“Ghost Guns” – A Hobbyist’s Tool
By: Bren Brown
Don’t ever waste a good tragedy, right? It seems to be the way of the American politician of late. Every single time a crime is perpetrated with a tool called a firearm, the left uses that crime to stand upon and shout that firearms are bad and should be eliminated. Never do we hear as much about cars, hammers, ball bats or bare hands, knives, prescription drugs, or alcohol. It’s the keeper of those criminal hands that the politicians climb upon the backs of, ignoring their pleas for mental health help, to espouse how we must take the firearm to keep the world safe.
Locally we have a resurfaced term ‘ghost gun’ regarding the tragic shooting at Olathe East High School. Yes, tragic. Anytime a tool is misused and is not for self-defense but is aggressive and illegal—that equals tragic. Apparently, the alleged firearm was considered a “ghost gun.” Since then we have received several calls for interviews on the ‘ghost gun problem’ in America.
One reporter’s email, and I quote, states: “We are trying to think about how to tell this story tomorrow – do you think one of your experts could help us out? Maybe talk about why it’s a bad idea? I’m assuming these “do it yourself kits” are likely unsafe anyway? And why it’s important to get firearms from a reputable dealer like yourself?”
First, it is good to buy a tool from a reputable dealer. Second, you should never “assume” anything.
That said, there are hobbyists out there and taking away their hobby because some misuse their product is the same slippery slope of taking away firearms because criminals misuse them. Think about it like this. If you want a very nice car, a reliable car, and you can afford said car, you would probably go buy a brand-new car at a car dealership. However, whether you can afford a new car or not, you may just really love cars. Maybe you have a new car but then you think…. maybe I could build my own car from a car kit. So, you do! You build the car and maybe a fender gets scratched in assembly. Maybe because of your inexperience you install something a little incorrectly and the car doesn’t run as good as a new car because of it. Maybe you are disappointed in the quality of the parts of the kit. Is it reliable and as good as a new car? No. But you have pride in your hobby, and it was fun to do.
This scenario above is what most gun kits are an example of—can this process be misused? Of course. Find us one thing that is good and right and we will show you someone who has ruined it and made rules come about. It’s what every Standard Operating Procedure manual is a victim of—humans messing with the rules, creating more rules. Rules that seem dumb to ordinary people because they don’t know the origin of the rule and who did “something” to make it extra.
Let’s break down some misinformation about the so called “ghost guns.” Calling them ghost guns really makes a scary term out of something as simple as a “homemade firearm.” Can you really make a firearm that does not have a serialized receiver? Yes, kind of. All parts except a functioning lower can be bought and sent to your door. A lower called an 80% lower can be sent to your door. An 80% lower is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a lower receiver that is not yet complete – it’s 80% of the way there. It doesn’t have a serial number, and in its 80% state, it can’t be used as a receiver yet. The end user must modify or drill holes in the 80% lower to make it usable like a serialized lower. There are no holes for the trigger pins to be installed, and the holes must be drilled perfectly in a very specific spot in order for the fire control unit to be installed. The kits often come with a jig that essentially stencil where to drill. Once drilled, all parts can be assembled and you can have a working firearm without a serial number, that was shipped to your door.
However, the ATF put rulings in place that forbids you from going to a shop to have your lower drilled, forbids helping to help a friend drill their lower, use another person’s equipment or tools, etc.
We haven’t found any data that supports the agenda that ghost guns are causing a crime problem in society. “Ghost gun” is used extremely loosely by media. We wonder if they’re referring to guns that have had the serial number filed off and calling them ghost guns. Those guns are also untraceable and far more common. Criminals are far, far more likely to steal firearms or buy them illegally. Because, by definition, criminals have no regard for the law. If the teenager in Olathe did all the work to create a ghost gun and then take it to school, there was an extremely premeditated sequence of events. IF that is what happened, this brings us all the way back to a mental health intervention. Don’t blame false boogey men and tools for what is wrong in the world, and create more bogus rules to rob people of their rights and freedoms who aren’t abusing them, instead blame the human who used the tool to perpetrate a crime.
For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, we recommend the following video: The ATF is Banning 80% Receivers & Redefining what a “Firearm” Is