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Gun Manufacture, Bypass "Gun Control"



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By Kurt Hofmann, October 8th, 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

Mike Honda (D-CA)

Recently, we noted that Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) had introduced H.R. 5606, the "Homemade Firearms Accountability Act." The text is now available, and contains few surprises.

In the few weeks since the introduction of that bill, though, there have been some pretty dramatic new developments in the field of firearm manufacture at home. The most widely discussed of these developments is the announcement of the "Ghost Gunner" CNC (Computer Numeric Controlled) milling machine. The Ghost Gunner was designed for the specific (but not exclusive) purpose of allowing even those with no metalworking or gunsmithing skills, and no more than average computer literacy, to easily finish the 20% of work that remains to transform an "80% complete" AR-15 lower receiver into one that's ready to be assembled into a functioning firearm--for an investment of $1,500.

Cody Wilson

The people behind this are, not surprisingly, Cody Wilson's Defense Distributed, who previously brought us the "Liberator," the world's first handgun constructed entirely of 3-D printed plastic (with the exception of a nail for a firing pin, and a block of metal that serves no mechanical or structural purpose, but only to comply with the federal law against "undetectable" firearms), the 3-D printed AR-15 lower receiver, capable of firing hundreds of rounds of 5.56mm/.223 caliber ammunition, the 3-D printed "Feinstein" 30-round AK magazine, and the 3-D printed "Cuomo" 30-round AR-15 magazine.

This development is already the cause of much fear and loathing among the "progressives" of the Daily Kos, prompting this kind of foot-stomping angst:

I suggest you read the articles linked. It is both interesting and frightening. It really illuminates the sophomoric pseudo-intellectual flaws of the libertarian movement. It also shows that the practicality of their anti-government rhetoric is non-existent. On the one hand, they are democratizing gun ownership, and on the other, they are creating a world that is willfully deaf to all of the damage guns have done and continue to do.

Even worse for them, on the day before Defense Distributed announced the "Ghost Gunner," California's reliably, rabidly anti-gun Governor Jerry Brown surprisingly vetoed a bill, sort of a state version of Honda's federal bill, introduced by California state Senator Kevin de León, to ban "ghost guns" (the source of the "Ghost Gunner's" name)--de León's term for guns that being homemade, cannot be made subject to government controls, or even show up in any government database. The horror!

And now, a new Australian company promises to bring 3-D printing of metal objects to the home, starting at under $5,000. From Inside 3DP:

Perth, Australia-based team Aurora Labs has created three metal 3D printers, all with different capabilities and build sizes, that are all available for between AUD$4,499 and AUD$7,999 – about $3,999 and $7,090 respectively.

Neither the Inside 3DP article nor the project's Kickstarter page makes even the most oblique mention of guns (Kickstarter would have rejected the project if guns had been mentioned), but the largest of them could certainly print an object the size of an AR-15 (or AR-10) lower receiver (and the smaller ones can print pistol frames), and one of them could even produce one of titanium.

As home manufacture of guns becomes more and more accessible to more and more people, "gun control" laws will become more and more irrelevant. A southern California radio station, KPCC, recently interviewed UCLA Constitutional law professor Adam Winkler, who has never been what anyone would call a staunch defender of private ownership of firearms. He doesn't sound happy:

What kinds of ethical issues does this raise for you?

It really raises questions about the practicality of gun control laws in a world where people can make their own guns. So much of our gun control is targeting industrial gun makers and licensed gun dealers and using them as the way to close off access to guns by criminals and the mentally ill. It's going to become a lot more difficult … and could provide new avenues for criminals and the mentally ill to get their hands on guns.

Much worse, to those who demand a "government monopoly on force," is that these developments will "provide new avenues for" the people, the liberty-loving citizens of a nation that they would fight, kill, and die to keep free, "to get their hands on guns." The "monopoly" is busted, and can never be restored. That's cause for celebration.

A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. Kurt Hofmann Archive.

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