Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Firearms

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Ghost Gun Guy
Look for this guy for help finishing your Ghost Gun.

As the federal law stands, individuals may legally manufacture certain types of firearms without needing to register as a firearms manufacturer. The caveat is that the individual who made the firearm may not be transfer or sale it.

Here’s the word from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (all of the fun stuff):

“Firearms may be lawfully made by persons who do not hold a manufacturer’s license under the GCA provided they are not for sale or distribution and the maker is not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms.”

Of course as with any government regulation, there are few more rules, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll steer clear of the complexity.

While some non-sporting Americans may picture the home manufacturing of firearms as a gruff old man in his backyard with a kiln and hammer, pounding out some rudimentary rifle – the process isn’t too complex, especially if finishing an Ar-15.

Adventurous firearms enthusiasts who have a DIY streak can log on to a number of sites at this moment and purchase what’s called an “80% lower” – you can even get a five pack if you’re feeling lucky.

The 80% lower is the lower receiver of an AR-15 that’s literally 80% complete. To take it up to 100%, you need a bit of machining skill and the self-confidence not to mess it up.

The most important part of the lower receiver is that it is what the ATF considers the actual firearm. It’s the part that must be serialized . . . if produced by a firearm’s manufacturer.

For the handy guy or gal, with the right tools, AR-15’s and other firearm types such as 1911’s can be completed in a garage with no serial numbers or any other type of government-required marks – or tracking, hence the name “Ghost Gun.”

For others who struggle to change their own oil or have to call Roadside Assistance when a wiper-blade goes bad, the ability to finish your own AR-15 was still attainable if they had a bit of help from a gunsmith or CNC shop.

Well . . . up until the ATF published their first new rule of the year, ATF 2015-1.

The new rule specifically prohibits any company or individual with manufacturing capabilities and tools (including a 3d Printer) from giving a hand to the less handy want-to-be Ghost Gunners.

Here is the exact ruling from the ATF that prevents unlicensed gunsmiths from completing Ghost Guns for customers:

Held, any person (including any corporation or other legal entity) engaged in the business of performing machining, molding, casting, forging, printing (additive manufacturing) or other manufacturing process to create a firearm frame or receiver, or to make a frame or receiver suitable for use as part of a “weapon … which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” i.e., a “firearm,” must be licensed as a manufacturer under the GCA; identify (mark) any such firearm; and maintain required manufacturer’s records.

Taking it even further, the ATF put restrictions of companies that possess equipment that could be used to complete a Ghost Gun:

Held further, a business (including an association or society) may not avoid the
manufacturing license, marking, and recordkeeping requirements of the GCA by allowing persons to perform manufacturing processes on blanks or incomplete firearms (including frames or receivers) using machinery, tools, or equipment under its dominion and control where that business controls access to, and use of, such machinery, tools, or equipment.

The above is targeting “build parties” where a group of people get together, for instance in a machine shop, and with professional guidance complete a manufacturing process.

If your next-door-neighbor has a “Stand and Fight” bumper sticker on his F150 and a drill press in his garage, it appears he could still give you a hand without having his door kicked in at 3 am.

For those with the callus-free hands who don’t live next to Lt. Dan, an option still exists (for now) that makes finishing an 80% lower as simple as plugging in a box and hitting a button – it’s called the Ghost Gunner and will start shipping as soon as a few manufacturing issues are sorted out . . . unless the Fun Police types up another new rule.

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Papa John's Drive Shoots Robber

A 27 year-old pizza delivery girl for Papa John’s shot an attempted robber while on her route earlier this week in Decatur, Georgia.

The pizza girl was forced to the ground at gunpoint by 24 year-old Donquaz Devon Stevenson, an African American.

The unnamed woman, pulled a firearm from her pocket and, from the ground, shot Donquaz in the face.

The armed robber fled on foot while a second suspect stole the Honda Accord of the Papa John’s employee.

While employees of Papa John’s Pizza are not permitted to carry firearms on the job, the company chose not to terminate the employee and rather reassigned her to an “in-store” position.

The company is also “offering her counseling the help her recuperate from the incident.”

Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter, was vilified by critics after commenting that Obamacare would add 14 cents the cost of each pizza.

The critics highlighted his personal wealth and his 24,000 square foot home.

Schnatter replied to the criticism of his home by saying, “When you have built a $3 billion company out of a broom closet, I think you are entitled to a nice house.”

The home hosted a fundraiser in May of 2013 with Mitt Romney in attendance.

Papa John’s was founded with seed money from Schnatter after he sold his 1971 Camaro to help his father’s business. The remaining funds were used to start Papa John’s.

The female driver in the incident faces no criminal action as a local police captain stated, “She had no other choice. She must have been in fear for her life and she reacted.”

In 2014, two drivers for Papa John’s were shot and killed while on delivery in separate incidents. Another driver for the company was killed in 2013.

Another employee was killed in store in October of 2014. John Schnatter attended the funeral and paid the 22 year-old victim’s medical and funeral expenses.

Papa John’s claims safety of their employees is a top priority but plans no changes to their firearms policy despite multiple murders.

Papa John’s, who is known for offering free pizzas for events, is facing a different kind of give-back by customers who are now giving back bullets to drivers in support of their safety.

In the event that Papa John’s does change its policy, the company could also change its slogan, “Papa John’s: Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Better Marksmen.”

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Bloomberg Ant-Gun Group

On Monday, Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, Everytown for Gun Safety, published a report stating the success of background checks.

The group contradicted itself by praising the system while also saying that the number of denied requests fell by half between 2002 and 2013 and made the assumption that those who are denied a firearms purchase at a licensed dealer went on to pursue a purchase from “unlicensed sellers.”

Former NYC mayor Bloomberg pledged $50 million to Everytown for Gun Safety, which means the group is able to hire researchers and statisticians to produce credible reports.

The group cited an earlier report of an investigation of the users of Armslist.com. Everytown for Gun Safety claimed that one in 30 people on the site had a criminal record or domestic violence history.

The group claims it searched the site’s “want to buy” section and matched contact information to criminal records.

However, a quick search of Armslist.com shows very few requests to purchase an actual firearm on the site. Posts include requests for parts, gun smithing, hunting leases, etc.

The claims by Bloomberg’s group are suspect given and clearly statistically unreliable as 30 requests to purchase a firearm could not be found within a 60 day period.

Ten “want to buy” requests were posted from November 1 2014, to January 12, 2015. Of those, four were from dealers and all of the others were looking for specific, collectable firearms with the exception of one barter – a dentist in Washington State looking to trade services for a firearms and outdoor/hunting gear.

Private firearms transactions between parties are legal in most states.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island require background checks for all transactions while Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania require checks on handgun purchases.

Even while private transactions are legal in most states, many gun owners and collectors prefer to conduct official transfers during a transaction for liability reasons.

A review of listings from GunBroker.com (a leading private firearms auction site), shows that all listings state up front that transfers will be conducted through FFL’s (Federal Firearms License Holders).

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While brick-and-mortar retailers saw 11% declines over Black Friday weekend, gun purchases on Black Friday were the second highest in recorded history with 175,000 background checks conducted.

December 21, 2012, seven days after Adam Lanza went on a shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, remains the leader with 177,000 checks completed.

Politically capitalizing on the tragedy, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Barack Obama setup a buying spree with calls to ban firearms and ammunition.

At the time, Pelosi pushed for stronger gun control laws stating, “There’s a small window of time here to get something done.

The politicians’ intent to pass new legislation triggered a national buying spree that lasted nearly two years causing ammunition shortages in the most popular calibers.

This holiday season, with Republicans to control both houses of congress in 2015, there is no political instigator for firearms popularity.

Earlier in the year, publications from Newsweek to the Huffington Post ran stories on the decline of gun sales in 2014 and the public’s lack of interest in firearms.

Their speculation was incorrect as it turns out that gun shoppers, like most shoppers, were simply waiting for the best deals and ideal times to buy.

However, one San Francisco columnist, Mark Morford, chalks up the increased gun sales to “scared white guys” who are deciding to pack heat in the wake of Ferguson.

Morford even went so far to profile the current gun buyer:

You’re a scared white person, almost certainly male. You do not live in a major city, or near a university or intellectual hub of any note, nor have you ever traveled very far from your home town, much less out of state or anywhere further than, say, Mexico. Once. And that was enough.

You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop.

Morford, a Yoga teacher who doubles as a freelance writer and columnist will likely have to fabricate another excuse for gun popularity in 2015.

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