Josh Shapiro ghost gun
Yes, that's Josh Shapiro's face on the magazine well of this 3D printed gun. (Courtesy CTRL+Pew)

Can we live with regulating home-made guns? The answer is yes. Californians have lived with detachable magazine regulation through the “bullet button.” All it takes is a little ingenuity. To solve this puzzle, though, we just need to ask ourselves, ‘What do we really need?’

The answer is, we need to maintain a robust market in tools, components and techniques to make ever more new guns. That’s it. That’s all that’s necessary.

In a worst-case scenario (mandatory registration of home-made guns) we will have lost the completed receivers we’ve made in the past…while retaining our tools, access to raw materials, and accumulated technique, craftsmanship skills and experience.

How do we weave that into a negotiating strategy?

The thing we need to avoid — the hill to die on, so to speak — is prohibition of the “making” of guns without a full-fledged manufacturer’s FFL. Making a firearm for personal use is not gun manufacturing nor is it part of interstate commerce.

There’s a distinction which we should observe in our own rhetoric. Making is not for resale. Manufacturing is for resale. We must hold that the right to keep and bear arms includes the right to make our own arms.

The courts have ruled (in cases like Ezell v Chicago, Teixeira v Alameda and IAFR v Chicago) that the Second Amendment includes the right to acquire firearms. Acquiring a firearm includes the right to make your own, as it has since before America was founded.

We can and will comply with “reasonable” regulatory measures, but we will not suffer the loss of our right to practice craftsmanship. At worst, we could tolerate a token FFL classification akin to the C&R FFL.

The next thing to strive to avoid is the serialization and paperwork of 80% receivers. Under such a regulation, there would be no marketplace for 80% receivers. That’s the goal of the ATF’s proposed rule. Manufacturers might as well complete 100% of the process and sell finished receivers.

Today’s market has ample sales in both 80% unserialized and 100% serialized receivers. Our argument here is that there is that no clear-cut, bright line distinction exists between what is relatively incomplete and relatively complete. We have already established and accepted criteria defining (in the ATF’s own opinion) what is euphemistically called an “80% receiver.”

We are living with this now. We can continue to live with this. There’s no reason to try to re-invent the standard to create something like a 75% or 50% or 25% receiver. If there’s any legitimate regulatory objective to be achieved, let’s identify that rational objective and design a regulation to meet it.

Presumably, that legitimate objective is ostensibly to be able to identify the maker of a home-made gun in case it should be found at the scene of a crime. That’s simple enough to accomplish. Just apply the standards applicable to Form-1 NFA weapons. The maker must engrave his name, city and state and a serial number on a home-made NFA weapon.

Problem solved. If you make your own gun at home, you can easily do the same. No need for a form 4473 or a NICS check. With these engraved on the receiver, there’s nothing more to be accomplished by a 4473 or a background check. Just enforce existing felon-in-possession laws, whatever the source of the gun found at the time.

Should a home-made gun be discovered at the scene of a crime, the police would have a direct path to the maker. No need to contact the ATF, run a trace from the manufacturer to the distributor to the dealer, simply to identify the first retail buyer.

Should an investigation discover an “amateur” gunsmith with 123 finished receivers without engraved maker’s marks, there is a reasonable basis to charge him with the crime of unlicensed manufacturing, plus the crime of failing to engrave the receivers.

If the “amateur” has engraved his maker’s marks on them, the prosecutor will have to infer whether he is an industrious amateur or unlicensed industrialist. This proposed rule (engraving a maker’s mark) would serve the purpose of discouraging unlicensed manufacture.

Moreover, the rule has the advantage of admitting to retroactive application. Owners of existing home-made guns could be required to engrave their marks on all such existing guns within, say, five years.

Avoiding the 4473 form for home-made guns is highly desirable. No 4473 form, no wholesale roundup of all guns.

Nothing will prevent confiscation if it ever comes to that, whether targeted or wide-spread. That is always a possibility. What we must not surrender, though, is our capacity to make new guns after the pogrom.

We can stockpile receiver blanks, fire control groups, barrels and the like. We can build our inventory of tools. Most importantly, we can maintain our gunsmithing skills. These must not be allowed to atrophy.

I anticipate the absolutists’ argument that we should not concede even a single inch of ground. That’s is a losing proposition. Some sort of regulation of “ghost guns” will be hard to defeat politically. If any bill passes both chambers of Congress, it’s certain to be onerous. And by “onerous” I mean it will largely kill off a robust market in tools, components and techniques to make ever more new guns.

Once the 80% receiver market is regulated identically to the 100% receiver market, the 80% receiver blank will disappear and our tools and techniques will become useless.

Yesterday, Democrats introduced HR 3299, which would, among other anti-gun measures, regulate “ghost guns” by mandating serialization of kits (the text of the bill hasn’t been published yet). Our best chance to kill a such a bill is to dilute it to the point that it no longer serves the gun-controllers’ agenda.

Suppose we get Republicans to introduce a competing bill or offer an amendment to the Democrats’ bill. The proposal would clearly serve the legitimate objective of bringing ghost guns into a regulated framework.

There will likely be at least a few Democrats who need to cover their gun-owning voter flank (think Manchin, Tester, Sinema, etc.). They will be tempted — maybe even forced — to abandon the Democrats’ version of the bill and join with the Republican alternative.

Once the gun-controllers realize that they can’t have what they want and can only get what won’t really serve their objective, the enthusiasm for any ghost gun bill may die. Or so we hope.

101 COMMENTS

  1. From the article:

    “We can and will comply with “reasonable” regulatory measures…”

    Umm, no we won’t. One man’s “reasonable” regulation is another man’s infringement.

    • I stopped reading at that point. The author implies we can negotiate and compromise but that requires both sides to give a little. The anti-gun contingent doesn’t want compromise they want capitulation.

    • You do and already have. We all have. That’s the reality MarkPA is talking about.

      Will you (we) in the future? As much as I’d like to say no, all signs point to yes.

      It’s easy to say “I will not comply, full stop,” but if the alternative to compliance is losing everything, just about everyone will go along. Maybe rebel just a little bit in the loopholes, where it’s safe. Nobody wants to be the only one sticking out as a target for the schutzstaffel. No sane man wants to burn it all down when “it” includes your home and children.

      So the question then becomes not only what your personal tripwire is or whether enough people share it, but whether it exists at all in this society. Solzhenitsyn’s burning “what if…” in the prison camp has no easy answer.

      • I appreciate what you’re saying, Ing, but the reality is no, I have not accepted any of the current infringements established over us.

        Of all my guns, not a single one is registered, and all for legally valid reasons (even here in CA) such as inheritance or home-build before those so-called “loopholes” were closed. So everything I own was acquired by means that were legal at the time of acquisition. Granted, the laws have changed many times over the years, so anything I own that is now “gray area” in 2021 remains in the safe, except when I take them out to the desert every once in a while. I will not ever register them.

        • I should clarify, upon re-reading what I just wrote above.

          Several of my guns *were* legal in the past, but no longer are, and I’m technically supposed to either register or alter them ex post facto to comply with today’s dictates ushered from Sacramento’s ivory tower. I refuse to do so. They are my property, and I will not comply.

        • You are my hero.

          I am not in that position yet, but anticipate being there shortly. Mark may well comply with any new laws but I have no intention of doing so.

        • Good for you and your kind. So many of us have at least one gun, acquired legally, which has no traceable provenance.

          What difference does this make?

          In 1969, after passage of the GCA’68, the nation’s inventory was, let’s say, 99% untraceable. A half-century later (thanks to our aggressive and consistent buying) that figure might be 1%. So, today, I ask: What difference does it make?

          Happily, we can say TODAY, that the 80% receiver has preserved the legal place for UN-documented guns. As long as we ARE – in fact – making plenty of our own guns from components which are NOT documented, we have not (yet) conceded the game. As long as we ARE making guns we could – if needs be – make lots more. I.e., if “necessary to the security of a free state”.

          So, the absolutist cries – as a matter of consequence – ‘Let’s all sit on our hands, pissing and moaning “I will NOT COMPLY!” ‘ while Congress gleefully works-up a bill that will bring popular receiver finishing to a grinding halt.

          The absolutist is absolutely certain that his cries of “I will NOT COMPLY!” will be heard in a 50:50 Senate and a Democrat House.

          Moreover, the noose is tightening around our necks with respect to OLD guns. Gradually, states are adopting private transfer laws requiring guns to be 4473’ed when sold privately. Gradually, our personal history of residence moves from state to state will be filled with durations of residency exclusively in states which required 4473s on all transfers.

          So, one day, you are found with a gun which was first sold at retail in, say, Wyoming. Not to you. Where have you lived? CT, MA, NY, NJ and now DE. In which of these states might you have lawfully acquired this gun without having to complete a 4473? None?

          We aren’t here yet. But that’s the direction we are going. Such guns as have slipped into the fog of a paper-trail dead-end will become contraband if we can’t explain how we could might have acquired them legally.

          The 80% receiver remains our last source off legal supply; we “rolled them ourselves”. Should we give this up without finding a way to undermine it?

        • Agreed. I have not complied one bit.

          Stamps? Fuck your tax. I can get HEARING PROTECTION without your approval or paying you a tax to own it. And I did, and I will continue to do so.

          Same goes for that 3rd hole. I don’t need your permission or a work around trigger to go full auto. If I want to, I will.

        • @Mark PA,

          I’m not quite sure why you seem to be painting me as an “absolutist who pisses and moans while crying ‘I will NOT COMPLY!'”

          I am a two-for-one POTG. At the same time and in the same breath, I openly and publicly assert my natural right to defend myself, as well as fund groups who are able to litigate on my behalf, such as GOA and FPC. I lend my voice loudly in my personal arena, and financially support those who are able to be my voice in the litigative area. I am known by my friends and family as being “that guy” who can carry an argument on the Constitution, 2A, Founders’ intent, and major case decisions affecting our rights. I am by no means “pissing and moaning”. I am standing on the soapbox as I’m able, and yelling at the sheep in the town square to wake up.

          So let me be crystal clear. I will not comply. If any of my actions are in line with gun control laws placed over me, it is only because I was forced to. But I will not willingly comply, and will argue and act against all gun control.

        • @I Haz a Question: “. . . why you seem to be painting me as an “absolutist who pisses and moans while crying ‘I will NOT COMPLY!’”

          I’m not necessarily pointing out you in particular to be “pissing and moaning”. Others here more clearly fall into this category. Forgive me if I have offended you in particular.

          You had written: “Of all my guns, not a single one is registered, . . . before those so-called “loopholes” were closed. So everything I own was acquired by means that were legal at the time of acquisition.”

          And I acknowledged that many of us have one or two guns (some even more) that are likewise invisible. I was intending – if you re-read my reply to your comment – the limitations of this stock of invisible guns. It becomes less and less significant as the decades unfold.

          The absolutists should (but won’t) bear this in mind. They are counting on the stock of invisible guns growing. But such is not the case. When – ultimately – we are compelled to account for when and where we acquired our guns we will find that we can’t do that satisfactorily.

          I just recall a discussion I had with a Canadian who went through the ill-fated long-gun registration fluster-cluck in that country. Law-abiding Canadians were compelled to destroy, give up or register their long-guns. Do register, they had to show the acquisition paperwork; much of which never existed or was long-lost and unrecoverable. Many of these owners just surrendered their long guns because they couldn’t register them.

          American gun-controllers might learn this lesson. They too can invest billions of USD in an ill-fated registry program; with the key element that to register you must show a bill-of-sale. No bill-of-sale? You have to surrender.

          Many of us will hang on to our guns whereupon they become contraband. Doesn’t matter. If the Democrats can get 100 million guns destroyed because the law-abiding gun owners can’t register them and can’t risk being caught with contraband, they will cheerfully resort to this technique.

        • Well, Haz, I’m glad I wasn’t entirely accurate about what you’ve accepted or not. I haven’t yet had to decide whether to comply with new restrictions, but I don’t intend to comply, either. Still, the once legal, still innocuous, and rightfully possessed arms that sit in your safe never to see daylight, and the tortuous methods you’ve had to use to slip through loopholes, argue that even those of us who back up principles with action will retreat nonetheless. How far and how long, I wonder?

        • @Ing: You make a good point. For every one of us who will not comply at all, there will be:
          – a couple who won’t comply completely.
          – A half-dozen more who won’t comply immediately, but will eventually give-in.
          – A dozen who will comply on-time.

          How much attrition can we afford to suffer? We should, instead, try to drag this process out as long as possible.

          At a rate of 2 million guns a month it becomes harder and harder each year to maintain the illusion that a round-up could occur.

          We should strive to resist state legislation requiring a 4473 form for private-party transfers.

          And, we should strive to maintain the unregulated market in gun parts and receiver blanks. As long as we are LEGALLY producing home-made guns and accumulating parts – especially receiver blanks – we continue to make it harder for the Feds or most states from cornering us in a place where too many people feel compelled to comply.

        • Please understand that this fool skipped 1/6 Freedom Day despite having the means and ability to be there. He also enjoys hassling minimum wage front line employees because he knows they just have to take it.

          In sum, he’s a coward who enjoys hassling those he views as his lessers.

          He would fold like a cheap suit if the SHTF. Just like most of the rest of you.

        • Just like most of the rest of you.

          Go Fuck Yourself loser punk-ass bitch, you know absoutely nothing about “most of the REST of us”… At least the target of YOUR disdain contributes to the conversation which is FAR more than I’ve seen out of you… If you have nothing to offer to further the narrative and no point of view on the question at hand then perhaps you should rethink your purpose for existing… You are obviously a sad, neglected person crying out for attention no matter what kind and you apparently lack either/or the intellect/education to formulate a viable argument on a subject so you just lash out with personal attacks… At least leave the “REST OF US” out of your bullshit feud with Haz…

        • ‘MADDMAXX’ is the type of ‘man’ who think he’s a bad ass because his wife and kids cower in the corner while he’s home. Get help, loser.

        • ‘MADDMAXX’ is the type of ‘man’ who think he’s a bad ass

          Correction, I’m the type of MAN who KNOWS he’s a badass because he spent most of his life bitch slapping punk asses like you… Now I just shoot the punks… My wife is not your concern and my kids are grown and on their own, you must be projecting what happens when your daddy gets home… I’m more man than you’ll ever hope to be, have no need to slap women around like you apparently enjoy… The loser is staring back at you when you look in the mirror, Fucking punks…

        • another Internet tough guy/Chairborne Ranger

          What a clown you are… You would be the expert on anger, everything you post exudes anger and jealousy… You know the saddest thing about you? You truly believe people actually give a fuck about what you say… I’ve wasted enough time on you so go ahead run your internet alligator mouth while you hide in your basement sitting on your canary ass…

        • Yo, Haz, if push comes to shove, toss everything in a trailer and head for Texas, we do not even *have* a registry. Nor have we ever.

        • Thanks, Larry. I hafta be honest, tho…while much of my (and my wife’s) family have left CA for TX over the past several years and have urged us to follow, my heart has always been in Idaho. Possible Montana as a second.

  2. This article nauseates me.

    Fuck you, your scheming for loopholes, and your capitulation to “reasonable” right in the neck.

    I’ve had enough. I will not comply.

    • My thoughts exactly!

      The author and his attitude are nauseating. We don’t comply now, and we won’t negotiate (ie surrender) our rights away a little at a time like the NRA was happy to do with the NFA and GCA, etc. They have 80% of the pie and are bitching cause we won’t give them another slice. I want the whole damn pie back, and I am taking it. If the author doesn’t have the Cajones to do the same, and will keep bending over sans KY, that’s on him.

  3. If you build it they won’t come.
    Just build sten guns they go faster in multiple ways.

  4. I liked better an idea i heard on the gun collective youtube channel. Design a firearm whose receiver is basically a cut pipe. Make sure it meets all the criteria of a receiver, housing the trigger, hammer and bolt, and threads to accept a barrel. Then make a jig to cut the pipe to the proper dimensions and parts kits. Any law requiring that uncompleted receivers be marked would be unenforceable without also requiring that ALL pipes of that size be serialized.

    • Back in the 90’s BATFECES considered pipes in the presence of the old sten gun plans, and generic SMG plans, to be an unregistered machine gun.

      • And of course, combined that brilliance with selective enforcement, such that nobody ever noticed unless you pissed them off, whereupon you went to jail if the pipes carrying water to your toilet weren’t serialized.

  5. GREAT idea!!!! We’ll all just bend over, spread our cheeks and take whatever silly, ineffective, unconstitutional regulation they throw at us, to prove we’re “reasonable”. I LOVE it (not!!!!!). Gropey Joe Biden the Senile Pedophile, his pathetically deranged nominee for ATF, and the rest of the “gun control” Dims can osculate my anal sphincter.

    I WILL NOT COMPLY with unconstitutional laws or regulations. Period.

    Molon labe, mofos.

  6. Sorry, the Republican party is going to side on the side of business. As long as we buy the parts from a distributer of a manufactured product, that is fine. They will support it, but building a finished product from readily available materials(not designed to be 80% finished) is not in their interest, since there is no money generated to their supporters.

    The Republican party does not support a minimalist lifestyle, where someone makes most of their clothes and tools from basic items and lives in a home that was built by hand or modified from something that was already manufactured. They would never support the type of guns we see that are being found by LE in Brazil(real homemade firearms).

    • No government supports that shit. How would they make any money from people being self sufficient? How would they control people without taxes and regulations? Just look at the tiny home market. People have started making these shit homes so that everyone can have affordable housing, so what does the government do? Regulate where and what kind of house you can put on property you buy. People in normal suburban neighborhoods buy old shit houses and demolish them, put up a tiny home on a trailer and they state steps in saying basically “you can have this kind of house here”. Ridiculous.

  7. Geez MarkPa…you destroyed any credibility you had with me. Go and sin no more.We need the Dims to “live with it”!

    • Agreed water walker, this guy is scared. Oh gee we might get in trouble, so lets give up instead and look for new ways to get around this stupid legislation. Bullshit. If they come to confiscate my guns, war has been declared. I know I won’t be alone, and at age 70, I don’t really care if I am.

      • Don’t have a heart attack grandpop. I know you think all us young millennials (I’m turning 40 in a month) are soft as shit but we are just as tired of the bullshit as you are. We’re right there with you.

        • Years ago they criticized me here on TTAG for that mentality. “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees”. And now they are starting to realize if you live on your knees, your kin will be forced to low crawl through blood and guts trying to escape slavery.

  8. I think TTAG has done something very brave here by publishing what I suspect the truth…we’re going to get hit, the question is “how hard?” I build guns. I do so because I LIKE building guns (which surprised me…I built the first one for an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY; the next ones I built for fun).

    The Internet has made it amazingly easy for one to announce his or her irrevocable intent of “here I stand; not one inch farther” without requiring that person to do anything at all. We saw this in the bump stock kerfunkle. EVERYBODY refused to “budge one inch,” and writing that on FB was ALL they did. I said then, and I say now, what specifically are you willing to do after you say you will not budge? Not complying in secret isn’t exactly April 19, 1775. Are you giving money, mortgaging your house for the fight, publicly stating your non-compliance (which may cost you your bank accounts, your job, your home, your family)?

    An interesting point…we have long accepted the legal necessity of labeling Form 1 firearms we build. Yes, the NFA sucks and should be done away with, but when we build a short-barreled rifle or shotgun, we do the engraving. If the INTENT of this bureaucratic monster that the ATF is suggesting is simply to make sure any home built gun recovered at a crime scene can be traced to its maker, it can be done much more simply than ATF suggests…the ATF proposal is designed as FLYPAPER to trap innocent people.

    I have gone against ATF and won, and that victory was the result of a year-long nightmare and a LOT of money. Do not underestimate the power a rogur]e agency can bring to bear on you!

    Secondly, there is, as noted here, a difference between a MAKER and a MANUFACTURER. ATF has been trying for 20 years to redefine “manufacturing a firearm” to mean replacing a single part on a single gun. The first time I fought this battle — which resulted in threats to raid my home, confiscate all my guns and jail me forever and ever amen — was when I publicized ATF’s attempt to label replacing a hammer on a single action Ruger revolver “firearms manufacturing.”

    We’re going to need to be smart here.

    We need to understand exactly what it is we’re trying to preserve.

    Michael B

    • @Michel B: I think you get it.

      As I read the well-thought out (or otherwise) comments here I wonder where to classify the author on my list:

      – the machinist with a serious CNC mill
      – the arm-chair home craftsman with neither jig nor drill
      – the home “gunsmith” who buys 100% finished receivers
      – the serious craftsman with a jig who just finished his last 80% receiver blank.

      If the Democrats write their own bill there will still remain a few of the first category; but no where near enough.

      But there will be millions in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th categories sanctimoniously shouting: “I will not comply!”

      These will comprise the makers of “hand-crafted” guns.

    • Michael Bane,
      “Not complying in secret isn’t exactly April 19, 1775”

      You have chosen an example that, viewed in its proper context, illustrates exactly the opposite of your point. A few hundred men fought at Lexington and Concord; millions of others didn’t. Nor did they humbly surrender their arms to the nearest representative of King George – which would have made it easy to single out / round up the Minutemen as a fringe group of traitors and terrorists.

      There is a world of difference (and range of choices) between the false dichotomy of martyrdom vs. meek, proactive acquiescence in tyranny.

  9. Why should WE have to “LIVE” with any Unconstitutional BS that the puppet masters tell “The Big Guy” to jam up our asses? Screw that and fuck them, they can make all the stupid, unlawful rules and regulations their little hearts desire, I will not comply, give those assholes an inch and they’ll make you a “felon”… I don’t live in California, I live in the United States of America with all the rights and protections afforded to all citizens.. If the residents of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Kommiefornia find it easier to “settle” than trying to change things (they didn’t just wake up one morning to find the Progressive Liberals in charge of everything) that’s their business… I’m already most likely in violation of enough regulations to put me in jail for a long time so what difference does one more make…. Molon Labe, Semper Fi…. OohRahh..

  10. I’m not convinced. The rule of law is written in plain English regardless of those who choose to ignore the rule of law – even if that happens to be SCOTUS.

    The preamble to the BoR *explicitly* informs us the Federal government has 0 authority in this matter by stating “in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of it’s powers, that further declaratory clauses should be added” and continues on to tell us that doing so is how congress remains in our good graces.

    This article seems written by someone who is more interested in continued capitulation to people who violate the law to enforce their own version of it, rather than someone defending anyone’s rights.

  11. Hey…heads up…did the USCCA just put “common sense gun control laws,” in one of their statements….? This needs to be investigated…

  12. NO! The above opinion is a surrender mentality. There is no legal basis for ATF to require someone to mark a personally made firearm; that is a change in law that requires Congress. If they want that law they will have to get it through Congress and get the President to sign it. This is not (yet) Communist China where the head of the Party gets whatever rules, regulations, and laws he wants.

    • I agree; it WOULD require an act of Congress. The question then becomes: Would both chambers pass the law and will the President sign it?

      Suppose we were contemplating a different bill; e.g., one that would put all semi-autos under the NFA. We could be really optimistic that one of the two chambers would NOT pass the bill. In such a case (we can be confident that it wouldn’t pass) our course is to fight against the bill.

      Conversely, suppose we are contemplating a bill such as the present one (serializing and 4473’ing receiver blanks). Looks like it has a fairly good chance of passing. What’s the right strategy?

      The NRA faced this in 1934 with the NFA. They might have (but didn’t) dig in their heels and said NO WAY! NO COMPROMISE!! And, the NFA would have passed with handguns in the AOW category. At that time there wasn’t a great deal of interest in handguns; the population had something bigger to worry about.

      NRA faced this with the Brady Bill. They might not have pushed for NICS.

      Same with the AWB. NRA might not have pushed for the 10-year sunset provision.

      I simply can’t presume myself to know – with absolutist certainty – whether the NRA pursued the WRONG strategy in each case. Perhaps with handguns in the AOW of the NFA, the whole NFA would have been repealed – eventually. Perhaps we would have lived more happily with a national 10 day waiting period but no NICS. Perhaps we would have gotten the AWB repealed without the 10 year sunset. Or, just possibly, one of these was the best NRA could have made of the situation. (I don’t consider the NRA to have been wise in all or most cases. E.g., the Hughes Amendment was too great a price to pay for FOPA which had no teeth and was disregarded by NY and NJ.) I argue ONLY that the best tactic is NOT ALWAYS as clear as it’s believed to be by absolutists.

      There is a lot at stake in any ghost gun bill. The Democrats are apt to throw as much as they can into such a bill. So much so that many of us will fear replacing worn or obsolete components on our guns.

      The worst to fear is that there will be no more 80% receiver blanks. Ever! There will be no point in manufacturing a receiver blank that must be serialized and 4473’ed.

      People will still assemble guns from 100% completed receivers; but there will be 4473s on every one of these. I suppose there will be some market in 98% completed receivers for those who want to feel there is a little of their own craftsmanship in their gun.

      But there will be no (gradually accumulating) stockpile of CHEEP 80% receiver blanks and jigs in basements and garages throughout the country. Nor will there be a notable number of receivers worked from 0% complete to 100% complete by machinists will full-scale mills. Thereupon, ATF will have “captured” (for practical purposes) the entire legal stock of guns. 80 – 95% of legal guns will have a 4473 form on file by some future date, perhaps 20 years into the future. (Remember, we are manufacturing new guns at an accelerating rate. The percentage of the total which pre-dated GCA’68 is shrinking every year.)

      That’s what we lose when the 80% receiver disappears as an unregulated artifact. Should we give this up because of our highest principles? Are we first men of principle? Or, are the practical impacts still more important?

      • “Would both chambers pass the law and will the President sign it?”

        Nope, it would likely get through the House and flop in the Senate, so no matter what the Marxist in the White House wants, it ain’t happening!

        • That could change, if they get desperate. Then it’s 51 votes and lights out for us.

          The pressure on Pelosi & Co. to do just that is gonna be *massive*. But I suspect they smell the danger in doing that, enraging us in the lead-up to the mid-term elections will likely result in a similar blowout in the mid-term elections after they rammed ObamaCare down our throats.

          It utterly neutered Obama for the remaining 6 years of his presidency.

          As for immediate concerns, braces, I hope we can get one concession from them, waiving the 200-dollar tax on the ones currently out there…

        • enraging us in the lead-up to the mid-term elections

          They will attempt to offset THAT rage by dragging out the Jan 6th “insurrection” investigation and “trials”… You’ll see that little crown jewel in the news daily for the next 17 months…

    • It is getting to the point Congress will pass any BS no matter how unconstitutional. I don’t care what they pass. They can shove it up their ass.

      People should read the senate debate of the NFA. They readily admitted the Congress has zero authority to regulate firearms. Using taxing authority as an end run around that was devious, evil and reprehensible. These days, the scum on capital hill just ignore their oaths, the Constitution, and even the laws they themselves pass.

      It is time to throw off this government as the Declaration reminds us of our duty…

  13. There’s a Fudd born every minute, apparently.
    Compromising and scheming are how you lose the long game.
    Hold the line at all times and charge forward at every opportunity.

  14. What in the actual fuck dude? You are telling us to give an inch, and compromise, when you yourself have said it only leads to further infringement. Get your head in the game homie. We don’t have time for Fudd crap like this. You’re an absolutist, or you’re an enemy of the constitution.

  15. Comply????
    Some people are certifiably insane, and insanity is simply the desire to totally disregard reality.
    These people are also known as democrats.

    The reality is that with 450,000,000+ guns in America, any rule whatsoever to infringe is definitely insanity.

    Comply: to conform, submit, obey or adapt to another person’s wishes.
    NO, I WILL NOT COMPLY. I found not one single person that has the authority to make me comply with unconstitutional orders.

    We don’t need people preaching compliance to a group of ornery patriotic gun owners.
    We are not little children, and you are not our mommies and daddies, but more likely, you are all like DJ (dementia joe), the senile pedophile.

    Just remember these famous words: “….shall not be infringed.”

  16. This rape is going to happen gentleman, best drop to your knees to lube the perpetrator up naturally, then lie down without a struggle and think of how much worse it could be.

  17. “Some sort of regulation of “ghost guns” will be hard to defeat politically.”

    We’re about that point where we will be trying to defeat various things but we won’t be doing it politically.

  18. Weird article. Sounds an awful lot like “HEY EVERYBODY! LETS SURRENDER!!!”

    Yeah, if the effort to ban or regulate home-made guns succeeds then of course people will adapt. Because that is what people do. That is not the same thing as accepting or giving up or giving in to this lunacy. That would be living as best you can without going to jail for doing something that was lawful forever, and is suddenly criminalized for idiotic reasons. Honest people will resist, decline to comply and work to undo the wrong that was done.

    Criminals of course will be exempt from all this. Not that they had much interest anyway as criminals have no difficulty getting all the factory made guns and ammo they desire.

  19. Loopholes? What kinda loyalist bullshit is this?

    Fuck your loopholes, and fuck your laws.

    We will not comply.

  20. “We can stockpile receiver blanks, fire control groups, barrels and the like.”

    Concerning receiver blanks, are you *serious*, Mark?

    Unless you want to pay more than the price of a newly-manufactured Glock (for example), they are GONE.

    There is no warehouse stuffed full of receiver blanks. You cannot find them, they are sold out EVERYWHERE.

    (If I’m in error on that, someone please post the links of any still out there…)

    • You misunderstand my point.

      I am NOT talking about the commercial inventories of 80% receiver blanks in the hands of manufacturers, distributors or dealers. In the grand scheme of things, these are insignificant.

      Instead, I’m talking about the 2 or 3 (or, maybe more; forgive me, I’ve lost count) blanks in my basement. So, let me imagine that there are a million guys like me who have: at least thought about finishing a receiver blank; finished a couple of blanks; finished a dozen blanks. If we have, on average, 3 blanks in our basements which we haven’t started on then that’s 3,000,000 blanks in the “inventory” that counts; i.e., that which is perfectly invisible and will remain invisible so long as they remain unfinished and are NOT subject to a “ghost-gun” serializing and 4473 regulation. Got that? Say, 3,000,000.

      Further, suppose that finishing receivers becomes ever more popular over the next 10 years. Now, there might be 2 million of us gun owners with 4 or 5 receiver blanks; 8,000,000 in “inventory”.

      Now, 8 million unfinished receiver blanks will be a drop-in-the-bucket of a half-billion manufactured firearms with serial numbers and 4473 forms. Nevertheless, it will be harder and harder for the Democrats to start a round-up if the number of unfinished receiver blanks is large.

      I.e., blanks which, with jigs and craftsmanship skills, can be finished in a weekend.

      Clearly, it’s also required that a like number of barrels, upper receivers, fire control groups and the like also accumulate in basements. The whole idea here is to have laid the groundwork long in advance to assemble functional firearms which were never on-the-books. And, yet, are perfectly legal to possess.

      The absolutist’s position is that they are sure that NO ghost-gun bill will pass Congress and make it to Biden’s desk. Perhaps they are right. That’s the bet the absolutists would have us make. It will be really wonderful if they are right.

      But, what if they are wrong? What if anything beyond – say – 8% completion must be serialized and sold under a 4473? How many such receiver blanks will be manufactured and sold? How many hobbiests will have the tooling to finish 92% of the work? Would these few be enough of a threat to further encroachments?

      • “But, what if they are wrong? What if anything beyond – say – 8% completion must be serialized and sold under a 4473?”

        We have an ace up our sleeve, the relentless advance of technology as it applies to additive manufacturing (3-D printed gun parts).

        What some very smart people are doing right now is getting busy working up creative designs that allow for the limited strength of the plastics currently available. IMO, this is where we should be focusing efforts. They will look hideous, but go *bang* when needed.

        In the interim, the smart people will be investing in barrel steels, deep drills, and chamber reamer tooling. There’s no getting around the physics of 50-thousand PSI gas pressures…

        • You make a very good point. Perhaps I was focused exclusively on metal receiver blanks; I should have taken into account the fact that 3D printing is an alternative that obviates the need for a robust market in 80% receiver blanks.

          I expect that 3D printing of gun parts – even some successor technology – will supersede the 80% receiver blank.

          Nevertheless, I think this ghost gun assault on our rights remains something to be concerned about. I expect that the Democrats bill will strive to make it impractical to hand-craft guns by any means.

          If the hand-crafting of guns is continually pushed underground few of us will bother. Some won’t undertake to comply and stop making guns. Others will continue to do so but live under a shadow where they don’t feel free to test their produce at public ranges.

          We should strive to promote a growing activity in making guns; not to try to live in the shadows.

        • “Nevertheless, I think this ghost gun assault on our rights remains something to be concerned about. I expect that the Democrats bill will strive to make it impractical to hand-craft guns by any means.”

          Agreed.

          California is a model for that progression of infringements.

          Outlaw AR-pattern firearms by name.

          Response, the ‘features’ test (along with others).

          Response by them, ‘bullet buttons’. Response by us, ‘break-action’ lowers to speed reloading.

          Whatever we do to get around a barrier, eventually they will will counter it.

          This is no more than buying some time until the SCOTUS either says semi-autos are protected, or not.

          I suppose we’ll know a bit more how the court is doing by the decision handed by next June… 🙁

      • You use way too many words to ultimately say nothing, perhaps you missed your calling, you should be a politician…

        • Cut MarkPA some slack, willya?

          It’s a mental exercise he’s floating here.

          He has a long history here, and the analysis he provides here is reasoned thought…

    • I’ve bought two in the last week or so, one from “righttobear arms” and one from Tactical Machining. Neither was a bargain, but they weren’t exorbitant either.

      Mainstream sources Midway and Brownell’s don’t have stock in every type, but they have some.

  21. I see a big problem with existing polymer frames and receivers. The proposed rules call for them to be serialized on a metal plate, but they weren’t crafted with the intent to be serialized and might lack a metal plate or any visible metal. It is impossible to comply with the rule. This creates instant felons for those who don’t destroy or give up their property without compensation.

    • Polymer 80 lowers have a metal plate molded into the plastic.

      Other brands, I have no idea…

  22. “Californians have lived with detachable magazine regulation through the “bullet button.””

    Actually, no, they haven’t, CA simply made the bullet button illegal too.

    • …and that led directly to top-break ARs.

      It’s a constant move-countermove situation…

    • So pick you a serial number and engrave it. I am not seeing the problem. Be even more cooperative, make it 150 characters long. Just don’t bother to record it anywhere and it is just like having none, except nosy cops can see a number. They have no idea whether it relates to anything, just that there is a number. Problem solved? I have a lot of guns with numbers, no idea what a single number is. I have sold a lot of guns with numbers, no idea of a single number, or who I sold a single one to. Let’s not lose sight of reality here.

      • “So pick you a serial number and engrave it. I am not seeing the problem.”

        It’s more nuanced than that.

        In California, once your serial number is registered, that number can never be used again. Expect the same everywhere else eventually.

        They’re playing the long game. Once it becomes law every existing firearm has a unique number on it, all that’s required in the future is to knock on your door and confiscate them.

        Why do you think those laws requiring reporting in a set time frame of lost or stolen guns is becoming law state-by-state?

        It exists to ensure those off-the-books guns will remain off-the-books, since being caught with one will a federal felony…

  23. These bills have to be stopped before they become laws.
    Some of you say, “I won’t comply,” or as some here said, “I haven’t complied, some of my guns used to be legal but now they’re illegal, but I just kept them, and nobody will ever find out.”

    No. You are at risk of serving 10, 20, 30, or life in prison, depending on how many “non-compliant” guns you possess.

    Don’t just assume, “the government will never find out what guns I have in my safe, or what guns I take out to the desert to shoot.” Federal prisons are full of people who were locked up because the government found out what guns were in their safe, or what guns they took out to the desert to shoot.

    You can’t just assume, “I’m an [otherwise] law-abiding person, so the government will never search my house / my car / my SUV / my pickup truck.” How do you take your now-illegal guns out to the desert to shoot them? By using your car, truck, or SUV. Every traffic stop, no matter how minor, gives the police an excuse to search your car, and if they don’t have your consent to search, they will manufacture “probable cause” and search anyway.
    Every traffic accident gives a chance of your car being towed off to a police impound lot.
    If you have a heart attack or other medical emergency that requires you to be put in an ambulance, your car will also be towed to a police impound lot.

    What if you never shoot your now-illegal guns, but just leave them in the safe? You think police will never search your house, because you’re an [otherwise] law-abiding citizen, but guess what? The prisons are full of people who thought they were law-abiding citizens until the police searched their house. At least one of you on this page admitted to having illegal guns, so guess what — you’re not a law-abiding citizen. Think the police will never search your house? Do you have any enemies — say a crazy ex, a jealous ex, a disgruntled coworker, a disgruntled former employee, that guy who thinks you cut him off in traffic, that guy who thinks you stole his parking spot at the mall, a nosy neighbor, a mean neighbor who doesn’t like your dog or your kids or the way you cut your grass. Everyone has enemies or crazy exes or mean neighbors. All the cops need is for one crazy, jealous, mean, or pissed off person to give them an “anonymous tip” that you’re hiding drugs or other contraband in a safe in your house, and a SWAT team will burst through your door and cut open your gun safes. Or worse yet, some hoplophobic (anti-gun) neighbor decides to use one of the new “red flag laws” to SWAT you and have your guns taken away, then police notice that some of your guns are of the “now illegal” variety, so you’re an instant felon.

    No, we can’t simply say we “won’t comply” and rely on police to never search our homes, cars, SUVs, etc. In the eyes of the law, having “now-illegal” guns is not considered just civil disobedience; it is considered a serious felony that turns you into a “prohibited person” and gets you thrown in prison for a decade or two.

    We must stop these bills before they become law!

    • Yes… AND we have to hedge our bets, which is what this article is all about.

      Smart and persistent legislating and lawyering can be the difference between ignominious defeat and staying on your feet to win the next round.

      In an ideal world, this “ghost gun” crap would go down the drain where it belongs. In the real world, a “loophole” in which we’re legally required to put a name and number on whatever we make at home (but *not* to serialize/register it) might be the best we could do.

      If it peels off enough Democrat support to deep-six the truly terrible crap some of them have proposed *and* preserves our ability to make things at home without begging the government for permission, that’s close enough to a win. More guns they can’t locate to confiscate is a good thing no matter how we get there.

    • Yo, stuck. Bullshit. Give us some names of folk who fill prisons for possession of firearms and nothing else. Your post is paranoid and defeatist.

  24. One is not limited to the Stoner AR15 design for home made guns. In fact the easiest gun to make in the home workshop doesnt require forgings or special alloy aluminum bar stock. The open bolt SMG uses a simple fire control mechanism, sheet metal flats and pipe or tubing for the receiver. Any junkyard will have all the materials needed to make such a weapon and the plans are free and in the public domain. A lathe, drill press and welding capability makes it easier, but such weapons can be made without power tools.

    Barrel rifling can be done by electrochemical machining. None of it is rocket science. And if the KGB bans ammunition that too can be made at home. Everything one needs is available off the shelf.

    Besides, the same folks who smuggle in tons of drugs weekly can do the same with guns, ammo, and parts. Open borders are good for smugglers.

  25. I’m going to get pretty long-winded in this post, so please bear with me because everything stated herein is authentic and is the only valid defense we have against the usurpers who would strip us of out rights. The plan the author of this article proposes (just let ’em do what they’re gonna do and live with it) has little merit for many reasons. The first and most important reason being that the general government, or the States for that matter, have no constitutional ability to create any laws, regs, rules, etc. that regulate natural, individual rights that existed prior to the enactment and ratification of the U.S. Constitution which created said government. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights is the bulwark that ensures this by establishing iron-clad limits and prohibitions that said governing body is forbidden to exceed. The Second Amendment (2A) is such a bulwark. Nowhere in the text of 2A does it allow government to invade the people’s right to keep and bear arms. To the contrary, it forbids it from infringing upon that people’s individual right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of defending themselves against bad actors of many different types – including those in their governing bodies (local, states’ and general). “… all enemies, foreign and domestic.” To deprive us of the exact types of “arms” needed to accomplish that task is counter-intuitive and therefore contrary to the stated purpose of 2A.

    The U.S. Constitution is a covenant (contract) in writing (govt. the principal and the people the beneficiary) that ensures that government(s) remain in their places – subservient to the people and to the “supreme Law”. For this exact reason, 2A (as well the rest of the Bill of Rights) is absolute because it gives us the means to keep government(s) subservient to us and said “supreme Law” intact. This covenant has long since been breached by the principal.

    Article VI, paragraph 2, dictates TO the government(s) that said document “shall be the supreme Law of the Land” (the words “shall be” is an ORDER to all future government[s]) and that “the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”, and that ALL laws made by the general and States’ governments must “… be made in Pursuance thereof…” the dictates of said “supreme Law”, or said law (statute) is “notwithstanding” in law and is therefore null and void (re: Marbury v Madison, 5 US 137). Such unconstitutional laws are then defined to be “colorable” (has the appearance of validity, but is not for the reason that it directly contradicts the mandates of the “supreme Law”). All “colorable law” is thereby unconstitutional for the fact that they are not “… in Pursuance thereof…” thereby making them “notwithstanding” in law. This is true of ALL regulation regarding “arms” of any type as the text of 2A does not prescribe that there are acceptable exceptions to its mandate, that government(s) is/are forbidden from infringing upon it. Therefore, and this deserves repeating – ALL laws that governments enact that regulate “arms”, are “colorable” and therefore void. The FFA of ‘34 – VOID!, the GCA of ‘68 – VOID!, need for FFL – VOID!, any and all bans of types of fire-“arms” – VOID!, bans on large capacity magazines – VOID!, open carry restrictions – VOID!, need for CCW – VOID!, restrictions on buying 80% lowers – VOID!, and of course: any restrictions on building “ghost guns” – VOID!

    The undeniable truth is that we live in a Constitutional Republic, where everyone (including legislators, judges, and executives) is ruled by the “supreme Law”. We do not live in a democracy, as they would have us believe, where the majority (of legislators) rule, They are bound by oath to obey the U.S. Constitution’s mandates. To draft and enact “colorable” statutes that contradict the mandates of the “supreme Law” is treason (Warring on the Constitution – re: Cooper v Aaron, 358 US 1).

    If we don’t start holding our public servants to the law that they are sworn to defend and uphold (the U.S Constitution) and charging them for their crimes of willfully infringing upon its mandates, they’ll continue doing whatever they want and getting away with it — Constitution be damned. There are bona fide laws on the books meant to deal with usurpers of these types. So here’s the plan: each time legislators propose a statute that would curtail or abolish a right secured by the U.S. Constitution, we have to charge them with: 1) Treason (Title 18, United States Code, Section 2384) for warring on secured provisions of the U.S. Constitution, 2) Fraud (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1621) for not upholding what they swore to uphold – the mandates of the U.S. Constitution, 3) Perjury (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1621) for lying when swearing their oaths to support the mandates of the U.S. Constitution, 4) Conspiracy against rights (Title 18, USC, Section 241) for conspiring to deprive the people of rights that are secured by the U.S. Constitution (this can be used on any legislators that drafted such a bill or sponsor it [collusion] and the special interest groups that support[ed] it), 5) Deprivation of Rights (Title 18, USC, Section 242) for depriving the people of a right that is secured by the U.S. Constitution (if a bill becomes law that deprives the people of a right that is secured by the U.S. Constitution, ANYONE that caused it to become law is guilty of this. This includes the lobbyists that supported it, the legislators that voted for it, and the executive that enacted it). Then there’s always the nuclear option: as stated in the second paragraph of this post, the U.S. Constitution is a covenant (a contract) that is binding on the principal (the U.S. Government) to perform in a prescribed manner. As such, a certain type of writ exists to deal with the fraud created by the breachers of a contract. Said writ (Quo Warrento and Mandamus) dissolves the guilty party (the U.S. Government in this case) and places its property into the hands of a receivership. This act would void the U.S. Constitution (the contract) thereby rendering the general government of the United States impotent of all powers since all of its powers flow from that document. All federal government employees (elected officials, the federal Judiciary, all federal bureaucracies, all federal law enforcement, the military, etc,) would no longer receive a pay check or have any power, for the fact that their employer was now defunct. This act would most likely be the start of a revolution (a shooting war) and for that obvious reason, the use of this form of writ is undesirable, but nevertheless, its existence is in our ammo-box – if the paperwork to file such a suit can even be found (the government likes to hide that kind of stuff from us).

    Anyway, there’s the battle-plan(s). Anyone wanna put it/them into play? Accept for the treason, fraud and perjury charges, you’ll first have to be damaged (monetary loss or arrested and charged) by an act of the general government to have standing. For the treason charge, there has to be two witnesses, but I think in a republic 3+M people, I don’t believe you’ll have much trouble finding a second witness.

    Anyways, there’s my solution(s) to the problem(s) we’re having with our criminal government. Each crime can be proven and there is NO qualified immunity, criminally (18, USC, 241-2), or civilly, for ANYONE who deprives an American of rights that are secured by the U.S. Constitution. (Hafer v Mello, 502 US 21) “The US Supreme Court ruled that public Officials (Judge are not exempt) who cause “Unauthorized Deprivations” lose their Eleventh Amendment Protection and are subject to suit for damages under 42 USC 1983. The key is negligence: acting in excess or without authority or jurisdiction or failing to act when required to do so.”

    • Excellent points, plan and supporting evidence. Only problem I see is judges will toss the suits or rule in favor of all the unconstitutional activity just like they ignore all the unconstitutional laws. Hell, the NFA SCOTUS case had no defense, and the attorney for the US gov lied to the justices about the use of sbs in trench war, claiming the military had no use for them.

      We need enough red blooded patriots to actually man up and defend freedom. The current gov is a far cry from living within its constitutional bounds.

      • Per Article III, Section 2, we file these cases directly with the SCOTUS as each defendant is an agent of the State, which qualifies them as “the State”. Many overlook the fact that the SCOTUS is charged with “original Jurisdiction” in “all Cases” when “a State shall be party”. They are therefore constitutionally obliged to hear these cases, in the first instance, in front of Juries if that be our wish. This is not unprecedented. Because public law (the supreme Law) trumps public procedure, they are obliged to hear these cases as they are not an appellate actions which they can choose to hear or reject. I believe with the 2A friendly and originalist majority court now in place, that a lot of these obviously unconstitutional and colorable statutes would fall.

  26. Where did TTAG find this clown? This is his second wishy washy 2A article. He’s definitely a “I support the 2A but…” guy.
    If he wants to “live” with more regulations I suggest he moves to an already heavily regulated blue state and wait for the police to arrive when he’s disarmed and needs a gun the most.

  27. If your going to buy gunm parts and hide them why not just buy the gunms themselves? All them gunm parts online are bought with a credit card so it’s not like the feds can’t find out what you bought anyway.

  28. I am disillusioned by America. It broke my heart. Government lied. It said it wasn’t about tyranny and taking rights but thats all they do. So much so the average person spends more time defending what he has instead of being free to use that energy to gain more. America is a wash. Bad leadership is only going to get worse.

    I must perform a strategic retreat to safer lands. I shall buy a island and form a sovereign government with my own central bank and money secured by gpa. I will be a small island but will offer offshore banking. That will provide revenue. I will manufacture weapons freely without having to deal with American tyrannical laws.

    When shit hits the fan and the country implodes the storm will remove all bad elements from government like over taxation, over regulation, and over legistlation. There are only three crimes: murder, rape, and theft. The first two being a collary of the last. Murder is the theft of life and rape is the theft of sex from an unwillingly person. They created too many laws that are useless as they have failed to provide adequate instruction of moral uprightness and common sense of civic responsibility. They encourage lawlessness and irresponsibility, they prevent individuals from choosing freely their path in life, they meddle in the private affairs of citizens, they make wrong right and right wrong, they infringe and dictate without just cause nor justification, and they beat me up and threw me in jail.

    Its going to get worse. I will protect those that pledge fealty to me. Those that don’t are criminals that must be punished to protect the common good. As a politician I have made good on all my promises as far as funding would allow. I lowered crimes, erased gangs, exposed and removed corruption in government, and provided a clear path to ecomonic and social recovery.

    I can build weapons offshore but can only ship aluminum blocks in America. I didn’t realise the need for ghost guns was so severe. With improved tooling I can ship completed 80% lowers. A syndicate of three companies that have a niche market will be formed to address the needs of the people. A lower company, a parts and barrel company, and an ammunition company. Keeping them seperate making things easier if restructuring is required and offers higher quality and service to the consumer. When formed you should buy the products and the stock to help the company grow.

    • “I can build weapons offshore but can only ship aluminum blocks in America.”

      Zero need for that.

      A plastic 3-D printer, a propane stove burner, a bag of damp sand, and a bag of aluminum beer or soda cans, and you’re good-to-go casting your own receivers.

      It’s called lost wax or investment casting. Slow, but for individuals, fast enough…

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