FGC-9 3D gun
Courtesy CTRL+Pew
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By Brett Cooper

Earlier this month, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act, a bill that targets “ghost guns,” or unregistered firearms without serial numbers.

Also called “kit guns” or “80% guns,” most are built at home from manufacturer-produced gun kits. Improvised weapons, also known as “pipe guns,” are another variation, and they’re constructed using 3D-printed parts or salvaged and repurposed materials.

The proposed law would place strict limitations on the obtainment and manufacture of these guns. For example, it would prohibit building or housing a homemade, 3D-printed firearm, as well as trading a kit gun with a friend. Punishments for an initial violation include fines and up to a year in prison. Subsequent violations can incur up to a five-year sentence.

According to Blumenthal, the goal of the act is to “ensure that violent extremists, domestic abusers, and foreign terrorists can’t evade background checks and other safety measures by building weapons at home instead of buying them from a store.”

Yet, the data simply do not support the premise that ghost guns promote violent crime.

Last month, RealClearPolitics reporter Philip Wegmann asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for data on how many violent crimes are actually committed with “ghost guns.”

Psaki was stumped for an answer, but offered that “the experts who are joining us here today have a bunch of data that they could share with you.”

That didn’t happen, however. Instead, the White House later forwarded him publically available numbers on how many untraceable guns were confiscated in various states.

“According to the D.C. Attorney General’s Office, Metropolitan Police recovered three ghost guns in 2017, 25 in 2018, and 116 in 2019,” RealClearPolitics reported. “Baltimore City Police reported confiscating 126 ghost guns in 2020. That same year, authorities in Los Angeles said they recovered more than 700 ghost guns.”

Separate data show other US cities had similarly low figures.

In Philadelphia, ghost guns accounted for 2.2 percent of confiscated guns in 2019, The Washington Times reported. In Chicago, that percentage was 1.2 percent in 2020.

Meanwhile, a 2019 Department of Justice report based on the 2016 Survey of Prison inmates estimated that 287,400 prisoners had possessed a firearm during their offense.

3d printed gun gif

“Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%),” the report said.

While 25 percent of prisoners surveyed said they obtained their firearm from a friend or family member as a gift, one category is notably absent from the DOJ report, critics of the policy pointed out.

“Not a single one appears to have said he made his own weapon,” Sen. Ted Cruz noted at a recent committee hearing. “Hear that again. The Department of Justice asked violent criminals where they got their guns. Zero said it was a so-called ghost gun.”

Despite these findings, in May the DOJ proposed a rule that would redefine the word “firearm” to crack down on ghost guns. The reclassification would cause gun kits to be regulated to the same extent as manufactured firearms.

Once again, the legislation is rationalized by the threat of violent crime.

“We are committed to taking commonsense steps to address the epidemic of gun violence that takes the lives of too many people in our communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

3D printed gun
Courtesy CTRL+Pew

In their proposal, the DOJ reports that in the last five years, 325 ghost guns were used in connection with homicides or attempted homicide. This number makes up less than 1 percent of homicides that occurred during that period.

While the danger of ghost guns has been overblown, the legislation itself poses a genuine threat. It would deprive peaceful, law-abiding citizens of essential rights enshrined in the Constitution.

Not only would it infringe on our right to bear arms, as described by the Second Amendment, it would also violate our right to privacy, as described in the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures.

To mandate gun “traceability” is to abolish gun privacy. It constitutes a standing dragnet “search” of all private firearms and makes them much easier to seize.

Violations like this hamper the ability of individuals to defend themselves against threats… including those posed by their own governments.

Although it is often sneered at as “fringe,” standing up for gun privacy against the government is an American tradition that stretches all the way back to the beginning of the Revolution.

In 1774, the British began routinely searching homes and confiscating the guns of Boston colonists under Royal Governor Thomas Gage. This was an attempt to quash the brewing revolution. The Boston Gazette wrote that, out of all of the British Crown’s abuses and usurpations, this government overstep was among the most outrageous.

In April of the next year, British troops marched towards Lexington and Concord under orders to find hidden arms. When they arrived, they were met by a citizen militia. Gage commanded the Americans to throw down their weapons.

The men refused to comply.

The Redcoats were ordered to confiscate as many guns and as much ammunition as possible. It was this threat against the right to bear arms that provoked “the shot heard round the world,” sparking the first military engagement of the American Revolution.

we will not comply
Dan Z. for TTAG

The Americans who fought at Lexington and Concord understood that the right to bear arms was essential to the protection of all other rights against government usurpation. This was the express reason for including the Second Amendment in the Constitution.

The subsequent track record of totalitarian governments around the world shows how prescient they were.

Just as essential as the right to bear arms is the right to conceal arms, as the residents of Lexington and Concord did. If Governor Gage had recourse to a comprehensive gun registry, disarming the Americans would have been much easier. Instead of a provocative mass search, Gage could have done the job with quieter targeted raids.

It was the colonists’ experience with unjust searches and seizures, like Gage’s gun hunt, that led to the inclusion of the Fourth Amendment in the Constitution.

Modern-day Americans should keep this lesson in mind as more restrictive gun control legislation continues to come down the pike. With each new law like the Untraceable Firearms Act, citizens have ever fewer means to obtain and retain their chief line of defense against criminal threats—whether from private actors or future tyrants.

 

Brett Cooper is a professional actress and a Libertarian-Conservative writer. She’s an ambassador for PragerU and TurningPoint USA and content manager at Unwoke Narrative.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Amazing how something as simple as a serial number can stop a crime from happening ! What a bunch of B S !

    • Your remark seems to presume that it’s the serial number which is of interest. Such is simply NOT the case. Ostensibly, it’s the identity of the legitimate owner, the maker. Government ought to be able to accomplish its goal simply by mandating the maker put his mark on his hand-crafted gun. (Serial number is of incidental value).

      Their real goal isn’t even forcing the maker to pass a NICS check at an FFL. Rather, it’s to have the FFL store a 4473 form for 20 years. That is, to achieve almost (but not quite complete) registration.

      What’s OUR interest here? Is it to resist putting a number on our guns? Our names? Is it the NICS check?

      I submit that our core interest in the Ghost Gun debate is to resist the 4473 form. That’s the penultimate step to confiscation.

      We must think clearly about our interest in the Ghost Gun debate; and, our rhetoric ought to follow our logic. Concentrating on “serial numbers” or “maker’s marks” dilutes our argument. The audience thinks: ‘Why should there be any objection to numbers or maker’s marks?’ We’ve FAILED to make our point. We give-away our 5 minutes at the podium.

      We have to play our strong hand from the outset: the 4473 form. If the public – and enough Congress-critters – buy our 4473 argument then the Leftists have lost the prize. Then the rest won’t be worth their effort and the bill should collapse.

      Admittedly, we can’t guarantee that our argument will stop the bill. It might pass anyway. But if we suppose that it will pass, we ought to try to gut it of the crucial objectionable element. If – in so doing – we have to submit to a NICS check and mark our guns, that loss would be survivable.

      • I agree with this, as my foremost reason for owning all the guns I’ve privately assembled is also to avoid the 4473, and subsequent registration. Nobody needs to know about my private property.

      • I will not be marking any home built firearms or submitting to a NICS check for them, regardless of what the tyrannical election stealing post coup communist government has to say about it.

  2. This right-to-privacy insight seems to me compelling. If it worked for Roe then it ought to work for the 2A.

    It points out Lexington & Concord as well as the Boston confiscation. At time of 2A ratification, Madison, Congress and the People must have been keenly conscious of the risk of confiscation. Likewise, at time of 4A ratification; guns are certainly “effects” kept in “houses”.

    The 2A declares that a well regulated militia is NECESSARY to the security of a free state. That certainly seems to take any attempt at “balancing” off-the-table. I.e., we can NOT say:

    ‘If registering, permitting tracing, saves just one life it is worth compromising a well regulated militia which only MIGHT be necessary in the distant future.’

    For argument’s sake, suppose we stipulated that registration WOULD save just one life. Nevertheless, the militia is NECESSARY and compromising it’s arms can’t be justified by just one life.

    How many lives saved might justify registration? Under the “necessary” declaration, there is likely no number. Not even 600,000 lost to Dr Fauci’s gain-of-function experiment. Yet, in any case, we have the Canadian experience. It’s long-gun registration failed ignominiously. Moreover, the Canadian police can identify no case where handgun registration was decisive in solving a crime. If the Canadians couldn’t show efficacy then there is NO persuasive evidence that registration would have any tracing benefit in the US.

    There seems no way around this 2A+4A analysis. The Constitutional basis for a right to privacy of one’s arms seems clear-cut and resistant to any balancing test. Conversely, the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy is not nearly so well founded as that for arms.

    Here’s the money shot: Properly framed and developed by Constitutional litigators, we should be able to position the right to privacy in keeping arms behind the minefield of Griswold and Roe. To attack arms privacy the Leftists would have to undermine privacy in reproductive rights. That they would NEVER risk.

    • Anytime someone brings up “If it saves one life……” I immediately ask “Do you support abortion? Then you clearly don’t fucking care about saving lives!”

      Another attack on “saves one life” is that if we reduced all speed limits to 5 mph we could virtually eliminate deaths in automobile accident. We, as a nation, have decided that +/- 30,000 lives are worth sacrificing for 70 MPH speed limits.

      Saving one life is a total red herring and should be dismissed immediately.

  3. Dick “Saigon” Blumenthal needs to go, only the people of a slave state would put up with that kind of slug.

  4. Yeah defund the po-leece. And queer up the military. Let your leftard cities burn.That’ll control the 60000000 guns out there you retarded Dims…

    • “60000000 guns”?? Let’s see, I make that out, using punctuation (an interesting skill; you should learn it) as 60,000,000 guns. Pull that number outta your b***, did ya???

      The LOWEST credible number of guns estimated to be owned by Americans was well over 200 million BEFORE the latest spike in new owners, and millions of guns sold.

      We can’t allow ourselves to make the same [email protected]$$ mistakes the anti-gun zealots make, and use bogus or made-up statistics. If it was a typo, and you INTENDED to write “600,000,000”, I apologize for the rant, but 600,000,000 is nearly as optimistic as 60,000,000 is pessimistic. FWIW, the number I’ve seen parsed out and explained that seems to make the most sense to me is between 350 million and 400 million guns. Would love it if the number was higher. I plan to do my part, but per the thrust of this article and the comments, I plan to build a few. And if the ATF wants them “serialized”? They can osculate my anal sphincter.

  5. This is really not just about guns. It’s about progress and the advancement of mankind. What are they going to do when cyborgs (people merging with machines, electronics, and computer components) have implantable firearms and knives? Oops! I’ve rubbed the lamp too many times and the genie is our of the lamp.

  6. Well it would be high comedy to challenge any laws or regulations as violating the U.S. Supreme Court “Made-Up” Right to Privacy that they used in Roe v. Wade to legalize the killing of babies.

    Row v. Wade protects Abortion, the Highest Sacrament of the Liberal Secular Religion and to use it to defend Gun Rights would likely give liberals a Blood Clot in the Brain. It might be fun to watch them create logic pretzels to explain that Rights only apply to the things they are in favor of and not to bad things, like guns.

    In the end it doesn’t matter, our Rights come from our Creator, not government and therefore any infringement is both immoral and illegal. I will not comply.

  7. Fortunately; this legislation will not prevent me from continuing to build thermonuclear hand grenades. Since my arsenal is compromised of only pure fusion weapons with a zero fission fraction that might generate nasty radioactive fallout, it is nobody’s business how many of these little jewels I might possess.

  8. The second Amendment guarantees might right to be armed.
    If any elected official does not uphold the Constitution of The United States of America they are traitors.
    Traitors must be punished.

  9. The entire premise of all gun control laws is that criminals will obey laws. Whether those laws are racists, or expressions of the heart for “if it saves only one”, the underlying supposition is that criminals are essentially law-abiding people who are simply ignorant that using a gun in a crime is a bad thing. People who think this are going about it backward, using law to eliminate crime. The proper approach is to eliminate law, then there is no crime, thus no criminals.

    • The entire purpose in gun control laws is to disarm citizens, and create criminals out of citizens who will not disarm, so that government has a monopoly on firearms, violence and power.

  10. “According to Blumenthal, the goal of the act is to “ensure that violent extremists… can’t evade background checks and other safety measures by building weapons at home instead of buying them from a store.”

    Gotta say- the vast majority of “violent extremists” I have to deal with occupy either elected seats in government or have been appointed to unelected regulatory positions. I can deal with the rest pretty well myself.

  11. “Yet, the data simply do not support the premise that ghost guns promote violent crime.”

    Why the hell are we worried about data? It doesn’t matter if one or a million home made firearms were confiscated. Those who are not using them for crime should be under zero threat, regardless of how often an inanimate item is used to commit crimes.

    This is akin to saying “but cars kill more people than guns!”. That may be factually correct. Today. Does it mean that when the numbers shift and vehicle deaths drop below those from firearms, firearms are now fair game?

    Stop playing by their rules. The second amendment is clear, the Founders intent was clear, bearing arms is a natural right and no one has the authority to remove it from those of us not using it to harm our fellow countrymen. Any attempts to try and justify the right to firearms via facts is lost on leftists, and trying to use comparisons as justification is an opening for a loss of freedom.

    • Really good points!

      Every topic covered in the BoR and Constitution was a judgement call. A weighing of perceived advantages and disadvantages of the choice taken compared to those rejected. Including the provision for making further amendments.

      As to arms, the decisions taken were in the 2A and the military clauses of Article I Section 8.

      Either we discuss the merits of a new amendment; or, it is politics by other means. It is the latter which WE, the PotG are trying to avoid. We know it wouldn’t end well for anyone.

  12. “Untraceable guns” does not equal “guns without serial numbers”
    (some serialized guns don’t have modern records) does not equal “homemade ghost guns”.

    The vast majority of unserialized “crime guns” are guns with serial numbers obliterated. The majority of those which were never serialized are those made before 1968. The remaining tiny fraction are the ones they’re calling “ghost guns”, while pretending all of them are “ghost guns”.

    How do you know Blumenthal is lying?
    It’s easy, his lips are moving.

  13. Well when you go around advertising an 80% as Untracable expect it to attract Gun Control democRats.
    Unless you run your firearm through the washer 5 times and wear gloves and a hazmat suit your DNA is going to be somewhere on your firearm. Untracable is a line crap and does nothing but throw gasoline on the fire. Bad enough having to deal with plastic guns, Saturday night specials, ghost guns, assault weapons and other bs labels.

  14. The term “Ghost gun” was created by the same communists that labeled the AR-15 an “Assault Rifle.” So far, at least at the federal level the communist gun grabbers are winning.

    The use of made up words to strike fear in the uninformed comes straight from the communist playbook. The use of the word “Racist” to describe anyone or any policy that gets in the way of the communist advance is also a winning communist strategy.

    The stupid people of America permitted the communist Biden regime to take power. Many voted for the Biden regime. And those that didnt failed to pursue and persist their charges that widespread election fraud took place. And today there is no strong outrage over the Biden regimes communist based policies or even a tiny effort to remove the regime.

    Most Americans have never lived under communism. But they are today, albeit the introductory stages. By the time communist Joe Bidens term is up his regime will have completed the transformation of our Republic into a one party communist state.

    That is of course if gun owners surrender their arms to Bidens KGB. The only chance Americans have to remain free and destroy domestic communism and its facilitators, funders, and masters is guns in the hands of anti-communist freedom fighters and the will to use them.

  15. How far we’ve fallen since the days that guys in high school made their own hunting rifles in metal shop and wood shop!

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