Reporter Shows How He Easily Made Untraceable AR-15 “Ghost” Gun In His Office

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 We’ve heard about 3-D printing technology – where almost anything can be created via computer softwear and basic materials.  As one would expect, this has led to many different applications.  That includes the creation of firearms.
It was reported some time ago about a pistol created via a 3-D printer.  Now, a man has made himself a rifle – an AR-15 – with this same kind of technology.

Wired reports:
This is my ghost gun. To quote the rifleman’s creed, there are many like it, but this one is mine. It’s called a “ghost gun”—a term popularized by gun control advocates but increasingly adopted by gun lovers too—because it’s an untraceable semiautomatic rifle with no serial number, existing beyond law enforcement’s knowledge and control. And if I feel a strangely personal connection to this lethal, libertarian weapon, it’s because I made it myself, in a back room of WIRED’s downtown San Francisco office on a cloudy afternoon.
 I did this mostly alone. I have virtually no technical understanding of firearms and a Cro-Magnon man’s mastery of power tools. Still, I made a fully metal, functional, and accurate AR-15. To be specific, I made the rifle’s lower receiver; that’s the body of the gun, the only part that US law defines and regulates as a “firearm.” All I needed for my entirely legal DIY gunsmithing project was about six hours, a 12-year-old’s understanding of computer software, an $80 chunk of aluminum, and a nearly featureless black 1-cubic-foot desktop milling machine called the Ghost Gunner.
The Ghost Gunner is a $1,500 computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) mill sold by Defense Distributed, the gun access advocacy group that gained notoriety in 2012 and 2013 when it began creating 3-D-printed gun parts and the Liberator, the world’s first fully 3-D-printed pistol.
While the political controversy surrounding the notion of a lethal plastic weapon that anyone can download and print haswaxed and waned, Defense Distributed’s DIY gun-making has advanced from plastic to metal.
Like other CNC mills, the Ghost Gunner uses a digital file to carve objects out of aluminum. With the first shipments of this sold-out machine starting this spring, the group intends to make it vastly easier for normal people to fabricate gun parts out of a material that’s practically as strong as the stuff used in industrially manufactured weapons.
 This is bound to have the left howling.  It may mean that people can make their own weapons without them being registered with manufacturers’ serial numbers.
For those who fear government “gun grabs” it is a way around the government knowing who has what weapons.
For those who fear a flood of unregistered weapons on the black market, there may be some truth to that concern.  If terrorists or other criminals get their hands on this technology, then they can produce their own guns for acts of terror or crime.
 But, as Wired explains, even though the 3-D technology is new, the ability to make one’s own guns isn’t:
But the Ghost Gunner represents an evolution of amateur gun-making, not a revolution. Homebrew gunsmiths have been making ghost guns for years, machining lower receivers to legally assemble rifles that fall outside the scope of American firearms regulations. In fact, when we revealed the Ghost Gunner’s existence last year, the comments section of my story flooded with critics pointing out that anyone can do the same garage gunsmithing work with an old-fashioned drill press.
I could hardly judge the fancy new CNC mill in WIRED’s office without trying that method too. Or for that matter, Defense Distributed’s previous trick, building gun parts with a 3-D printer. Before I realized exactly what I was getting into, I determined to try all three methods in a ghost-gun-making case study. I would build an untraceable AR-15 all three ways I’ve heard of: using the old-fashioned drill press method, a commercially available 3-D printer, and finally, Defense Distributed’s new gun-making machine.
 As Wired points out, it is illegal to buy or sell a “ghost gun”, but is perfectly legal to make and keep your own.  And, there really is only one part of the gun that must be self-produced:
Almost no one builds a ghost gun from scratch, and I didn’t either. The shortest path to building an untraceable AR-15 requires only that you build one relatively simple component yourself, a part that’s become the focus of a fierce gun control controversy: the lower receiver.
US gun regulations have focused on the lower receiver because it’s the essential core of a gun: It holds together the stock, the grip, the ammunition magazine, and the upper receiver, which includes the barrel and the chamber where the cartridge is detonated. As Doug Wicklund, senior curator at the NRA museum explained to me, the lower receiver always has carried the serial number because it’s the part that remains when the others wear out and are replaced. Like the frame of a bicycle or the motherboard of a computer, it’s the nucleus of the machine around which everything else is constructed.
And, it is possible to buy a partially constructed lower receiver that doesn’t need to be registered as Wired explains:
There’s even a way to anonymously buy that highly regulated lower receiver—almost. Like many gun vendors, Ares sells what’s known as an “80 percent lower,” a chunk of aluminum legally deemed to be 80 percent of the way toward becoming a functional lower receiver. Because it lacks a few holes and a single precisely shaped cavity called the trigger well, it’s not technically a regulated gun part.

Machining the last 20 percent myself with a CNC mill or drill press would allow me to obtain a gun without a serial number, without a background check, and without a waiting period. I wouldn’t even have to show anyone ID. Law enforcement would be entirely ignorant of my ghost gun’s existence. And that kind of secrecy appeals to Americans who consider their relationship with their firearms a highly personal affair that the government should keep out of.

It will be interesting to see how this new technology changes the firearms’ market and the political debate over the 2nd Amendment. But, it does point to the fact that no matter how much “gun control” is imposed, people will always look for a way around government control of guns.

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