It’s kind of depressing the media has largely chosen to ignore our issue, and isn’t as much in the business anymore of running hysterical articles like this. Articles like this are why I got into blogging.
The guns are built from kits and arrive in pieces, so under existing law, when they’re shipped, they aren’t guns. When assembled by their buyers, they’re lethal – and legal.
Federal officials like Graham Barlowe, the resident agent in charge of the ATF’s Sacramento office, say the loophole is dangerous.
You can find a meme on the internet called “Everyone I Don’t Like is Hitler.” One could easily create a similar meme for the gun issue that goes, “Everything I Don’t Like is a Loophole.”
All the parts needed to assemble a gun were in the box when it arrived. It took Vasquez a couple of hours to assemble the weapon.
Did this include machining? Because if you failed to mention that he had to spend several hours machining the receiver, this is #FakeNews. From the article, you’d think he ordered a parts kit from the Internet, put it all together, and voilà, we have an functioning firearm. That would describe a felony if it were true.
Here’s some fast facts any journalist should know, that I think we can all agree on:
- Generally speaking, it’s legal and should be legal for gun owners to buy parts for firearms. Parts are unregulated.
- There is always one part of the gun that ATF considers The Gun, and that part is regulated as if it were a fully assembled firearm. Usually that part is the receiver (which if you’re a journalist reading this, is the part the rest of the parts of the gun attaches to).
- Chunks of metal are not regulated. Regulating chunks of metal because they could be turned into guns with the right machining would be stupid beyond belief.
- At some point, regulators decide that a part qualifies as a firearm if a certain amount of machining has been done to it. Usually a machined part that is about 80% complete, as arbitrarily determined by the regulator (ATF in this case), is considered a hunk of metal and is not considered a firearm. Where does life begin for a firearm?
- It is currently a felony to earn livelihood or profit from manufacturing firearms if you don’t have a license to manufacture firearms. The current interpretation of this that you can’t sell firearms you make for yourself.
- You could outlaw machining and assembling chunks of metal into functioning firearms, but that’s only going to deter people who are not doing it as part of a criminal enterprise, and if they aren’t doing it as part of a criminal enterprise, why the hell do you care?
What I’m getting at is, fine journalists, is where is the loophole? What law are you going to pass that won’t just be making something more illegal for criminals?