What prevents people from building their own guns?

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I am brand new to the gun world and still ignorant on many things, and this question came to my mind recently when I was watching a YouTube video in which a guy replaced the recoil spring in one of his pistols. That made me wonder, what prevents someone from ordering all the parts of a gun separately and then putting them together to build a full gun? Is this what the term "ghost gun" refers to? I assume the guy didn't have to fill out any forms or have a background check to order the replacement part, so if that holds true to every other component of a gun then it seems like there would be nothing to stop someone from building their own from spare parts and not have to go through the normal process of buying an already built gun.

Just to be clear I have *NO* intention of trying this, it's just where my mind went when I watched that video. Blame it on my engineer's mind.

In fact, now that I think about it, what's to prevent someone with access to the proper tools and materials from just building their own guns totally from scratch? I mean, that's how guns were built in the beginning, right?

Sorry for the newbie question, but I am still a newbie. Thanks for reading and replying, if you do.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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Receiving a receiver is the reason. Those are the 'firearm', at least at this point, and regulated by state law and the ATF. Going thru a licensed FFL is the only legal way, and some locations even prohibit the giving of a legal personal firearm to another family member without running it thru a FFL.

However, if you are a good enough machinist with a well-equipped shop, have at it. There are few laws prohibiting such actions.

Do your due diligence first. BTW, the rest of the parts to build a gun are available from various sources, to varying levels of satisfaction.

S u b R o s a
A real woman could stop you from drinking.

She'd have to be a real big woman...

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

3
It is legal to make your own guns, with some exceptions.
You can only make a type of firearm legal to own in your area, so if your state has a bunch of restrictions like California, make sure you follow those laws.

Follow the laws for the class of firearm, you can make short barrel rifles and silencers, but a Firm 1 must be approved prior to starting construction.

You can not make guns for sale as an individual, you have to be licensed to do so by the BATF.

Most people who build guns, just assemble parts of a well known design like an AR-15 or Glock. If you start with a serialized reciever through a gun store, the reciever is the firearm already.

But it is also legal to make your own reciever, here is where the "Ghost" guns come in. You can but a 80% completed reciever and finish it yourself. Usually just drilling some holes. This is fine for individuals and personal use, if the individual could pass a background check.

The problem with these easy to make kits, is they are not part of the background system like the serialized reciever from the gun store.

They offer a particular challenge to law enforcement because criminals are getting them too easily and the lack of serial number makes them hard to track. Some people engrave serial numbers on there kit guns, but most do not.

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/does-in ... rsonal-use

https://www.google.com/amp/s/reason.com ... n-o/%3famp
Old School
The best upgrade for you firearm is always instruction and practice.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

5
Perfectly legal in most states to build your own and repair anything you own. Anti gun types would like to demonize making guns which people have been able to do since before our country was a nation. Search 80 percent receivers, legal to finish on your own and buy components. The reality is the media and the anti gun movement like catchy terms, like ghost guns. Mixing 80 percent lowers with no serial numbers with defaced guns where criminals remove serial numbers is part of the propaganda to ban or require an FFL for all gun related transactions. The result would be that only those with more money could afford guns, people of limited means are restrained by cost. That is also part of their strategy. The issue really is, if anything is solved or fundamentally addressed by banning or limiting home built firearms. The answer is nothing. If the media and police were clear and truthful the real numbers would be revealed and panic averted. There is a difference between defaced and home built firearms that do not have serial numbers. That all said, the transfer or selling of home built firearms needs to meet all federal requirements, that leads to a FFL in some instances and a engraved serial number. Check laws before selling any firearms. Personal use does not require either in most locals. This ghost gun hysteria is a manufactured non issue.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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Oldschool wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:09 am It is legal to make your own guns, with some exceptions.
You can only make a type of firearm legal to own in your area, so if your state has a bunch of restrictions like California, make sure you follow those laws.

Follow the laws for the class of firearm, you can make short barrel rifles and silencers, but a Firm 1 must be approved prior to starting construction.

You can not make guns for sale as an individual, you have to be licensed to do so by the BATF.

Most people who build guns, just assemble parts of a well known design like an AR-15 or Glock. If you start with a serialized reciever through a gun store, the reciever is the firearm already.

But it is also legal to make your own reciever, here is where the "Ghost" guns come in. You can but a 80% completed reciever and finish it yourself. Usually just drilling some holes. This is fine for individuals and personal use, if the individual could pass a background check.

The problem with these easy to make kits, is they are not part of the background system like the serialized reciever from the gun store.

They offer a particular challenge to law enforcement because crimand the lack of serial number makes them hard to track. Some people engrave serial numbers on there kit guns, but most do not.


https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/does-in ... rsonal-use

https://www.google.com/amp/s/reason.com ... n-o/%3famp
There’s no numbers that I know of to how large an issue this is. It’s a propaganda. Why would law enforcement be complicated by a non serialized gun owned by anyone that is not used in a crime. The serial number does nothing in most cases since there is no nation wide mandatory registration of guns. The only benefit to serial numbers is it might help locate a stolen gun if it is found or used in a gun or sold through an FFL. I bet criminals would remove the serial number anyway before a crime, so requiring one for home built firearms is rather silly. Serial numbers are mainly needed because of industrial manufacturing and retail reasons, warranties and so on which are moot in a personal use home built Gun.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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"There’s no numbers that I know of to how large an issue this is. It’s a propaganda."

I disagree with you on this one. First, the Ghost guns are clearly a much easier access to firearms for criminals than stealing firearms or finding people willing to legally purchase them and hand them over.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.latime ... f_amp=true

The value of the serial number is not for registration, but to investigate the organized mass produce of weapons for criminals both domestic and abroad.

Serial numbers would allow LE to track these guns from manufacturing to purchase and hopefully allow them to catch the people supplying the guns to criminals.

I am pro gun, but I also feel we as citizens have a need to support the common good. I want to see 80% receivers continue, but think it is reasonable to have them sold only with background checks and with a serialized number to allow LE to back trace weapons used by criminals.
Old School
The best upgrade for you firearm is always instruction and practice.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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However, if you are a good enough machinist with a well-equipped shop, have at it. There are few laws prohibiting such actions
.

Well don't get carried away with the machine shop. Maybe a decade ago some guys out in marana got busted for manufacturing and selling full auto submachine guns.
It's probably the selling of receivers thats going to get the feds interested. I don't follow all the specifics and certainly don't know all the rules about manufacturing.
Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics.
~ Carl Jung

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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The FFL fed form is not supposed to be saved or the numbers recorded. They are of zero use to investigate crimes; therefore, it’s illogical to say that a serial number is useful in crime investigation. I’ll also disagree on the 80 percent lower having to go through a FFL and required to have a serial number. We do not have a nation wide gun registry nor do I think we should. It would not address any underlying cause of violence which should be our goal as a nation.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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Just one source, but serial numbers are for manufacturing reasons, not for police tracking.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/en ... ial-number
Serial Numbers
A serial number (SN) is a number assigned to each individual product in order to distinguish that product from all others. The serial number is sometimes used only for warranty control and sometimes used for both warranty control and for version control. They are usually assigned in sequence per product or product family. Manufacturing normally assigns the serial numbers to each product.
Sure, a serial number could be used to trace, but since there is no registration it’s a moot point. And as I noted before criminals have a tendency to remove serial numbers.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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tonguengroover wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:35 pm I don't think it's possible to entirely remove a serial number from a firearm. Even if it's ground off usually the FBI can figure out a way to find it.
Serial numbers are great for identifying stolen firearms, and many are.

Here some FAQ from the man.

https://www.atf.gov/qa-category/3-d-pri ... y-firearms
Not at all difficult to remove cereal numbers, just add milk!
IMG_2052.JPG
3's a little flakey, though.
In a perfect world, we'd be bored to death.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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The key if’s are might be able to figure out and if a stolen firearm number is reported. There is no registry, so stolen firearms are traced or found when an owner reports a gun stolen and supplies a serial number. Those are if’s. As far as guns without serial numbers that’s on the owner. If you want to put a “serial number” or name for ownership that should be up to the individual. Again we have no nation wide registry even though some bloomie types would like us to. Serial numbers have no benefit without the owner supplying it to the authorities. Mandatory serial number registry is not going to be practical or even desirable. Better to spend those resources on safety education, addressing underlying causes of violence, advocating for safe storage through education and funding community programs to curb violence.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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Firearms manufacturers know who they ship to, if dozens of 80% receivers being used by gangs are being shipped to the same gun store, it is a start.

I find it hard to believe that people who couldn't pass a background check have not used this to acquire a firearm.

I am all about liberty, but I think think the background checks are reasonable, I worked in gun stores and we had people fail the background checks. Real reasons like a restraining order for domestic violence.

Every FFL has a record of their transactions, no it is not a part of a national register or database, but a warrant can find out what happened to a gun shipped to a FFL.
Old School
The best upgrade for you firearm is always instruction and practice.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate it. As stated, I have no intention of doing this myself. I have neither the skills, nor the tools or materials, nor even the desire to do this. It just struck me when I watched that video that it might be so easy to circumvent the whole gun buying process, at least if you had the resources. And while individual "bad guys" might not, I would think more organized criminal groups might have those resources. Makes me kind of wonder what the real point of so many gun control laws really is. I get the feeling a lot of the time the laws are more of a knee-jerk reaction to something rather than a reasoned and logical one.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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Oldschool wrote:"There’s no numbers that I know of to how large an issue this is. It’s a propaganda."

I disagree with you on this one. First, the Ghost guns are clearly a much easier access to firearms for criminals than stealing firearms or finding people willing to legally purchase them and hand them over.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.latime ... f_amp=true

The value of the serial number is not for registration, but to investigate the organized mass produce of weapons for criminals both domestic and abroad.

Serial numbers would allow LE to track these guns from manufacturing to purchase and hopefully allow them to catch the people supplying the guns to criminals.

I am pro gun, but I also feel we as citizens have a need to support the common good. I want to see 80% receivers continue, but think it is reasonable to have them sold only with background checks and with a serialized number to allow LE to back trace weapons used by criminals.
Your linked article does not distinguish between firearms with defaced serial numbers, kit builds, and 3D prints. All of that is now conveniently lumped together.

An 80% "receiver" is not legally a receiver and thus is not a firearm. Requiring a background check for something that is not a firearm is absurd, and the ensuing imaginary loophole associated with that by firearm prohibitionists will be all other firearm parts.

The race to the bottom to prevent people from making their own frames/receivers presumably will have to end somewhere between banning possession of bar stock and molten metal or perhaps ore, and, of course, polymer.
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Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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We are not going to agree on this. An entire industry is built up on selling easy to complete, assemble yourself firearms. They know they are selling some kits to people who could not legally obtain firearms.

Should shall not be infringed be taken to the point we should allow violent felons free access? what about a 12 year old or non citizens? We don't sell alcohol to minors, there has to be some reasonable limit.

Asking someone with clear plans on making a firearm to go through a background check before supplying them with the key component, regardless of if it is 80% or 100% finished is reasonable.

As pointed out there is no national register, I build almost all my AR-15s and Glockensteins from 100% recievers purchased from an FFL. There is no infringement, but there are safeguards to ensure I am not on the no buy list and some basic tools in place for law enforcement to trace back the origins if it is used in a crime.

The 80% are not cheaper and usualy not as good of quality. They are just more accessible without a background check and harder for law enforcement to trace.
Old School
The best upgrade for you firearm is always instruction and practice.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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DispositionMatrix wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:15 pm
Oldschool wrote:"There’s no numbers that I know of to how large an issue this is. It’s a propaganda."

I disagree with you on this one. First, the Ghost guns are clearly a much easier access to firearms for criminals than stealing firearms or finding people willing to legally purchase them and hand them over.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.latime ... f_amp=true

The value of the serial number is not for registration, but to investigate the organized mass produce of weapons for criminals both domestic and abroad.

Serial numbers would allow LE to track these guns from manufacturing to purchase and hopefully allow them to catch the people supplying the guns to criminals.

I am pro gun, but I also feel we as citizens have a need to support the common good. I want to see 80% receivers continue, but think it is reasonable to have them sold only with background checks and with a serialized number to allow LE to back trace weapons used by criminals.
Your linked article does not distinguish between firearms with defaced serial numbers, kit builds, and 3D prints. All of that is now conveniently lumped together.

An 80% "receiver" is not legally a receiver and thus is not a firearm. Requiring a background check for something that is not a firearm is absurd, and the ensuing imaginary loophole associated with that by firearm prohibitionists will be all other firearm parts.

The race to the bottom to prevent people from making their own frames/receivers presumably will have to end somewhere between banning possession of bar stock and molten metal or perhaps ore, and, of course, polymer.
Agree DM. It’s a downward spiral with civil rights being limited and the people with the least will suffer the most. No real gain will be achieved but the power of elites and the state will be increased. It’s not root causes and doesn’t address any systemic inequality. It would create more inequality.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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Laws already exist to define who can legally have guns. The strategy pursued by bans and restrictions does nothing but limit civil rights, it’s authoritarian and it’s just plain wrong. Yes, we won’t agree. I believe in addressing the underlying causes of violence, safety education and all the rest of the points The Liberal Gun Club stands for. I don’t see the value of limiting the ability to manufacture it would change nothing except deny lawful people the ability to do so. Criminals are not effected by these type of laws, it’s one reason I firmly believe in addressing the underlying causes. Yes, not going to agree to more authoritarianism. I prefer increasing civil rights.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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sikacz wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:53 am Perfectly legal in MOST states to build your own and repair anything you own. Anti gun types would like to demonize making guns which people have been able to do since before our country was a nation. Search 80 percent receivers, legal to finish on your own and buy components. The reality is the media and the anti gun movement like catchy terms, like ghost guns. Mixing 80 percent lowers with no serial numbers with defaced guns where criminals remove serial numbers is part of the propaganda to ban or require an FFL for all gun related transactions. The result would be that only those with more money could afford guns, people of limited means are restrained by cost. That is also part of their strategy. The issue really is, if anything is solved or fundamentally addressed by banning or limiting home built firearms. The answer is nothing. If the media and police were clear and truthful the real numbers would be revealed and panic averted. There is a difference between defaced and home built firearms that do not have serial numbers. That all said, the transfer or selling of home built firearms needs to meet all federal requirements, that leads to a FFL in some instances and a engraved serial number. Check laws before selling any firearms. Personal use does not require either in most locals. This ghost gun hysteria is a manufactured non issue.
In states like mine, you MUST have a serialized firearm unless it is an antique or not capable of firing. 80% lowers that are not serialized can lead to felony charges. Better to spend a little extra on a serialized lower receiver (or whatever part of the gun you are assembling is legally considered "the gun"--like on Sig P320s it's the fire control unit, essentially the trigger mechanism, which can be paired with other slide assemblies, barrels, grips, and magazines.).
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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YankeeTarheel wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:59 am
sikacz wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:53 am Perfectly legal in MOST states to build your own and repair anything you own. Anti gun types would like to demonize making guns which people have been able to do since before our country was a nation. Search 80 percent receivers, legal to finish on your own and buy components. The reality is the media and the anti gun movement like catchy terms, like ghost guns. Mixing 80 percent lowers with no serial numbers with defaced guns where criminals remove serial numbers is part of the propaganda to ban or require an FFL for all gun related transactions. The result would be that only those with more money could afford guns, people of limited means are restrained by cost. That is also part of their strategy. The issue really is, if anything is solved or fundamentally addressed by banning or limiting home built firearms. The answer is nothing. If the media and police were clear and truthful the real numbers would be revealed and panic averted. There is a difference between defaced and home built firearms that do not have serial numbers. That all said, the transfer or selling of home built firearms needs to meet all federal requirements, that leads to a FFL in some instances and a engraved serial number. Check laws before selling any firearms. Personal use does not require either in most locals. This ghost gun hysteria is a manufactured non issue.
In states like mine, you MUST have a serialized firearm unless it is an antique or not capable of firing. 80% lowers that are not serialized can lead to felony charges. Better to spend a little extra on a serialized lower receiver (or whatever part of the gun you are assembling is legally considered "the gun"--like on Sig P320s it's the fire control unit, essentially the trigger mechanism, which can be paired with other slide assemblies, barrels, grips, and magazines.).
Which is why I said most. I don’t care to have your state’s authoritarianism or California’s or New York’s exported to federal law. Address the underlying causes. There is no benefit from your states restrictions, they just give police more leverage and work to deny the people with least means. How about zero percent lowers...never mind. I’m not going to continue this discussion since it’s one that been beaten to death. Haven’t had my morning coffee either and that makes me cranky.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: What prevents people from building their own guns?

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Saturday Night Assault Ghost. Good name for a cheezy horror flick, or an anit-gunners worst nightmare.

Much of this back and fourth wrangling almost certainly takes place in legislative bodies around our country as well. Perhaps there is no good answer that will accommodate enough to be able to move past these issues. Kind of like the abortion debate. Both sides have really good arguments. No end in sight.

I have a .22 rifle which was made in a time before serial numbers. I'm sure it is not an issue in West Virginia, but what if I should move?

There was an episode of The Rifleman where at the end Mark said to his Pa, that he believed one day people would not need/use/own guns anymore, or something like that. Lucas agreed that could be. Then Mark went on to say that one day a machine would be made to replace the horse, to which his dad replied that could never happen.

Never say never.
In a perfect world, we'd be bored to death.

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