s grandstanding about how unserialized guns are more lethal than ones that have a series of numbers etched on them, isn’t it? They’re scared shitless that unknown people can make “untraceable” firearms, and that it’s getting easier to do so every day.

      • “…and that it’s getting easier to do so every day.”

        Being a younger member of POTG, this I see being the only hope we have left for my generation.

  12. I wonder what crime or crimes these guys are actually going to be charged with? The charging instrument will have to reference an actual statute being violated somewhere.

  13. In California no face-to-face, or private, sales of firearms are legal. Pistols and Long Guns require the intermediary use of an FFL and “appropriate paperwork”, fees, background checks and so forth. This is as of 1991 for pistols and 2014 for Long Guns. Additionally, the buyer, at least, must have a Firearms Safety Card (FSC) to make use of an FFL, which is obtained by taking a test and paying a $25.00 fee. Yep, it’s a de facto registration of gun buyers, but not necessarily a guns purchased registry. You have to have the FSC to get a background check, but the BC does not require specification of what gun is being purchased.
    Whatever these guys were up to would be illegal in California if they sold “no questions asked” to anyone…not saying they were, just stating the situation. If one of the suspects was a gunsmith and had an FFL, then they were probably obeying California Law.


  14. “”High-capacity assault rifles, with silencers but without serial numbers, are some of the most lethal weapons that criminals can get their hands on.””

    The stupid is strong with this one….

  15. Has anyone ever been dissuaded from committing a crime because his gun did or did not have a serial number? Even assuming so, nothing a few minutes with a dremel won’t alter.

    Has a crime ever been solved because the gun used in the crime did have a serial number?

    Has a criminal ever been prevented from getting a gun because of a background check? (I don’t mean “Do applicants ever fail background checks.” Obviously they do, but quite often those are law-abiding people with a long-forgotten youthful felony or involuntary commitment on their record. What I mean is, are background checks effective in stopping actual criminals from obtaining guns. Evidence says no.).

    It’s all just “security theater” like the TSA, and all just indoctrinates us into dancing to the government’s tune.

  16. Important note to anyone buying or selling firearms if there is even so much as a hint of any funny business going on: ask the other person if they are involved with any law enforcement agency. Ask them if they are law enforcement officers/agents themselves; ask if they are working with any law enforcement agency; and ask if they are an informant for any law enforcement agency.

    If they say anything other than “no” I would walk away.

  17. Ghost guns with silencers? Wait, isn’t only one of those things illegal without an ATF tax stamp?

    (I support abolishing the tax stamp.)

    Goes to show that stricter gun laws don’t result in less bad behavior. Criminals don’t obey laws. I know that might sound very obvious….. 🙂

  18. Notice how the ATF will coordinate spectacular busts with Hillary et al. They for all intents no longer (if ever in modern times ) are a LE org but rather the political arm of the left. Much like political commissars of the Soviet era.

  19. Uh… just in case a liberal (to annoy them) or a fencesitter (to convince them) might click on this gun rag and read it – here you are:

    Whatever inkling of evidence to support that gun control was ever effective and that firearms are mystical items that can’t be produced by the common man or woman is now gone. We can make our own guns with hobbyist CNC mills at the click of a button. Suck on those eggs. Going after the gun is now futile. Instead, to reduce gun violence you liberals will have to take responsibility in your actions, particularly with bringing up your children to know “right” from “wrong” and why “right” is better instead of relying on the state to raise both you, your children, and take care of both of you.

  20. Hey, does anyone recognize those receivers? It looks a bit like the DefCAD model that was reinforced at the buffer-tube because they kept breaking there.

  21. California voters voted for people who supported gun confiscation, legal Marijuana intoxication and homosexual marriage. Now live with what you created. The second amendment is not a priority with the majority of California voters. Those of us who cling to our God and guns live in other states.

    If you want gun civil rights you will have to leave California.

  22. Hey chris, it was the atf, there federal. Same guys who did the first Waco war crime and Ruby ridge, both of them happened in conservative gun loving God fearing states. Your god is powerless against the almighty atf, ask David k. Oh wait u cant

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