Enthusiasts of gun-law loopholes, this might be your new favorite workaround. A project at the crowd-funding site Rockethub wants to create a 3-D printed gun part for just $50. The twist: the part is only 80 percent complete, so like an Ikea desk you'll have to finish the rest of it yourself.
Started by 2nd AM Arms, the project promises to make a lower receiver for an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. The lower receiver is what holds all the working parts in a gun. The receiver is so important that under U.S. law, a receiver on its own is still treated as a firearm, and requires a serial number. The argument made by 2nd AM Arms, however, is that an 80-percent completed receiver is just part of a gun component, not a full-blown firearm, and as a such is not subject to the same degree of federal regulation.
What that might mean: Buy it, and you could have complete anonymity. A licensed seller of complete gun parts "must maintain records of all firearms receipts and dispositions, including the name, age, and place of residence of purchasers." That's not the case when selling an 80-percent complete part. 2nd AM Arms FAQs says under facts that it will "even accept cash or gold if you like as payment for those who would like to stay completely anonymous."
So what would someone do with 80 percent of a gun part? At its Rockethub page, 2nd AM Arms links to YouTube videos detailing the kind of drilling and modification someone would need to take a part like this and make it functional.
Making the lower receiver is only one of the goals of this project. Obviously, there's a larger agenda here: to send a political message. Just look at the other donor rewards. At the lowest level of support, 2nd AM Arms will mail a copy of the 2nd Amendment to President Obama and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), both of whom have expressed interest in stricter gun laws. All higher pledge levels include T-shirts featuring the 2nd Amendment, and if you pledge anything above $50, you get a commemorative lower embossed with the 2nd Amendment. Finally, if the project meets its funding goal (which it had as of press time), 2nd AM Arms pledges to donate 2 percent of its funding to the NRA.
Earlier this week we described the continuing developments of Defense Distributed, a band of 3-D printed gun advocates, to make a 3-D printed lower receiver. Both of these 3-D printed gun projects have a political intent, and it's interesting to see the different ways they are aiming to skirt regulation. With Defense Distributed, it's about people freely downloading schematics. With 2nd AM Arms, the dodge is by offering only a mostly complete product.
"The lower receiver is what holds all the working parts in a gun. The receiver is so important that under U.S. law, a receiver on its own is still treated as a firearm, and requires a serial number."
This is incorrect - you are putting the effect before the cause. The lower receiver is treated as a firearm BECAUSE it has the serial number, and for no other reason. Anecdotal accounts indicate that the lower receiver was selected as the serial numbered location when the AR platform was first built for the military, as it was the largest flat location that could be easily marked and located. The selection was not related to the 'importance' of the component.
The majority of the functionality is not housed in the lower receiver; most functional asssemblies are in the upper receiver; the bolt carrier, bolt, firing pin, gas assembly, etc., are all in the upper receiver or attached to the barrel. The only assemblies housed in the lower receiver are the trigger mechanism and the hammer (and technically the buffer tube assembly).
Also of note, this 'loophole' has been in practice with milled lower receivers for some time now. It is also done for other firearms, such as semi-automatic AK-47 rifles, for which you can purchase blanks that you bend into the completed receiver.
But by all mean, feel free to panic.
So, you think that the way to go is to make guns as cheap and as accessable possible to anonymus customers.
Way to go. Pehaps you should start the same with bombs, nukes, biological weps..
It's incredibly how stupid you US citizens can get.
@badbot I'd like to point out that this company is acting in response to the majority of US citizens who don't want deadly weapons available to anonymous people.
Or you could just tell us what country you're from so we can mock you in return, if we haven't already (we're pretty proactive about that *G*).
In fairness, though, I'll agree that it's incredible how stupid some people can be (whatever country they live in). The only reason you see more of it from the US is that:
1. Our free speech laws mean everybody (idiot to genius) has the right to say what they want, meaning we can't hide our idiots from the rest of the world.
2. American culture is currently going through a phase where we publicize the freaks and fanatics more than ordinary or unusually successful people.
I'm sure other countries have similar laws and have gone through similar phases, but none with such a large population to select from. (simple statistics; larger sample = more-deviated outliers)
For almost 100 years, handy workmen could have created any of the latest handheld weapons in their garages. This company/organization could be correct in that they offer a product that needs to be finished. I'd bet the ATF would have to make a ruling on it as to it's completeness. 80% may be a wrong guess. If I were to take a blank piece of aluminum and milled it to what they have presented, my opinion would be more like 95% is complete and that it requires a FFL to produce. In any event the federal tax would need to be paid upon completion and many other possible laws would need to be satisfied.
In reality, the internet has all sorts of ways to kill or murder easily displayed. A common food store has the materials for very deadly production. There is no way to protect against kooks.
God, I f*#@ing hate guns. I'm so sick of this s%!t. I'm so sick of the gun nuts. I'm so sick of the idiots that can't comprehend that our right to not get shot supersedes their right to a gun. I'm sick of the NRA. I'm sick of the dumb @ss 2nd amendment. I'm sick of how f*#@ing stupid my fellow American's can be. I'm sick of innocent people getting SLAUGHTERED because we can't grow the F*#k up. I'm sick of all the idiotic arguments about a 'good guy with a gun'. I'm sick of the worthless, backwards logic of arming everyone. I'm sick of Wayne LaPierre. I'm sick of the GOP and congress. I'm sick of gun culture.
The receiver must only be registered if the owner who completes it intends to sell it. If the buyer of one of these '80% receivers' intend to only use the completed component for personal use then no further action is necessary under the current provisions of 18 USC Chapter 44. An official statement to this affect is available on the BATF's website:
Specifically, the last paragraph of question 4 details the BATF interpretation of the regulations in 18 USC Chapter 44 with regard to manufacture of a firearm for private use, and subsequent sale of said firearm. They do suggest that you voluntarily mark the receiver in the even it is stolen, but no registration or licensing is required.
The only case in which the individual would be required to license themselves is if they are completing these lowers and selling them as commercial venture. Selling a single completed lower would not likely constitute a requirement for licensing as a manufacturer.
Interestingly, these same laws apply equally to individuals loading their own ammunition. From 18 USC Chapter 44:
"The term “manufacturer” means any person engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms or AMMUNITION for purposes of sale or distribution"
Many many individuals load their own ammunition, and are allowed to do so without licensing for the exact same reason you can manufacture your own firearms.
So at the moment, the only thing we are intending to panic about over this article is that the same people that were interested in finishing partially completed lowers can now do so at about 1/4th the cost. It hasn't gotten any easier, just cheaper.
The magnificent thing about the American Constitution is that it is a living document. You are more than welcome to alter or repeal the second amendment, and I would encourage you and those who agree with you to pursue just such a solution. It is the American way.
With that said, you would not likely succeed today or in the near future. Though the particulars on acceptable levels of gun control are still up for debate, Americans still support the second amendment by a healthy margin.
Best of luck to you though. Perhaps some day you will learn that vitriolic outbursts such as yours do nothing to support your side; emotion is a very poor basis for legislation.
There is NO natural right to safety, nor any Conatitutional one. My rights are limited when they infringe on your's. That's why MURDER is a CRIME. You speak of slaughter, but if you looked up the stats, you'd note that more people are killed each year by hands and feet than by all rifles combined, much less by only those of the Armilite Rifle(AR) design. So please, use some common sense and get rational.
Don't like guns? Simple. Don't buy one. Don't like the NRA and the GOP? Again, simple ... go pound sand.
IntrepidDesign the next time you want to bring up weapons that kill thinks knives cars radiation from your microwave and all the other stupid things found around you every day than you can petition to get rid of all those things too.
LoL you sound like McGuyver on crack.
We have the right to bear arms for two very important reasons. First, to defend our homes from invaders. This could be crooks, or foreign invaders. And Second, to protect ourselves from the government. Believe it or not, a long time ago we were ruled by the British. Yep, they were our government. Our rights to bear arms isn't just for self protection or hunting. It's to keep whatever ruling body is currently in power in check.
This is nature, as much as it is modern civilization. As we as US Citizens grow more ignorant every year of the true nature of governments with too much power, we get closer to having to change it again. We have become lazy, ignorant, and gullible. Our lack of education has made us weak.
Any government that wants to take arms away from free people will get the bullets first. You think by having a gun you are somehow inherently violent, is a foolish viewpoint. I would argue that Pacifism is a bad bi-product of a strong American Military. You are speaking with a freedom that didn't exist hundred of years ago.
1. to defend our homes from invaders
your homes will be more or less safe if there is free, uncontrolled access to cheap weapons in your contry?
2. to protect ourselves from the government.
your handgun, in your untrained civilian hands, if needed, will make a difference against the tecnoglogically most advanced military in the world? Is this what you are saying?
Somebody's trying to whip up some hysteria, or perhaps looking for novelty where none exists. The writer doesn't seem to fully grasp that the 80% Rule is old hat. The only question is exactly what BATF considers to be 80%. In the case of the AR lower that question has long been settled (well, more-or-less; about as well as BATF ever settles anything).
The theory is straightforward. If one is legally entitled to own a gun, one is also entitled to make such a gun, and keep it, "bear" it, shoot it; of course one is not allowed to do anything illegal with it.
The caveats are that the owner (1) has to make the gun himself (can't farm it out to someone else to do the work) (2) can't make it for the purposes of resale (because then he is a manufacturer and needs a cartload of expensive licenses - but note that this doesn't mean that the gun can never be sold) and (3) can't make a machine gun (a somewhat ad-hoc rule to comply with the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986).
In the case of the ARs, one can start with a block of aluminum, or with a chunk of aluminum forged into the rough shape of an AR lower, or with a piece with most (that is, just under 80%) of the machining already done, or with a "printed" part which needs some machining done to it. None of these are firearms under Federal law.
There's no dodging or skirting involved. None whatsoever. This is in strict compliance with well-established law and bureaucratic regulation.
@rantboy: What I am somewhat concerned about, is that in time 3D printers and the available materials will be so advanced, that practically anyone can actually make a reliable and fully functional weapon (minus the barrell, I think).
The technicalities around the issue of what is, and what isn't a gun are in that sense a bit trivial. 3D printing is rapidly making the whole issue much more complex than it has previously been.
This opens up a host of nasty scenarios, because regardless of the second amendment, there really are a fair amount of people out there who really shouldn't be let anywhere near a gun.
I think this might prove to be yet another Genie out of the bottle...
I understand your concern, but consider that if we as a culture had not been loosing our general technical capabilities over the last couple of generations, the average person would be able to make a complete firearm. The bottom line is that these things aren't that complex and are indeed based off of 100 year old technology. The AR design specifically, is at least 60 years old. Kalashnikov completed his design of the AK-47 in (not surprisingly) 1947, making it 66 years old. This weapon is not significantly different than the M-1 Garand in operation - fielded in 1941 (72 years with 10-15 years of development based off of technology from WWI).
My point is people have been able to make stuff in a machine shop for forever (that's how the original prototypes were made in the first place!). The 3D printers only democratize this fact.
Personaly, I believe that the serial number should be on the barrel of the gun, because the barrel leaves marks on the bullets for forensic purposes. Thus if you can trace the bullet to a barrel, you can trace the barrel to the owner.
In the gun crime debate, what is often forgotten is that 90% of the gun crimes are committed by less than 10% of the owners and probably less than 5% of the owners. We know who they are by age, education and race. We could intervene but that would be "RACIST", so guns are targeted rather than people.
The real "Elephant in the Parlor" that no one dares to discuss is "who is killing who and why, by age, sex and race".
The second "Elephant" is that after the Civil War, Carpet Baggers who had siezed southren plantations found that the cost of free men's labor made the plantations unprofitable. Thus they began to work the plantations with convict labor supplied by the local sheriff for a fee.
The sheriff found that strict enforcement of the laws (even laws that did not exist) on certain racial and social classes was quite profitable.
This continued from about 1870 to 1940.
The affected classes realized that they were really not guilty of any crimes and lost their shame of going to jail. Thus today certain racial classes have no shame of going to jail and much higher crime rates.
Thank you Rantbot....."There's no dodging or skirting involved. None whatsoever. This is in strict compliance with well-established law and bureaucratic regulation." The "80 percent" rule was invented by the BATFE.....so all you thumbsuckers who never emotionally matured into this ENORMOUSLY unsafe and violent universe should go hide in a dark place and wait for the universe to become "friendly". May I suggest that you hold your breathe. As to "concerns" about this nefarious usage or that criminal misuse of (phobically feared object/tool/process inserted here)....get over it. Just like the climate change panickers........they don't understand that the only thing us self-impressed chimpanzees should do is adapt, adapt, ADAPT. Trying to legislate death away is a futile exercise which only serves to make our pathetically short and reasonably unimpressive lives even more dull and boring than they should be. The natural state of all living creatures is freedom. To the emotionally immature freedom appears too dangerous. They dont adapt to the universe. They never gain any rational control over their emotions. To those that either try to eliminate that which they fear or use the fear in others to control them, freedom appears messy and is something to be controlled, regulated. 3D printing is going to drastically change the pyramid structure of government control over the general population. Technology is a double edged sword and the sword is beginning to cut the other way. Just like what peer to peer file sharing technology did to the pyramid structure of the recording industry 3D printing is going to enable the democratization of fabrication. The kleptocratic structure of the industrial revolution and its facist government cohort is on the verge of collapse, and its the very technology that it birthed that will end it.
On a side note.......Mr. Atherton, your disservice to MILLIONS of responsible people who own firearms is sickening. You seem to be one of a vast group of people that would be equally unimpressive at any other profession you may have ended up in.