The Boogeygun Is Everywhere!

The night before the infamous “Saint Valentines’ Day Massacre” – in which Al Capone’s Italian mob rubbed out much of Bugs Moran’s Irish gang in Prohibition-era Chicago – the Italians spent a sleepless night assembling their Tommy Guns from parts they’d purchased around and about Chicago and its surrounding area.

And before going out to massacre innocent locals or groups of high school kids, Mexico’s loathsome narcotraficantes frequently spend days in machine shops, a patiently milling and drilling and cutting bits and pieces of metal into workable weapons.

Yeah, of course I made that up.

Criminals in America’s most crime-ridden cities – Chicago and Camden and DC and New Orleans – can get illegal firearms far easier than the law-abiding citizen can get legal ones, and there’s no assembly required.

But in the imagination of the American left’s ninny chorus in the media, criminals are real do-it-yourselfers.   Because you can get “assault weapon parts” on EBay; I’m going to add some emphasis:

Yet for as little as $500, anyone with an eBay account can purchase all but one of the dozen or so necessary parts.

The only missing piece of the gun – the lower receiver

Let’s stop right there.

If you know anything about guns, you know that “I got everything I need for an AR15 but the lower receiver” is a little like saying “I got an entire car – except the frame”.

can be bought secondhand from private sellers who post classified ads on other websites, such as The receiver is the only regulated part of the gun, but there are workarounds for obtaining one, too. Partially complete receivers can be purchased privately without a background check or serial number and finished by buyers themselves, or they can be built from scratch at home to sidestep having to register the finished gun.

In other words, if a crook wants an unregistered AR15, the options are to gather a bunch of parts – a barrel, a bolt and bolt carrier, a stock, a forearm, a couple of hundred bucks worth of goodies – and then either:

  • buy a complete lower receiver, which must be transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensed-dealer (with paper trail).
  • buy an unfinished lower reciever and, using non-trivial skills and tools – metal drills, a metal router and a few others – finish it.  And by finish it, we mean to a rather fussy level of tolerances; the AR15 is no zip gun.
  • Put all the parts in their junk drawer and buy a complete, stolen AR or AK from any number of sources; stolen guns, gangs, or Eric Holder.

It might be simplistic to say that “if criminals had the skills needed to assemble a complete, shootable AR, they wouldn’t need to be criminals.  But only barely.

It is, of course, the latest attempt by the US media to manufacture a gun crisis – which is easier than manufacturing the guns themselves; as a Mother Jones correspondent couldn’t very well conceal a couple years ago, back when the AK47 was still the left’s official boogeygun (again, emphasis is mine):

The hosts collect our paperwork without checking IDs. We don eye protection and gloves, and soon the garage is abuzz with the whir of grinders, cutters, and drills. Sales of receivers—which house the mechanical parts, making a gun a gun—are tightly regulated, so my kit comes with a pre-drilled flat steel platform. Legally, it’s just an American-made hunk of metal, but one bend in a vise later and, voilà, it’s a receiver, ready for trigger guards to be riveted on. Sparks fly as receiver rails to guide the bolt mechanism are cut, welded into place, and heat-treated. The front and rear trunnions, which will hold the barrel and stock, are attached to the receivers.

Sounds easy?

Well, I know there are machinists in my audience.  But to the less handy among us – say, Mojo writers – it’s a non-trivial exercise.   I love the illustration in the Mojo story:  “Making your own receiver – the part that holds the firing mechanism – requires no background check”.  Which may be true, but it also requires a non-trivial set of metalworking skills and tools.

You’re a crook.  What’s easier; spending an evening with a bunch of people painstakingly assembling  an AK (or the much fussier AR) from scratch, or buying one from a fellow crook in a tenth of the time?

It’s not confusing to anyone who’s not an NPR reporter.

19 thoughts on “The Boogeygun Is Everywhere!

  1. Mother Jones makes a very difficult task sound like child’s play, and Mitch makes a much easier task sound harder than it is….

    But so what?

    The number of AR or AK style rifles used in the commission of crimes is so small it gets lost in statistical white noise.

    You really want to make a dent on murder? You want to stop the slaughter?
    Ban suction curettes.

  2. Minnesota mines iron, iron makes steel, steel is used to make guns — guns like the ones used in the Columbine and Sandyhook mass shootings.
    You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, Minnesotans.

  3. “We assembled the gun with the home-built ‘receiver’ and took it down to the shooting range. After firing a good dozen shots, we retrieved the target. The bullets had hit all of the black circles on the target, but none of the white circles. Our home built ‘receiver’ was not only deadly, it was racist.”

  4. If I could afford a drill press, a metal router, metal lathe and a CNC machine…I probably wouldn’t need to resort to crime.

  5. Adrian, that was the deal with the Michigan bank in Michael Moore’s anti-gun movie. If you made a large enough deposit, you could receive a free rifle. Moore’s point was that he could then use that rifle to hold up that same bank. Problem with that is…..first, they would know who you are since you just made a sizable deposit. Second, your take in the robbery would be far less than the large deposit you just made in that bank.

  6. ISIS has all of the M4’s and hundreds of thousands of 5.56 rounds Obama left in Iraq, but uses knives and fire.

    I encourage DG and the editors of Mother Jones to travel to Syria and FACTCHECK my statement.

  7. Oh, and all that ammo Obama gave ISIS? Yeah, it’s the EXTRA DEADLY M855 Green Tip! (DG runs for cover)

    Why does Obama hate the Kurds?

  8. If I was a criminal and wanted a lower receiver, I’d find one of these manufacturing parties. Then I’d wait outside for someone to come out with a finished one, and take it.

  9. If you spend any time on Lefty websites, you will discover that they believe that the legally armed, never hurt a fly, American conservative is a far greater threat to the United States and to the peace of the world than the entire menagerie of Islamic terrorist armies.

  10. What Swiftee says, what PM says, and what Adrian says.

    The world is screaming for competent machinists, and if you can hold the .001″ tolerances needed to make a working firearm, you can find a job even if you’ve got a criminal record and no high school degree. I got to know such a man–his nickname was “gummy bear” because he’d lost all his teeth–when I worked at a factory that did a lot of machining. His record of drug and alcohol abuse (he was clean, but took in the caffeine, sugar and nicotine pretty well) didn’t matter, because he could set up a mill. If you can do machining, you don’t need to rob a bank or deal drugs. Just figure out how to get to work, and they will pay you well.

  11. If I was a criminal and wanted a lower receiver, I’d find one of these manufacturing parties. Then I’d wait outside for someone to come out with a finished one, and take it.

    You’re not thinking that through. What are the odds that everybody going to one of these parties isn’t carrying?

  12. or they can be built from scratch at home to sidestep having to register the finished gun.

    Yep, everyone has their own CNC machine at home. This type of stupidity and ignorance completely and utterly disqualifies this hit piece as sensationalistic drivel. You sure this did not appear in the Onion?

  13. Keep in mind that you need both a lathe for the barrel and an end mill for the rest, plus an oven for heat treatments and a suitable container for quenching, as well as a fairly good set of tools–including many diamond edged for hardened steel.

    And JPA, you don’t have all this in your garage? Loser. :^)

  14. BB: Just to be clear, you CAN buy all of the parts for an AK or AR online. There are entire online stores that sell components; barrels, bolts and carrier assemblies, upper recievers, stocks, rails/handguards, and all the other stuff that holds it together.

    The Lower Receiver is the part that has the serial number, and is regulated. You can buy complete lowers all over the place and get them transferred via FFL. For that matter, you can buy “80% Lowers” (lowers that are unfinished enough to avoid registration) including some you can buy with the jigs to finish them with a power drill with a couple of metal and router bits. Still a non-trivial job, still not the kind of thing someone with enough skill and patience NOT to be a criminal does.

  15. Well, yes, but given the flights of rhetoric the left is prone to–suggesting that you can more or less do it with your childhood chemistry set and a pocketknife a la MacGyver–shouldn’t we be indulging in some mockery?

  16. It is all part of creating and sustaining a narrative. If your narrative is that home-assembled guns are a threat to the peace and security of the Republic, but you have a shortage of actual violent crimes committed using home-assembled guns, then you talk instead about how easy it is to create a home-assembled gun.
    Gullible people fall for it, and there is no group today so gullible as the educated American Left.

  17. The American Left has a problem. They say they want to stop gun violence. The problem is that most gun violence is committed by poor, single men who are disproportionately minorities. Normally you would solve a crime problem, like car theft, by working harder to arrest and convict car thieves. The Left doesn’t like that solution because for violent gun crimes it would mean working harder to arrest and convict people who commit violent gun crimes, and they are in a group the American Left wants to protect. Who is not in a group that the American Left wants to protect? Middle-aged working class white guys! Of course they don’t commit a whole lot of gun crimes. You could disarm all the middle-aged white guys in the country and it wouldn’t make a dent in the stats.
    So you need to construct a narrative that the middle-aged white guys are somehow responsible for the young minority men, with whom they have no personal or social interaction, committing the lion’s share of violent gun crime.
    And the modern, educated liberal will fall for this fraud every time.

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