Cody Wilson has a goal, a goal to make firearms free. Not free of charge, but available to everyone — if they own a Ghost Gunner. The Ghost Gunner is specialized CNC-milling machine designed to churn out firearms.
When the original Ghost Gunner was launched it was an AR-15 receiver machine. With this update Ghost Gunners can now produce ARs, of the -15 and -10 variety, as well as 1911s and Glock-compatible pistols.
Why? To prove that you don’t need specialized knowledge to make your own guns. That in-home manufacturing technology has rendered gun control worthless. And also, to make a little money.
While the Ghost Gunner is free to operate, it’s not free to own, with a $1,675 sticker. The machine takes 80 percent receivers, which Wilson also sells, and completes them into 100 percent firearms.
Building compete firearms from 80 percent kits isn’t anything new. People have been doing this for decades. What’s different here is that the Ghost Gunner is an automated, turn-key process.
An 80 percent firearm is just a gun-shaped hunk of metal. It doesn’t fire, it has no moving parts; it’s a paperweight. A 100 percent firearm also doesn’t do much — it’s still just a single hunk — but it can be completed with off-the-shelf parts. Only the receiver counts as the “firearm” by ATF standards. Everything else is replaceable and can be bought over the counter.
Up until now the Ghost Gunner could only make rifle-based guns. These can be compact but they’re hardly concealable. Wilson is taking a major step toward democratizing gun ownership now that the machine can make Glock- and 1911-pattern pistols.
It takes a little skill to build a gun out of a firearm receiver, but nothing that can’t be accomplished with time and practice. This is particularly true for Glock-pattern guns, which are designed to use interchangeable parts. Because these use standard and aftermarket gun parts, these homemade guns can be just as well-made or better-made than common factory-produced firearms.
The Ghost Gunner and 80 percent receivers are all available through Defense Distributed. Wilson first made headlines in 2012 with the Wiki Weapons Project. Defense Distributed was first set up as a hub for 3D-printed firearms manufacturing.
Defense Distributed only operated in its original capacity for a few months before getting shut down by the State Department. Since then Wilson and his company have been in legal battle after legal battle with their case now waiting before the Supreme Court.
The Ghost Gunner started out as a side project after the Wiki Weapon project was suspended. But even though it’s expensive it furthers Wilson’s original mission. For a couple grand you can get a gun — rifle or pistol — no questions asked.
The term “Ghost Gun” was famously coined by anti-gun California senator Kevin De Leon (D). Leon is leading the charge in attempting to ban the private manufacture of firearms.
It’s legal for anyone who can own guns to make guns, at least on the federal level. It’s even legal to sell or transfer these guns, as long as they aren’t made with the intent of selling or transferring them. They don’t have or need serial numbers.
Does that really make them untraceable? Privacy, by it’s nature, is not meant for prying eyes.