Congressmen Introduce Bill Banning ‘Ghost Gun’ Milling Machines

The Ghost Gunner 3. (Photo: Defense Distributed)

Last week, two congressmen introduced a bill (see below) that would ban “metal milling machines” that turn “private individuals into de facto gun manufacturers and dealers in their own homes.”

Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin (MD) and David Cicilline (RI) call their legislation the “Stop Home Manufacture of Ghost Guns Act” and believe it bolsters the aim of the “Untraceable Firearms Act,” which imposes widespread restrictions on 80 percent lowers as well as kits designed to assemble firearms from receivers. 

Essentially, both bills want to stop unlicensed individuals — those not engaged in the business of making or selling firearms — from using parts and equipment that make home gun building a turnkey endeavor.   

The “Untraceable Firearms Act,” the legislation that Raskin and Cicilline hope to complement with their “Stop Home Manufacture of Ghost Guns Act.”

“The terrible threat of ghost guns to public safety is growing on a daily basis,” said Rep. Raskin in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica. “It is time for Congress to ban ghost guns and the flourishing traffic in the technology which manufactures them. Law enforcement is finding that ghost guns compose a growing share of weapons used in deadly crime. Let’s act now as an institution to remove this increasing and lethal threat to our people.”

“Ghost guns serve no legitimate purpose,” Congressman Cicilline added. “We have laws for a reason. The ability to skirt the background check requirements and federal firearms licensing to sell a gun made at home is dangerous and should be illegal. This legislation will prevent dangerous firearms from getting into the hands of the wrong people.”

SEE ALSO: Rhode Island Bans ‘Ghost Guns’ w/ 10 Year Prison Sentence for Violators

The elephant in the room is, of course, Defense Distributed (DD), the Texas-based company that manufacturers a CNC milling machine called the “Ghost Gunner” that allows one to quickly finish frames and receivers for many popular firearms, including ARs, of the -15 and -10 variety, as well as 1911s and Glock-compatible pistols.

GunsAmerica reached out to Cody Wilson, the founder of DD for comment.  Needless to say, he didn’t seem too worried about the legislation.  

“As written, grants our company an industrial monopoly. These are unserious people. Puppets for Bloomberg-moneyed groups,” he said in an email.  

Wilson’s not wrong about the advocacy groups that support the legislation.  According to the press release, they include The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, and The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Selling any completed firearm, be it a so-called ghost gun or not, to a prohibited person (e.g. convicted felon, illegal alien, fugitive from justice, drug addict, domestic abuser) is already illegal under federal law.  Moreover, it is also against the law for any prohibited person to possess a functioning firearm.  

Both crimes are punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years.  Repeat offenders who have three or more prior convictions for a felony crime of violence (e.g. burglary, robbery, assault, possession of offensive weapons) may receive a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

Sadly, though, the hefty punishment imposed by existing law isn’t enough to dissuade hardened criminals from getting guns.  As it turns out, no law or set of laws seem to work at stopping bad guys from getting guns.  Yet, Reps. Cicilline and Raskin want the public to believe that effectively shutting down the cottage industry of DIY gun-making will have a big impact on crime.  

Unserious people, indeed.

The text of the “Stop Home Manufacture of Ghost Guns Act.”

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Joe Charland August 2, 2020, 12:55 pm

    yet another line of crap from Cicilline , yes from my state RI , this is the same guy that nearly bankrupted the city of Providence , it’s sad but no matter how crooked , the electorate in my state of RI just keeps electing the crooks . Just so you know Mr. Cicilline I have a milling machine and , God help us , a lathe …. and no I don’t build guns I buy them legally and I’m sure you can’t wait to put and end to that as well .

  • Stuart July 11, 2020, 4:09 pm

    Yet another resolution to an entirely nonexistent problem.

    Ought to work out just peachy!

  • John Gault July 11, 2020, 2:34 pm

    These two take Bloombergs money and push his agenda. Just a couple of political whores.

  • Brian July 11, 2020, 12:49 pm

    Good thing these two lying politicians weren’t around in 1775 as they would have been trying to shut down the “Committee of Safety” organizations in which American colonists made their own firearms to oppose British tyranny. And yes those firearms were unmarked by their makers to prevent reprisals from an oppressive British monarchy, much like our politicians and government today have become, and ultimately helped secure our Independence from King George.

  • Mike July 10, 2020, 7:50 pm

    Get out the vote. Believe it or not there are still enough Americans with brains to throw these bas**rds out of office. Complacency is our enimy.

  • Calvin Johnson July 10, 2020, 2:25 pm

    Okay, So it is cheaper to make a ‘ghost gun’ than to steal one? Or to buy one from the guy who stole it? The fools pushing legislation like this are simply trying to virtue signal and improve their political standing by scaring folks who don’t know any better. Standard mode of operation for Democrats.

    • Rattlerjake July 11, 2020, 11:51 pm

      A ghost gun is no different than a stolen gun with the serial number ground off to these politicians. I seriously doubt that any ghost guns have been used in the commission of a crime.

  • Matt July 10, 2020, 1:11 pm

    Well I guess the criminals go back to grinding the serial numbers off the gun again. Or do they still do that?

  • JohnL July 10, 2020, 12:38 pm

    Yeah, riiiiight! Criminals will turn to making their own guns Instead of simply relying on the black market that currently thrives in the hood, completely unmolested by law enforcement.

    And, of course, with the thousands of UNENFORCED Gun laws on the books now, adding even more laws will ensure enforcement!

    Just when I start to think Democrats can’t get any dumber…..

    • Janet Tomkins July 10, 2020, 2:33 pm

      Maybe the Democrats aren’t so dumb. As long as they get elected or reelected and become wealthy on the benefits and perks provided by the taxpayers, they will have no concerns about collateral damage. They want money or power or both. And they have no qualms about damaging other folks in the process. Watch them dance in glee as peoples businesses are burned to the ground. See them march in the streets along with the anarchists, arsonists and other Democrats. See them supporting the defund the police movement which will put thousands of cops on the unemployment line and put millions of people at the mercy of the criminals. The Democrats in power have their concept of success and will do anything to achieve it.

  • David Welsh July 10, 2020, 10:57 am

    Anti-gun groups and their politician and media wet bedfellows are the enemies of the Republic. Period.

  • Alan July 10, 2020, 10:25 am

    So my 1942 South bend Lathe and MY 1985 Enco milling machine now make me a criminal. If you have a shotgun and and a hacksaw you will be next.

  • Big Al 45 July 10, 2020, 9:10 am

    More propaganda, where is the evidence that so called ‘Ghost guns’ have become a “terrible threat to public safety growing on a daily basis”?
    I stay on top of this stuff, I have seen NO such research or evidence that makes that statement true.
    These jerks get away with lies and deceit all the time.

    • Thomas Dickinson July 10, 2020, 2:41 pm

      VOTE in November. The only way we win is to vote the Democrats out of power. Whether you like Trump or not, whether or not you like the other Republicans, you cannot vote for a Democrat if you value your 2nd amendment rights. Look at California, Virginia or other Democrat controlled areas. Their number one goal is to control everything and everyone and armed citizens are their greatest opposition.

  • Alvis July 10, 2020, 9:06 am

    4 U.S.C. 72 is being violated by the I.R.S. and the federal government permits the I.R.S. to make you believe you are a federal taxpayer, thus you must bow to all government regulations. American’s have no liability for the payment of income taxes which income is not paid by the government and yet American’s are told to ” return ” tax on that income you never received from the government. All of the income tax coming in from the American people is a ” free gift” to government to waste away at their discretion. 4 U.S.C. 72 restricts the jurisdiction of the I.R.S. to the District of Columbia and not elsewhere. Trillions of dollars comes in to keep you gun owners compliant with stupidity in Washington D.C. demand the I.R.S. to show you by federal law where they have authority of Congress to violate 4 U.S.C. 72

  • james parker July 10, 2020, 9:04 am

    If you are manufacturing firearms in your home illegally to sell. There are aready laws prohibiting that on the books. If you are building an unregistered gun that is for home protection, and will not leave the house then more power to you. We should be celebrating the patriot and the glory of our 2nd amendment. To ban a group of machines that has other purposes than just milling 80% lower receivers Is asinine. Blumeinthal needs to have his progressive head examined. These progressives will not stop at 80% frames, chipping away is what they do…

  • PB- dave July 10, 2020, 8:46 am

    Once again, these mental giants on capital hill are writing law that targets inanimate objects instead of criminal actions.
    If you can legally own a gun, you can legally build one (one that meets legal requirements).
    If one breaks the law in owning or building a gun, there are already avenues for punishment. NO new law is required.
    If you build a gun, and put a unique permanent ID on it (serial#), it isn’t a “ghost” gun.
    The problem is that the gov’t thinks “ghost guns” are ones they don’t have cradle to grave visibility of.

  • Edward Hopf July 10, 2020, 8:31 am

    This is stupid. I’m a former gunsmith and I own a lathe and Bridgeport mill. This law will never pass because it would destroy a entire industry of machinists. It will never stop any crime.

  • VaGinYa July 10, 2020, 8:18 am

    Damn, I really like my Dremel.

    • Rattlerjake July 12, 2020, 12:01 am

      And so much for my mini router and end mill bits!

  • krinkov545 July 10, 2020, 8:07 am

    Pathetically these same two creeps support the thug criminal George Floyd, the lawless looters, the out of control rioters, the sodomite BLM thugs, and homo antifa thugs.

  • FAL Phil July 10, 2020, 7:54 am

    It must be a terrible thing to live in the kind of fear these congressmen are showing.

  • Locutus of Grob July 10, 2020, 7:44 am

    So, no more Bridgeport Mills, no more hand held routers?

    This is the other side of ridiculous and shows how clueless these democrats are.
    It will never even make it out of committee.

  • John Legere July 10, 2020, 7:06 am

    Nothing that a drill press and lathe can’t take care of.

  • Dr Motown July 9, 2020, 8:50 am

    Back in my youth, I knew many guys who had machinery in their garages that could build almost anything….and none of them were criminals or mass murderers

  • Jaque July 8, 2020, 7:03 pm

    The largest threat to public safety is the communist lawmakers that spread lies and propaganda about Americans rights and freedoms.
    Every law abiding American is permitted to build firearms for personal use. These guns are legal and do not require a serial number.

    While guns can be made with hand tools, machine tools help the maker to
    build in greater precision and speed up the process. These bills are based on lies and if passed would make all machine tools, power tools and even an electric drill illegal

    The goal of all communists is to disarm the citizens. After disarmament comes tyranny. And without guns its hard to fight communist tyrants.

    Of course readers know all this. My words are for those with zero knowledge of gun laws.

  • James M Bagayas July 8, 2020, 12:58 pm

    Once again these Politicians trying to get bills pass through our other political avenues( Congress ) without going through The People First! The only Bill that Legally could passed is when the Majority of the People cast their Vote on a National Ballad. These Politicians are passing Bills without the knowledge or consent of The People and our rights are being infringe apon, which is Unconstitutional, and Technically Have No Legal Standing. We HAVE RIGHTS. The People of this Nation Need to be Allowed to Help make these decisions. And the Politicians Job is to assist The People with these decisions, We The People can Also cast our votes to resign Any Politician Who has infringe our Constitutional Rights.

    • Jscott1000 July 8, 2020, 1:36 pm

      There are so many flaws in their arguments. It’s already illegal to manufacture and sell guns without a license full stop.

      It’s already illegal to commit crimes with guns full stop.

      There are already millions of guns with serial numbers that are untraceable full stop.

      This law would not enhance law enforcement in any way. So called ghost guns are no more dangerous than any other gun.

      All this law would do is inconvenience law abiding citizens who want to manufacture their own guns.

      How is the manufacture of your own gun for personal use not a legitimate use?

      • PewPewPew July 12, 2020, 3:01 pm

        Senseless administrative pokes at non-existent problem.
        However, maker of the poorly named and marketed equipment should realize he cast the bait…I mean really, “Defense Distributed (DD), the Texas-based company that manufacturers a CNC milling machine called the “Ghost Gunner”?

        As a four decade Toolmaker (and 6 decade shooter) with 300k pounds of machine tools, they better bring lots of ammo, 5 or 6 flatbeds and rigging companies….full stop!

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