It appears that new controls on firearms will come through executive action and bureaucratic rule making rather than Congress passing new legislation. One of the benefits of a relatively even split in Congress is that we don’t get all the government we pay for.
Slow Joe and his handlers have asked for changes on 3 things – “ghost” guns, short-barreled rifles, and “red-flag” laws. The Justice Department came up with proposed rules – and they aren’t as definite as I might like.
On the ghost gun issue, DOJ pontificates on how recent it is to have receivers (frames) that don’t meet the 1968 definition. Now, let me explain, I am not a firearms expert. If P.O. Ackley (the man who created TSJC’s gunsmithing program wouldn’t claim to be an expert, I have to follow my older, better informed and wiser colleague’s lead. The problem is, the guys who write the rules aren’t experts either.
My first revolver – a High Standard Sentinel 22, made in the early sixties, had a 2 piece receiver, held together by two pins. The lower portion held the trigger and hammer mechanism, and the parts to revolve the cylinder. The first one sold back in 1955. The upper portion held the cylinder and barrel. The AR-15 two-piece receiver also dates back to 1955 – when the AR-10 lost the competition with the M-14. It is probably well past time to update the definition.
Here’s the rule that controls “ghost guns”:
The NPRM proposes adding a definition of “privately made firearm” to 27 CFR 478.11 to mean “[a] firearm, including a frame or receiver, assembled or otherwise produced by a person other than a licensed manufacturer, and without a serial number or other identifying markings placed by a licensed manufacturer at the time the firearm was produced.” The term would not include a firearm identified and registered in the NFRTR pursuant to chapter 53, title 26, United States Code, or any firearm made before October 22, 1968 (unless remanufactured after that date). This proposed definition explains that PMFs are those firearms that were made by nonlicensees without the markings required by this part, and excludes those already marked and registered in the NFRTR, and any firearm made before enactment of the GCA which, unlike the repealed law it replaced, required all firearms to be marked under federal law. The term “made” is incorporated within the term “privately made firearm” rather than “manufacture” to distinguish between firearms manufactured (or “made”) by private individuals without a license and those manufactured by persons licensed to engage in the business of manufacturing firearms. “
I think I can still take a vise and file and legally make (as opposed to manufacture) that simple, frameless Browning 22 design that I wrote of earlier – but I am also not an attorney, so this is just a thought, not legal advice.
The problem is that it takes very little technology to make a gun. Fully automatic requires less effort than semi-automatic. All the instructions are online. Legislation and the likelihood of five years federal time does a good job of keeping me from experimenting with suppressors (silencers). Still, the best time to close the barn door is probably before the horse gets out. It looks to me as if Congress will not be able to act, so new rules from bureaucrats will proposed and enacted.