With ‘Ghost Gun’ Suit, Brady Works to Make Selling Gun Parts Illegal

AR-15 80% lower

Dan Z. for TTAG

The campaign to make it difficult or impossible to buy gun parts over the internet is well under way. Outlawing online gun part sales one of the planks of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.’s gun control plan. A big part of that push is the recent flurry of the Brady bunch’s and other lawsuits against makers and sellers of “ghost gun” parts.

Ghost guns, which are cobbled together with various parts often purchased separately, have long been popular among hobbyists and firearms enthusiasts. The weapons that contain no registration numbers that could be used to trace them and require no background checks increasingly have shown up at crime scenes, gun control advocates say.

“There is an ample and thriving gun market in this country in which law abiding citizens can get guns thru proper channels. This is an industry that appears aimed at supplying people who can’t legally have guns,” Brady’s chief counsel Jonathan Lowy said Monday.

Cody Wilson, the director of Ghost Gunner Inc., one of the defendants, called the suits “low effort attempts to confuse the public and frustrate the lawful purpose of making your own firearms in California.” The other 12 defendants, most of them online retailers, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The plaintiffs include the families of Michelle McFayden, Diana Steele, Daniel Le, and Joseph McHugh, who died in the November 2017 shooting, and Francisco Cardenas, who suffered serious injuries.

Investigators say the shooter, Kevin Neal, manufactured an unregistered rifle used in the rampage with ghost gun parts despite being ordered by a judge to surrender all his weapons as part of a restraining order.

Neal, 44, killed his wife and four others before he died by suicide while being chased by deputies in Northern California’s Tehama County. Neal targeted an elementary school while randomly shooting at homes and motorists in a sprawling rural subdivision about 130 miles (209 kilometers) north of Sacramento.

— Christopher Weber in Families of shooting victims sue sellers of ‘ghost guns’

comments

  1. avatar Marcus says:

    As if criminals would stop making them if they were banned? What if they became illegal? Why should I not sell a ghost gunner to a criminal for crazy money rather then keep illegal contraband?

    1. avatar Debbie W. says:

      All of that is neither here no there with Gun Control Zealots…They Don’t Care. If you want to defeat Gun Control you need to rip away it’s Smiley Face and expose it’s racist and nazi face.
      I’ve been fighting the battle to expose Gun Control for awhile and on this forum it’s been mostly standing on my own…When pompous Gun Control Zealots heard of a moment to expose the racism and genocide connected directly to Gun Control this is when they shifted to “Sensible Gun Control.” There is no such thing as Senisble Gun Control anymore than there is Sensible Racism and Genocide.

      Until there is an across the board movement to Tell The Truth About Gun Control to America’s gullible shopaholic moms and football addicted dads who leave their kids beneath Gun Free Zone Signs and drive merrily off to work the 2A dangles on the edge of a cliff.

      1. avatar Debbie W. says:

        If I could edit…no would be nor and it’s and it’s would be its and its. Dear Santa, I need a new phone for Christmas. D.W.

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “Dear Santa, I need a new phone for Christmas. D.W.”

          The way I understand the deal, it requires a nebulous behavior known as “Being Good” before the goodies appear.

          Have you been good, or naughty? (Now, I’ve heard rumors some far-northern elves like ’em on the ‘naughty’ side… 😉 )

    2. avatar TheUnspoken says:

      It was already illegal for the criminal to posses a firearm, so making it “more illegaler” for him to assemble a weapon isn’t necessary. Why did he build that firearm, he knew he wasn’t allowed to! Also he should have known that killing people was against the law! Why did he do that? He needs to obey.

      The real person at fault is, of course, the perpetrator, and he deserves all the blame. But why no questions to the judge and law enforcement who let this guy on the loose? They knew he was a threat since they took his weapons? Did they not enable this crime? Why would they think he would comply?

      Why didn’t they take his credit card, car keys, screen his mail box, do regular weapons checks of his house? Ensure he is complying right? Oh, that wouldn’t be manageable. So instead of keeping tabs on the one guy who is a threat, lets just shut down all the legit people who want to order or make guns but aren’t a threat, which one is easier to implement and less expensive?

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        This guy lived almost thirty miles west of the nearest town (Red Bluff) in a community called Rancho Tehama in a rural county with a population of 64,000. Keep tabs on him? There are four sergeants and 16 deputies in the patrol division for the whole county. Just not gonna happen.

        1. avatar frank speak says:

          they’re already trying to pull this crap in PA…I can’t even get certain non-firing replica guns shipped to me anymore…

    3. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Perhaps Kevin Neal was the problem, or had serious problems, and not the gun. Families in their grief want to lash out and punish someone, anyone, for their loss. And too many lawyers are willing to profit from such grief.

    4. avatar frank speak says:

      the gun-grabbers would never have caught on to this if gun-buffs hadn’t bragged all over the internet how they could circumvent gun restrictions…sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and keep them in the dark…..

  2. avatar Shire-man says:

    The magic power of serial numbers and registration to prevent malicious action is proven.
    Apparently.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      The Party of Science™ doesn’t need data to back up what they feel is right.

  3. avatar Nope. says:

    What’s more interesting is a lot of these unfortunate events tend to happen in highly regulated places.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      From the article:

      “This is an industry that appears aimed at supplying people who can’t legally have guns…”

      Um, I believe 100% of all the marketing I’ve seen has been squarely aimed at the home hobbyists. Have yet to see anything advertising to the felon community.

      1. avatar Defens says:

        IMHO, the rise in the home assembly of firearms has risen dramatically because of the obvious threat of greater and greater regulation of firearms in the future. If we weren’t constantly being threatened with bans and buybacks, most home-builders wouldn’t bother. The practice is legal for now, but if it becomes illegal to own a non-serialized, non-registered firearm, I’m sure the greatest percentage of those arms will be retained by the folks who built them – as they should be.

        I enjoyed machining some 0% lowers as a challenge in learning to use my mill and lathe. Now that I know I can do it, probable wouldn’t do so again (manual mill, not CNC!). But those skills will be useful in future machining projects.

        1. avatar C says:

          Timothy McVeigh proved it wass easier to build a bomb that could kill hundreds than a ghost gun. Take away an evil person’s gun and he might use a bomb instead, sounds smart to me. One bullet one body, one bomb 50 bodies. Liberals make such lousy engineers I’ve noticed.

  4. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    It’s not going to matter. We will just stop obeying all of the bullshit laws and court decisions.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Speaking of legal news..

      https://www.texastribune.org/2020/12/08/texas-ken-paxton-election-georgia/

      This first started appearing in some news outlets this morning around 0300 est. BreitBart carried it and I think they spiked it now.

      Here is the filing.
      https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/sites/default/files/images/admin/2020/Press/SCOTUSFiling.pdf

      Basically there is one one piece of evidence needed if I understand correctly. Did the States in question violate the Constitution of the US.

      Make of it what you will….but it’s SCOTUS wheelhouse, not any of the lower courts.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        I’ll be seriously surprised if the SCOTUS want *anything* to do with that election shit-show.

        The only way they will chime in is if forced to do so…

        1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          To me that is what Texas is doing. SCOTUS has original jurisdiction….they either ignore, weasel, or ask the question did the four States violate yes or no. It can’t be sent down to lower courts AFAIK .

          Interesting times.

    2. avatar Debbie W. says:

      crimson clown…You sided with a nitwit who showed no respect for the POTUS. And you attacked me for asking the nitwit to show some respect for the POTUS. And you acknowledged seeing my posts for awhile and called them crazy. What I do not recall is you ever hitting reply and making an attempt to debunk any of my posts. That says you are a gutless wonder talking out your butt.
      If you cannot stand against a bozo who caters to those who slander and libel the POTUS then you damned sure ain’t got what it takes to stand for anything….You’re all hat and no cattle.

  5. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    It is for people who do not want the government in their business and believe bthe ATF and state governments want registration and confiscation.

  6. avatar Prndll says:

    There are those that follow the law and those that don’t.

    Some people just have no clue.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Those who follow unlawful orders, and those who do not…

      FIFY 😉

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        One particular political party has been advocating for *years* that citizens have a duty not to obey un-just laws…

        1. avatar Chuckers says:

          Unjust in their opinion. These are the same people who believe it’s all right to loot , murder and burn down other peoples property. It’s known as a way communist take over a country in Eastern Europe.

  7. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

    Somebody somewhere is devising a way to work around this. Maybe a jig that can be used to make parts and a full reciever. Capitalism will always defeat communism.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      That’s why they’re replacing capitalism with crony capitalism. 2020 has become the year of destroying small business, yet the preferred businesses are making record profits. Future consumers won’t even know about the latest way around the laws because private businesses will censor the information for the government. When a few people find out, other private businesses will block your ability to pay for this item. As you know, this is already happening. It’s only going to get worse with China Joe at the helm.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Democrats are all about that crony capitalism, and they want MORE.

        And what is the “more” they’re after? In its most concentrated and authoritative form, when words used to mean things, that thing they’re after was called fascism. China is its purest exemplar, its central party having realized decades ago that fascism is far more lucrative than communism (aka socialism for idiots).

        China Joe isn’t the sharpest, but he does know which side his bread is buttered on…

  8. avatar Scott says:

    My first experience with a firearm repair was in a different place and time, well before the Internet and ghost guns. I was given a .32 ACP Sauer handgun by a Deputy Sheriff, who had taken it from a criminal. He thought I was a reliable kid and there were no rules governing confiscated firearms that had not been used in a crime. The only problem was it had a broken firing pin. I knew the local gunsmith and took it to him. The gun was probably brought back after WWII and parts were not available. Dale, the gunsmith, wasn’t phased. He first fashioned a firing pin from his best steel, tempered it, and then tested it. The first firing pin broke the same way the original did, so he put an old Ford truck valve on his lathe and viola a workable firing pin. I still have in the gun and it is functional.

    Bottom line: A good gunsmith can create almost any part without the Internet and these BOZOs can’t do anything to prevent it. There are thousands of plans available on how to manufacture everything up to fully automatic weapons from raw steel.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      First they’ll come for the home hobbyists.
      Then they’ll come for the independent gunsmiths and ‘kitchen table FFLs’ (BATFE already tried this under the Clinton Administration).

      The Anti-Gun Group Formerly Known As Handgun Control Inc cannot be reasoned with, it can’t be bargained with. It doesn’t feel pity of remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop. Ever.

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        Easy there, Reese.

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        They’ll have to find us first before they come for us. And if they do, that’s when the hidden caches and “two is one, one is none” comes into play.

  9. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    mantras from the formative years: “it’s nice out, let’s leave it out.” home is a bed.
    more apropo would be the timeless, “no fun allowed.” sure, this is a single issue site, but here is another in an endless stream of regulations that try to remove options from the adventuresome. what was once done discretely must now be done surreptitiously.
    shame, that. i make damned sure that my kids and their contemporaries are fully aware of previous losses in hopes of distilling some rebellious ‘tudes.
    so far it has cost me only money. god bless ’em.

  10. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Started on the review of some 80% Arms products this morning. Really just wanted to walk over to the mill and be done with it in all of 20 minutes.

    Which highlights the point. Anyone with $5k can get a nice home mill and crank out as many receivers as they want from bare metal. Once you get the process down, and build your fixtures, you can churn out probably 8-10 a day. In the beginning, it takes maybe 2 hours.

    1. avatar garyjou81 says:

      Then the next problem (by legislation/EO) will be getting a barrel, an upper receiver, and all the other parts to finish the product.

      If and when they do come knocking, I wonder if they will accept only a stripped lower? Ha Ha Ha!

      1. avatar Ragnar says:

        Seriously good question. How much do they take when serving a “Red Flag” order? Do they just take the receiver or do they get all the other parts and accessories? Are those Vortex and Leupold scopes confiscated?

        People have a lot of money invested in their tools. I am firmly against any confiscation or other infringements, but taking someone’s $3k scope because it happens to be mounted at that time is an extra heaping of BS.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          If the rifle is all assembled, they will take the whole thing. I have read that they will even prevent you from taking anything off. But if you have stripped the lower of the stock and trigger group and only turned that over, they should technically have nothing to complain about, since only the lower is the “firearm.”

    2. avatar Chris Morton says:

      I once had an anti-gun cultist in usenet tell me that machine tools should be regulated like NFA items.

      These “people” really are luddite savages who’d make the Khmer Rouge blink.

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        Background checks for files and drill bits. That’s their idea of common sense gun laws.

        1. avatar FedUp says:

          You see the videos of the garden shed factories in the Philippines?

          They *will* have to get files and drills off the market if they want to stop anybody who really wants to make guns.

      2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “I once had an anti-gun cultist in usenet tell me that machine tools should be regulated like NFA items.”

        I’ve heard rumblings about regulating who can buy chamber reamers and whatnot. The critical tooling bits…

    3. avatar FedUp says:

      Who needs $5k?

      Assuming you have access to an AR15 or 100% lower, you can make polymer lowers for the cost of the polymer.

      They don’t last forever, but they’re more than adequate for the criminal uses the gun banners claim to be able to stop. And nobody is stopping the distribution of plastics.

      So, if stopping criminals is impossible, is this aimed at infringing the rights of the law abiding?

      https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar-15/Fruity_Ghost___DIY_100s_of_ARs_cheaper__faster__gentler_/4-676733/

      http://ar15mold.com/freedom-15-5-kit/

  11. avatar HEGEMON says:

    Back in the 70s lots of people made 22 caliber zip guns with common bicycle hand air pumps. Maybe they’ll ban hand pumps too. The prohibitionists, like most leftists, are generally unhappy miserable people who always need something to be outraged about. These people are illogical clowns.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      this elevated my delinquent status, as uncle hasenpfeffer had food for them at the loon lake cottage.
      but i never built one; pachinko balls were sufficient.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “…but i never built one; pachinko balls were sufficient.”

        Memories… 🙂

        Dad brought home a Pachinko machine from Japan on his way home from Vietnam. I remember those chrome-plated steel balls with green Japanese lettering stamped into them…

    2. avatar anonymous4goodreason says:

      Nope, They’ll control the bullets – CA style. Making a rimfire bullet ain’t easy.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      [telescoping] car antennas were a common choice….remember having a [.38 cal.] pen-gun that was supposed to shoot only tear gas rds…it was easy to remove the little cross-bar in the screw-on muzzle….don’t remember what I paid for it …but it wasn’t much…and you didn’t have an age restriction on purchase…believe I ordered that out of a comic book…

  12. avatar Chris Morton says:

    NO, I REFUSE.

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    Because serial number traces not only solve most gun crimes they prevent shootings at all.

    Yup. That’s what they say.

  14. avatar . says:

    Words chosen : Ghost guns or Kit guns, Assault weapon or automatic rifle. Which sounds more threatening to a Mother?
    Perhaps most firearms enthusiast are asexual masochist.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      just watched the latest version of “Death Wish”…interesting how Bruce Willis was supposedly able to buy a fully-automatic weapon from his local gun shop…in Chicago, yet!…which is as ridiculous as super-sophisticated terrorists communicating on cb radios…[“Die Hard”]…..

  15. avatar Mark N. says:

    I think that the Brady Bunch has a tough case. Parts is parts, and selling parts is perfectly legal, and NOT the sale of a “firearm.” At the time, buying parts did not require a background check, and parts could be ordered over the internet. Parts manufacturers have no ability to do background checks, and no law requires them to do so. So how was it “negligent” to sell parts?
    If this case is venued in Tehama County, plaintiffs will lose, as it is a very conservative rural county that likes its guns and hates state regulation. It won’t help plaintiff’s case that a bill has been passed and signed that will require an instant background check for the purchase of parts (don’t recall when it goes into effect), just like the much hated ammo law. That law may also require the serialization of parts by the manufacturer, but why this is needed for doing a trace when the builder is usually the one busted with the “illegal” firearm.

  16. avatar Roh-Dog says:

    Real question, doesn’t a hot high point have a lower cost than a roll-your-own Glockish?
    I had an extra G32C slide that I wanted to use, even having purchased the slide a looong time ago, a store bought G23 would have been cheaper after: trigger pack/lower parts kit, .40 barrel, recoil spring, etc.
    But I’m sure the Antis are concerned about logic. /s

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      No, they are only concerned about keeping guns out of “the wrong hands.” Of course, anyone other than .gov is “the wrong hands.”

  17. avatar JB says:

    The gun community and suppliers were a cottage industry before the internet. We had our local gun shop or two, mail order catalogs, and the guy in town everyone brought their gun to to repair or enhance. Some of us had the skills and tools to do the work ourselves. We mail ordered the parts from Brownells, or others. We could buy guns at Wall Mart and Ace Hardware. Ammunition too. Way back we could order guns thru the mail without needing an FFL or the governments approvals. We sent a $25 check and in six weeks a surplus 8mm Mauser arrived.

    In between years there was lots of gun control laws enacted. Lots.

    Then came the internet, cheap computing and CAD/CAM, 3D printing, file sharing, and the fast and easy and free exchange of ideas, plans, and books. These quickly came to the attention to the communists who had fits with the common man able to obtain the materials and skills to create firearms in their bedrooms. Which was something the government minders had permitted all along. But it was done quietly before the internet. And the average schmuck knew little about guns, or cared. We also did not have a thousand news sources running all day and all night. The convergance of the internet and guns was too big to go uncontrolled and untaxed. And governments exist to control and tax.

    If Americans choose to continue on the path of communism, many of our freedoms will be curtailed, none more than firearms. Look to the gun laws of the communist countries for the future America. But they wont stop at guns.

  18. avatar No more car parts stores, to many people get killed by autos! says:

    No more knives either, forks are next, hammers, pipes, bats no more baseball! With more than 32,000,000 gun sales so far this year and who knows how many builds??? You are really delusional to think guns and their parts will be made unobtainable!

  19. avatar anonymous4goodreason says:

    This is why red flag laws are a joke. They lock up the guns not the threat. The person is the threat not the weapon.

    The thing we must understand is that red flag laws are meant to create tragedies so that more restrictive laws can be passed and manufacturers can be sued into oblivion (think Remington).

  20. avatar sound awake says:

    right now im in “buying up everything i think ill ever need or want but dont have yet” mode
    its looking more and more like the fate of our country and all our rights are going to be in the hands of 9 judges soon
    and we know for sure how 4 of them are going to vote
    its not even worth arguing the case to them
    argue it to the other 5 that really matter and hope and pray for the best

  21. avatar busybeef says:

    You cannot stop the signal

  22. avatar Charlemagne says:

    The gun control movement is the main reason that the “ghost gun” industry exists. If law abiding citizens (who make up the vast majority of this market) weren’t afraid of having guns banned or even confiscated there would be little reason to buy and assemble a “ghost gun” (which is likely to be less reliable and cost more than a factory gun as well as having no warranty).

  23. avatar Top says:

    Wow! Imagine what this will do for brick & mortar gun stores! They can return to keeping parts and accessories in stock and profiting from it. Imagine that! Numerich and Dixie Gun Works could return to sending out their awesome catalogs. We could return to the old days of getting what we need without Big Brother tracking our purchases. Cool. I “feel good” about that.

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