Just over a month ago, St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner predicted that the Santa Monica College shooting on June 7, in which five people were killed and several more injured, would provoke efforts to regulate the “80% complete” lower receiver market. This is because the shooter, who, because of a history of mental illness, could not legally buy guns, had apparently built his AR-15 from such a receiver.
The lower receiver of an AR-15 is the gun, for legal purposes, so all the remaining necessary parts can be bought without background checks or the government’s permission (or even knowledge). An incomplete lower receiver, though, is also not considered a gun, so it too can be bought and sold as just what it is–an inert hunk of metal.
Now, longtime rabidly anti-gun Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) proposes to change that, announcing yesterday that he will soon introduce the “Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Act of 2013,” which, along with dramatically expanding the federal government’s role in mental health care, would ban “80% complete” lower receivers. From NBC Los Angeles:
The mass shooting that left five people dead in Santa Monica is the reason a California congressman wants to make it illegal for people to buy parts on the Internet to build their own weapons.
Congressman Henry Waxman, D-Santa Monica, made the announcement at a gun violence forum held on the Santa Monica College campus Monday.
. . .
Waxman said he’ll introduce a federal law to ban the Internet sale of gun kits that allow people to build their own homemade assault weapons.
The full text may not be available for some time (as the bill has not yet been introduced), but Waxman provides a summary on his website. He also provides the “study” that supposedly explains the need for this legislation, full of breathlessly fearful lamentations about a “thriving market that exists for 80% completed lower receivers that circumvent federal and state background check and other gun laws.”
What Waxman hopes to accomplish here is a bit murky. Even if such legislation passes (a very dubious prospect, given current political realities)–let’s say 80% complete receivers are banned. What, then, is to stop manufacturers from offering 79% complete receivers. Sure–those could eventually be banned, too, but at some point, Congress would be reduced to banning a block of metal (or polymer, for that matter, with the parts to be milled out color-coded to make the finishing easier)
3-d printed guns (oddly, Waxman has not yet signed onto the bill to try to ban those), “build parties,” and “80% complete” receivers, widespread access to sophisticated CNC equipment–the government cannot block all of those avenues by which we the people can break any “government monopoly on force,” and is indeed unlikely to succeed in blocking any of them.
That terrifies the likes of Rep. Waxman, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)–and that alone makes it a good thing for America.
- Feinstein’s ‘assault weapon’ ban goes to committee, as bans become irrelevant
- Defense Distributed declares ‘government monopoly on force’ obsolete
- More than 10,000 80% complete AR-15 receivers already sold
- News gets worse for those who fear home gun manufacture, death of ‘gun control’
- Santa Monica college shooting may provoke push to regulate ‘80% receivers’