The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 7, 2021, 05:25 PM   #1
Dennis Olson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,181
Thoughts on ghost guns?

Hi! Forgive me if this has been discussed before. I dropped off TFL nearly 20 years ago, until someone “name-dropped” the place and jogged my memory. I used to love it here. Anyway, that being said, I’m curious generally about folks’ thoughts on ghost guns. Yes/no, good/bad, necessary or just a ticket to arrest (particularly with the current pResident.

Thanks!
Dennis Olson is offline  
Old March 7, 2021, 06:03 PM   #2
Shadow9mm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 1,349
Its a silly political term and somewhat pointless IMHO. The idea, generally as I understand it, is to have firearms for whish there is no record. However it is difficult at best to purchase an 80% receiver and the jigs to complete it without creating a serous paper trail. I did look into it as a possible cheaper alternative to factory lowers. My results were that, including jigs and tools the cost would be identical to that of a factory gun, and I ran the risk of messing it up and wasting it.

In short, pointless/political mumbo jumbo, just like the "shoulder thing that goes up"
__________________
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.
Shadow9mm is offline  
Old March 7, 2021, 06:51 PM   #3
raimius
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2008
Posts: 2,137
If you want to build a gun, it's good. For most building something enhances their understanding of how it works. I suppose if you are trying to avoid future registration/confiscation schemes, it might help (although ordering stuff online tends to generate documentation anyway).
raimius is offline  
Old March 7, 2021, 09:14 PM   #4
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 23,179
My problem is with the term and its use. Created and used by a few (at first), childishly immature individuals in order to taunt the govt by APPEARING to avoid "registration".

Now its been "recognized" by the anti gun people as a "huge problem" (which, it is not) and their potential solutions to the imaginary problem could end the legal ability to make a firearm (ANY firearm) for your self.

And I don't mean just assemble one from premade parts, either. Some go so far as to want to ban ownership of SPARE PARTS for guns you already have, because, you know, someone might make an unregistered gun out of them...

the law has been the same for generations, you may make a firearm, by and FOR YOURSELF, without it being required to be registered with the Fed Govt or needing a serial #, as long as it is in your possession.

You cannot make the gun for sale, though you can sell the gun you made for yourself, if you get tired of it. HOWEVER, WHEN you go to sell it, THEN you MUST put a serial number on it, and it gets registered with the govt. AND, you become the manufacturer of record for that firearm.

If you don't, you're breaking the law.

Yammerheads on the internet doing the 21st century equivalent of sticking out their tongue and going 'neener neener" at govt regs and public perception created the issue, much to the dislike and disgust of the people who make their own guns as a hobby and don't brag or break the law doing it.

and anyone who would one day like to do it now has to worry that the law will be changed to prevent that.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old March 7, 2021, 10:49 PM   #5
Dennis Olson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 1999
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,181
Actually 44 AMP, I’m going to disagree somewhat. I have a personal friend that runs a fairly large scale firearms component manufacturing company. According to him, the ATF rules on the sale of ghost guns are more ambiguous than you stated. Here’s his position:

You can sell a personally built non-serialized ghost gun without penalty, as long as 1) a period of time has passed since it was made, and 2) you don’t sell more that two a year. (More that two makes you a firearms manufacturer, and all applicable rules come into play.)

Of course, state restrictions still apply. I’m only discussing ATF federal rules.
Dennis Olson is offline  
Old March 8, 2021, 01:09 AM   #6
Txhillbilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2008
Posts: 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
Actually 44 AMP, I’m going to disagree somewhat. I have a personal friend that runs a fairly large scale firearms component manufacturing company. According to him, the ATF rules on the sale of ghost guns are more ambiguous than you stated. Here’s his position:

You can sell a personally built non-serialized ghost gun without penalty, as long as 1) a period of time has passed since it was made, and 2) you don’t sell more that two a year. (More that two makes you a firearms manufacturer, and all applicable rules come into play.)

Of course, state restrictions still apply. I’m only discussing ATF federal rules.
You are correct.
If I build a firearm from scratch or from an 80% receiver, it isn't required to have any serial # on it.
I can also sale that firearm at a later date if I decide to, and I'm not required to put any serial # on it then either.
Txhillbilly is offline  
Old March 8, 2021, 01:27 AM   #7
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 15,828
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Olson
You can sell a personally built non-serialized ghost gun without penalty, as long as 1) a period of time has passed since it was made, and 2) you don’t sell more that two a year. (More that two makes you a firearms manufacturer, and all applicable rules come into play.)
Neither your #1 or #2 is set forth in either statute or regulation. What your friend told you is not BATFE regulation, it's a "rule of thumb" that some BATFE agents follow ... today, until they decide to follow a different rule of thumb.
__________________
NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
NRA Chief RSO / CMP RSO
1911 Certified Armorer
Jeepaholic
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old March 8, 2021, 01:28 AM   #8
rc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2001
Location: CA
Posts: 1,308
Government has to make them sound scary because they can't really regulate what they can't legally define. Is an 80% build a ghost gun? How about a home casting or CNC made receiver? What if you are just good with a mill? Want to ban aluminum blocks or steel bars? Shall we require every CNC machine to have a record of programs that must be submitted to the government? Will we be arrested for having a ghost gun program on your CNC machine? Is that plastic AR you printed a toy or a firing real gun?
rc is offline  
Old March 8, 2021, 02:12 AM   #9
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: In the valley above the plain
Posts: 12,651
The term is dumb and is used as fear-inducing hyperbole.

Otherwise, I don't have a problem.
I have made several.
People have been making their own firearms since the beginning of time.

But as far as fear-mongering and muckraking goes...
There is another (a prototype of a new design) being squirted out by my 3D printer as we speak.

Pure evil! Certainly going to kill everyone it sees!
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old March 8, 2021, 04:03 AM   #10
stagpanther
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2014
Posts: 8,412
Quote:
You cannot make the gun for sale, though you can sell the gun you made for yourself, if you get tired of it. HOWEVER, WHEN you go to sell it, THEN you MUST put a serial number on it, and it gets registered with the govt. AND, you become the manufacturer of record for that firearm.
Pretty much this. I just went through the whole process of applying for class 01, 06 and 07 ffl licenses and was approved, but upon review of all the labyrinthine requirements, records keeping and staying up to date on the rulings and the criss-crossing of federal jurisdictions I decided it wasn't worth it for a hobbiest like me, plus I figured the odds were good that an old scatter-brain like me would eventually run afoul of the law with potentially serious consequences. Manufacture of firearms is where things get serious because you also potentially come under the purview of the Department of Defense ITAR and Department of Commerce in addition to the ATF. The ATF agent that I did my interview with told me, somewhat to my surprise and backed up by opinions of their on-board attorneys, that you become a manufacturer even if you start off with serialized components made by a licensed manufacturer and then decide to sell it, to friends or not. Something to think about if you have built AR's, Glocks, 1911's etc. (and which as a hobbiest can be great fun IMO).

The majority of people I run into that advocate for "ghost" guns do so because they have a fear that any form of tracking "by the man" is the falling domino pathway to them losing their 2nd amendment rights. That's a political minefield I'm not venturing onto.
__________________
If you’re ever hiking in the woods and you get lost, just look up and find the brightest star in the sky and you’ll know which way space is.
I am NOT an expert--I do not have any formal experience or certification in firearms use or testing; use any information I post at your own risk!

Last edited by stagpanther; March 8, 2021 at 04:15 AM.
stagpanther is offline  
Old March 8, 2021, 10:42 AM   #11
imashooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 298
"Ghost Gun" term has changed, come and gone, etc over the years. That being said, nothing wrong with appreciating and abiding by the Constitution and included amendments as you see fit. It's up to you to determine to what extent you'll defend that God-given right. Carry on.
imashooter is offline  
Old March 8, 2021, 11:27 AM   #12
Mal H
Staff
 
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 16,458
This isn't the place to discuss what I will call voodoo politics. If anyone wants to discuss the actual building of a firearm, they are welcome to do so, but do it in the proper forum - either Rifles, Handguns or, to discuss the legalities of such, the Legal forum.

Closed.
Mal H is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2020 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.07271 seconds with 10 queries