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.”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.”