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posted by CoolHand on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:08PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the gotta-have-guns dept.

The Ghost Gunner has been updated to allow the CNC milling of a much more popular and accessible form of firearm: a handgun:

For the past five years, Cody Wilson has applied every possible advance in digital manufacturing technology to the mission of undermining government attempts at gun control. First he created the world's first 3-D printed gun, a deadly plastic weapon anyone could print at home with a download and a few clicks. Then he started selling a computer-controlled milling machine designed to let anyone automatically carve out the body of an untraceable AR-15 from a semifinished chunk of aluminum, upgrading his provocations from plastic to metal. Now his latest advance in home firearm fabrication allows anyone to make an object designed to defy the most basic essence of gun control: A concealable, untraceable, and entirely unregulated metal handgun.

On Sunday, Wilson's gun rights advocacy group, Defense Distributed, announced a new release of software for his computer-controlled milling machine known as the Ghost Gunner. The new code allows the 1-foot-cubed tabletop machine—which uses a spinning bit to carve three-dimensional shapes with minute precision—to not only produce untraceable bodies of AR-15s but to carve out the aluminum frame of an M1911 handgun, the popular class of semiautomatic pistols that includes the Colt 45 and similar weapons. Wilson says he plans to follow up soon with software for producing regulation-free Glocks and other handgun models to follow.

Wilson's goal now, he says, is to do for small arms what Defense Distributed did for AR-15s when it first released the $1,500 Ghost Gunner milling machine exactly three years ago to the day: Give people the ability to make a lethal weapon at home with no regulation whatsoever.

M1911 pistol.

This story came out before the mass shooting in Las Vegas, on the third anniversary of the initial release of the Ghost Gunner, just in case you were wondering.

Also at Ars Technica:

"It's a certain type of person who builds and enjoys an AR-15—that's a lot of gun, and most people don't feel the need to have a big ol' battle rifle," Wilson says. "But we believe lots of people are interested in the conversation about an untraceable, concealable handgun. It's been on the roadmap the whole time for this project. It's just always been a question of how we get there, and it ended up being very, very difficult—kinda like the brass ring of the project, if you will."

Previously: FedEx Refuses to Ship Defense Distributed's Ghost Gunner CNC Mill
Man Who Used CNC Mill to Manufacture AR-15 "Lowers" Sentenced to 41 Months


Original Submission

Related Stories

The $1,200 Machine That Lets Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home 59 comments

When Cody Wilson revealed the world’s first fully 3-D printed gun last year, he showed that the “maker” movement has enabled anyone to create a working, lethal firearm with a click in the privacy of his or her garage. Now he’s moved on to a new form of digital DIY gunsmithing. And this time the results aren’t made of plastic.

Wilson’s latest radically libertarian project is a PC-connected milling machine he calls the Ghost Gunner. Like any computer-numerically-controlled (or CNC) mill, the one-foot-cubed black box uses a drill bit mounted on a head that moves in three dimensions to automatically carve digitally-modeled shapes into polymer, wood or aluminum. But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver.

That simple chunk of metal has become the epicenter of a gun control firestorm. A lower receiver is the body of the gun that connects its stock, barrel, magazine and other parts. As such, it’s also the rifle’s most regulated element. Mill your own lower receiver at home, however, and you can order the rest of the parts from online gun shops, creating a semi-automatic weapon with no serial number, obtained with no background check, no waiting period or other regulatory hurdles.
http://www.wired.com/2014/10/cody-wilson-ghost-gunner/

FedEx Refuses to Ship Defense Distributed's Ghost Gunner CNC Mill 43 comments

FedEx is refusing to ship Texas nonprofit Defense Distributed's computer controlled mill, the Ghost Gunner. The $1,500 tool can carve aluminum objects from digital designs, including AR-15 lower receivers from scratch or more quickly from legally obtainable "80 percent lowers".

When the machine was revealed last October, Defense Distributed's pre-orders sold out in 36 hours. But now FedEx tells WIRED it's too wary of the legal issues around homemade gunsmithing to ship the machine to customers. "This device is capable of manufacturing firearms, and potentially by private individuals," FedEx spokesperson Scott Fiedler wrote in a statement. "We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated."

But buying, selling, or using the Ghost Gunner isn't illegal, nor is owning an AR-15 without a serial number, says Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA and the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. "This is not that problematic," he says. "Federal law does not prohibit individuals from making their own firearms at home, and that includes AR-15s."

Defense Distributed's founder Cody Wilson argues that rather than a legal ambiguity, FedEx is instead facing up to the political gray area of enabling the sale of new, easily accessible tools that can make anything-including deadly weapons. "They're acting like this is legal when in fact it's the expression of a political preference," says Wilson. "The artifact that they're shipping is a CNC mill. There's nothing about it that is specifically related to firearms except the hocus pocus of the marketing." Wilson, whose radically libertarian group has pursued projects ranging from 3-D printed guns to untraceable cryptocurrency, says he chose to ship his Ghost Gunner machines with FedEx specifically because the company has a special NRA firearm industry membership. But when he told a local FedEx representative what he'd be shipping, he says the sales rep responded that he'd need to check with a superior. "This is no big deal, right? It's just a mill," Wilson says he told his FedEx contact. "You guys ship guns. You've shipped 3-D printers and mills, right? You'll ship a drill press, right? Same difference."

Man Who Used CNC Mill to Manufacture AR-15 "Lowers" Sentenced to 41 Months 76 comments

It's still illegal to manufacture firearms for others without a license.

A Sacramento, California man was sentenced Thursday to over three years in prison for unlawful manufacture of a firearm and one count of dealing firearms.

Last year, Daniel Crownshield, pleaded guilty to those counts in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping other charges. According to investigators, Crowninshield, known online as "Dr. Death," would sell unfinished AR-15 lower receivers, which customers would then pay for him to transform into fully machined lower receivers using a computer numerically controlled (CNC) mill. (In October 2014, Cody Wilson, of Austin, Texas, who has pioneered 3D-printed guns, began selling a CNC mill called "Ghost Gunner," designed to work specifically on the AR-15 lower.)

"In order to create the pretext that the individual in such a scenario was building his or her own firearm, the skilled machinist would often have the individual press a button or put his or her hands on a piece of machinery so that the individual could claim that the individual, rather than the machinist, made the firearm," the government claimed in its April 14 plea agreement.

So, if he taught a class in how to do it would he also then be a criminal?


Original Submission

Breaking News: Over 50 dead in mass shooting in Las Vegas 442 comments

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/10/02/554976369/section-of-las-vegas-strip-is-closed-after-music-festival-shooting

A gunman fired upon thousands of people attending a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night, in a brutal attack that is blamed for at least 58 deaths, police say. In the mass shooting and panic that ensued, 515 people were injured. At least one of the dead is an off-duty police officer who was attending the concert.

Editorializing: Interesting how media always emphasize ISLAMIC terrorists, but downplay domestic terrorism as psychologically disturbed individual lone-wolfs.


Original Submission

[Updated] Defense Distributed Releasing Gun Plans, President Trump "Looking Into" It 76 comments

Trump says public availability of 3D-printed guns 'doesn't seem to make much sense'

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he is "looking into" the availability of plans for the 3D printing of guns, writing on Twitter that he had already been in touch with the NRA on the issue.

"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" the president wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.

After a years-long legal battle, Defense Distributed, a Texas-based group, has announced plans to release instructions on Wednesday for guns that can be created by a 3-D printer, including a handgun and parts for a semi-automatic assault rifle. Although plans were not supposed to be available until Wednesday, instructions have already begun to appear online for download, CNN reported Tuesday.

Landmark Legal Shift for 3D-Printed Guns 92 comments

For those in the US with a combined interest in 3D-Printers, intersections of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, and legal precedents; Cody Wilson has been fighting the US Government for half a decade.

Short version: after Wilson uploaded his 3D pistol plans to his site, over 100,000 people downloaded it - this drew the attention of the US authorities, who tried to use the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to force a take-down.

The authorities argued that by posting the 3D printer plans for a firearm, Mr. Wilson was effectively exporting firearms, and subject to federal regulation. Eventually the Department of Justice dropped the case, paving the way for DIY'ers to publish such things freely.

The article cites 'promises' made by DoJ to move the regulations to another department.

Wired's article: A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora's Box for DIY Guns (archive)

Related: The $1,200 Machine That Lets Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home
Japanese Gun Printer Goes to Jail
Suspected 3D-Printed Gun Parts and Plastic Knuckles Seized in Australia
FedEx Refuses to Ship Defense Distributed's Ghost Gunner CNC Mill
Man Who Used CNC Mill to Manufacture AR-15 "Lowers" Sentenced to 41 Months
Ghost Gunner Software Update Allows the Milling of an M1911 Handgun


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:17PM (38 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:17PM (#576645)

    This guy Wilson is an ideologue.
    He's basically trolling, as I do not see his efforts leading in any practical way to guns for those who "need" them. Way too expensive.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:48PM (16 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:48PM (#576657) Journal

      Way too expensive.

      Is it? This CNC mill has been priced at $1200 to $1775 today [ghostgunner.net] (including $100 shipping). CNC mills can easily go for $2k+.

      How large/expensive of a block of aluminum is needed to make one handgun?

      How much more value would "you" assign to an "untraceable" handgun?

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:58PM (8 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:58PM (#576665)

        Well, the other matter is that sure, to make one gun, the Ghost Gunner is quite pricey. However, what happens when you want to make 10-20 to arm your neighborhood? As far as I'm aware, with Nevada and Texas law (maybe others, and IANAL), this would be legal, as third party sale of used guns is allowed without any paperwork required. Even if you can't sell them, you can rent out time on your machinery so they could make their own, which obviously accomplishes the same end.

        Heck, this machine could be purchased for a maker space and end up being potentially cheaper than just buying the guns by the time you've milled about 20-50 guns. And as was pointed out, they're untraceable (or at least, harder to trace). For better or worse, that's value added for many people.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:18PM

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:18PM (#576674) Journal

          I forgot to mention that the cost could be spread over multiple guns. As for the maker/hackerspace getting one, it seems plausible. You can use it to mill other stuff. You could slap a sticker over the Ghost Gunner logo to avoid offending someone's sensibilities.

          https://www.midweststeelsupply.com/store/7075aluminumplate [midweststeelsupply.com]

          I plugged 1.5" x 5" x 9" in and got about $50. Not sure if those measurements are correct but eh. The AR-15 80% lowers are sold for $65 on the Ghost Gunner site, and a Wired writer made the AR-15 lower receiver for $80.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:57PM (5 children)

          by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:57PM (#576770)

          In the USA each person can legally make up to three unregistered firearms per year, so long as you don't sell them before two years from the date of manufacture. Any more than that, or if you sell them sooner, and the BATF will conclude that you made them for the purpose of sale, which is not legal without a firearms manufacturer license. If you, your spouse, and your multiple children each make three, that's a fair number.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:00PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:00PM (#576772)

            each person can legally up to three unregistered firearms per year

            I smell an arbitrary restriction in violation of the Second Amendment.

            • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:09PM

              by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:09PM (#576810)

              That isn't a matter of law; as with many things in the US it's a matter of precedence. That's where the BATF decided to draw the line between "making for personal use" and "manufacturing", since "obviously" no "reasonable person" would want to make more than three per year for personal use.

              --
              The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday October 04 2017, @02:16AM (2 children)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 04 2017, @02:16AM (#576891) Homepage Journal

              Flamebait? Come on mods - it isn't flamebait, despite the fact that I disagree with AC.

              The second amendment guarantees our right to own and to bear arms. One phrase, "well regulated militia" stands out. Obviously, if I can build and keep three guns per year WITHOUT any regulation, then in a few years, I can have a real arsenal. Basically, the regulation only separates the hobbyist from a commercial operation. If I'm building ten guns per year, or a hundred, then I'm probably selling them for profit.

              You can argue the number as being arbitrarily low - it might be reasonable to set the number at twelve. But it is also reasonable to presume that high volume production indicates a commercial operation, and gubbermint reserves the right to regulate and tax commerce. You're not going to get around that taxation thing by citing the second amendment, unless and until Colt, Browning, S&W, and others get around it.

              As has been pointed out already - if i can build 3, my wife can make 3 of her own, and each of my sons can make 3 each, that's fifteen firearms for my home alone. They can sit in a safe for three years, then we can give them away, sell them, or whatever the hell I want to do with them. Obviously, this isn't going to make us rich, but it's a decent supplement to our incomes. 0 sales the first year, 0 sales the second year, 15 sales the third year, 15 sales the fourth year, and on it goes. We probably can't get what Colt gets for their firearms, but we don't have as much invested as Colt does either. The market value of our firearms will probably depend on the brand of parts we put into the frames - I MIGHT get $400 each for them, more likely nearer $300.

              Of course, if a lot of people are using these printers, the value will be even lower. Flooding the market tends to do that.

              --
              “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @08:05PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @08:05PM (#577150)

                are you actually defending the pieces of shit at the at fucking f? are you such a bootlicker that you can't see that that agency has no business even existing, never mind it's blatant crimes against america? disgusting.

                • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday October 05 2017, @01:04AM

                  by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 05 2017, @01:04AM (#577258) Homepage Journal

                  Think. Don't act all fucking emotional, THINK.

                  I pointed at commerce, which government claims all rights and authority to control. No one has successfully challenged government's claim on that score. If government has the right and authority to control commerce - especially interstate commerce - then, yes, they can put limits on the amounts of items you can produce before you must get all the business licenses and crap to go into business.

                  How does that defend the ATF, exactly? Next, you'll claim that I have defended all of the asinine decisions that the IRS has ever made, based on the same post.

                  --
                  “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Tuesday October 03 2017, @11:54PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @11:54PM (#576853) Journal

          they're untraceable (or at least, harder to trace). For better or worse, that's value added for many people.

          Knowing every stop in the road from factory to user's hands is not all that useful really. More than likely the last tracked sale will be a legal one (because paperwork defines legal) and the next sale/transfer/lost/stolen/barter will be undocumented, yet not provably illegal. The best you get is word of mouth.

          But for any of that police have to already have captured the weapon. They will/may still be able to match breach face to spent casing, recovered bullet to rifled barrel. These can all be swapped out by Joe Sixpack, and anyone with ability to do a little smith work would have no problem changing the signature of key parts.

          (if you load your own, and fire a hot load in your cases, recover, reload lighter rounds, and fire them in a different gun, chances are matching that breach face to those casings is impossible. Not even to the most recent weapon - especially for light loads. Of course the FBI would probably invoke some voodoo science [latimes.com] as they have in the past [wikipedia.org] to trace it via mitochondrial DNA deposits).

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:24PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:24PM (#576675)

        The Ghost Gunner isn't a general-purpose CNC mill. So far, it doesn't produce anything from a block of aluminum -- it only performs the last few operations to convert a nearly-finished receiver from legally "not a gun" to "gun".

        The nearly-finished blanks are commonly called "80% receivers" (google that for images, and compare to finished receivers), as the remaining work is supposedly 20% of the total machining work; however, the actual law (and its interpretation by BATF, the agency that enforces firearms laws) says nothing about percentages, and the real percentage of work remaining varies by firearm design, and by how creative the company making them has gotten in approaching completion while skirting the line that makes it legally a gun.

        Could the Ghost Gunner be programmed to machine receivers from 0% ("block of aluminum")? Almost certainly, given a firearm design that suits its capabilities. The AR-15 and 1911, however, are poor choices -- many of the machining operations likely exceed its travels or require more rigidity. Keep in mind that neither of these guns was ever designed to be milled from solid barstock, they were both made from forgings, and of the features left to be machined, some were designed for production methods other than milling (like magazine wells, which are typically produced by broaching). If I were looking for a commercially-available gun design to build in a dinky mill like the Ghost Gunner, I'd look at something like the Kel-Tec P11, which is actually produced on CNC mills, and designed for that method of production. (Other options might include some of Kel-Tec's other handguns, and knockoffs/similar designs like the SCCY, Cobra, Ruger LCP, etc.)

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:37PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:37PM (#576687) Journal

          The Ghost Gunner isn't a general-purpose CNC mill.

          https://www.ammoland.com/2017/03/ghost-gunner-2-gun-making-machine-review/ [ammoland.com]

          Everything about the Ghost Gunner 2 is open source. The source code for the DDCut software can be downloaded and modified from the Ghost Gunner 2 website. Also if the user is familiar with G-Code it will open up things such as engraving, or even using the Ghost Gunner 2 for non firearms projects. This machine is much more than advertised. It is a fully functional CNC machine.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:51PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:51PM (#576728)

            Yeah, and it's great that they don't restrict things any further, but you're still stuck with the mechanical limitations of something designed around finishing 80% receivers.

            I'm a machinist, and I use general-purpose CNC mills daily. The ones we have are much bigger, but I've seen a few tabletop general-purpose mills as well, and none of them look like the Ghost Gunner. You design things one way for general purpose machining; a different way for only doing light finish operations on near-net blanks with mass-produced fixturing.

            I'll admit I've never seen a Ghost Gunner in person (I'd have bought one, except I already have access to real machines at work for personal projects), but from the pictures and videos I've seen, neither the work envelope nor the rigidity look like what I'd expect in a tabletop CNC mill. It may well be more rigid than it looks, but I'm pretty sure the work envelope is exactly what it looks like, and it's very limited because of the choice to make the enclosure serve as the machine base. It's designed for a purpose, and it's a pretty good design for that purpose, but it's just not general-purpose.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:46PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:46PM (#576767)

          Someone on Soylent news wrote this?

          which typically produced by broaching).

          This forces me to breach the question, if one is a trained machinist, what need for all this CNC trollery?
          If you know what broaching is, you probably understand "button rifling", though I prefer "cut".

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:56PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:56PM (#576768)

            If you're a trained and equipped machinist, the Ghost Gunner doesn't do much for you. On the other hand, if you're a trained machinist whose employer doesn't let you use shop tools for personal projects, it just might be more practical than a used bridgeport and a place to keep it.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday October 04 2017, @02:25AM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 04 2017, @02:25AM (#576893) Homepage Journal

            A real machinist might have a little fun with the thing, testing it's limits, and seeing what he can get it to do. Hell, a Daytona race car driver can have a little fun with some old beater converted into a dune buggy, right? Or, experienced bikers might spend the day riding scooters with his relatives.

            Maybe there's no real "value" in any of that, but sometimes it's fun to tinker.

            --
            “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:23PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:23PM (#576818)

          Using a near-net process makes more sense to me. It's good enough for Boeing aircraft parts.

          The first step is to make a crude part with excess material. The second step is to machine it down to what you want. I think Boeing's motivation was to reduce metal waste, but it also lets you take advantage of 3D printing's ability to create interior cavities while still having some of the surfaces be nicely machined.

          An affordable way to create the near-net part would be a lost-wax process, or rather lost-plastic. You 3D print, coat with a clay/ceramic slurry, bury in fine sand, cook out the plastic, pour in molten metal, let cool, then clean off the crud. Another way, as used by Boeing, is to 3D print with wire.

          The resulting near-net part is nearly what you need, but with rough surfaces. Grind some of those down (only the ones that matter) to have a completed part.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:54PM (#576661)

      You assume everyone who needs a gun but doesn't have one simply can't afford it. That isn't always the case. Also, his efforts seem to be directed at the possibility of further regulation, wherein normal methods of acquiring a gun may no longer be available.

      That all said, yes. If all you want is a Colt .45 or an AR-15 in America these days, you're definitely better off just going to the store. In most states that doesn't require a license (MA is the exception I'm aware of...not sure how the SCOTUS has let them get away with that law, but it stands for now).

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by fishybell on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:59PM (1 child)

      by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:59PM (#576666)

      Not trolling, advertising.

      This is America, and the only thing more important than guns is money.

      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:33PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:33PM (#576721) Journal

        Insightfully sad but true?!

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:07PM (17 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:07PM (#576669)

      I see things a bit differently.

        - "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

      In modern times I think our approach towards security is incredibly flawed. The TSA has turned flying into a nightmare, has had hundreds of agents arrested for abusing their position, and has caught exactly 0 terrorists. We're constantly sacrificing our personal privileges and freedoms in society for the sake of staving off threats that are not only rare, but in reality practically unstoppable. Consequently, I think it's time we start looking at things differently. Guns are terrifying. How absurd is it that a single man was able to murder 50 and injure hundreds from hundreds of feet away? But on the other hand that could have been an even bigger disaster had he used explosives, or a vehicle, or any of a countless number of other methods of harming people in mass.

      Even though I'm not much of a gun person, I see turning guns into something that cannot be controlled is something that ideally may help us, as a society, begin to look at things differently. The reason mass shootings happen is not because of guns but because there are ever more people ready and willing to kill each other in mass. Why is this? America has had widespread access to guns for centuries. In fact they used to be vastly more readily available. Yet mass shootings are a contemporary thing. What is driving people to do these things? I'm fairly certain Mr. Paddock was not big Marilyn Manson or first person shooter fan. What has changed so much in our society and caused such divisiveness among people? This should be the question on everybody's mind. But we're like the fool seeing a man pointing to the stars while we stare at the hand.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:40PM (5 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:40PM (#576691)

        > America has had widespread access to guns for centuries. In fact they used to be vastly more readily available.
        > Yet mass shootings are a contemporary thing.

        We ran out of Indians and Black to shoot unnoticed.

        It's only been a century and a half since we invented reliable repeating guns/rifles. before that, it was hard to do mass shootings without people running away too fast or fighting back during reload. The market popularity of high-capacity semi-auto is a much more recent improvement on random losers' ability to mow down people.
        And God, dads and small-town neighbors stopped preventing people from doing dumb things.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:34PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:34PM (#576722)

          Again, is it really appropriate to blame the weapon? Killers like John Allen Muhammed [wikipedia.org] drove around with his accomplice and killed people with a single rifle aimed out a nook in the trunk. They killed 17 people. Back 'in the day' this would have been far easier as sophisticated forensics, air surveillance, infrared technology, radio communication, etc simply did not exist. Rifles capable of killing people from far away certainly did though. In spite of this, crimes of this sort did not exist. What has changed so much?

          • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:01PM (3 children)

            by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:01PM (#576734) Journal

            The first mass shooting happened in 1949. Search for "Walk of Death" perpetrated by Howard Unruh. He walked around Camden NJ and killed 13 people, most were targets he planned to kill for over a year.

            • (Score: 4, Touché) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:21PM (2 children)

              by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:21PM (#576784)
              --
              The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @03:59AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @03:59AM (#576913)

                I think the motivations there are crystal clear. It's like comparing these attacks to Israel/Palestine. They are in no way comparable. In one the motivation and purpose is generally very clear. In this, people seem increasingly happy to just kill other people mostly at random.

              • (Score: 1) by ewk on Wednesday October 04 2017, @08:42AM

                by ewk (5923) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @08:42AM (#576949)

                Not really executed (no pun intended) by one individual, are they?

                Next on the list of moving goal posts: Buchenwald & Auschwitz ?

                --
                I don't always react, but when I do, I do it on SoylentNews
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:37PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:37PM (#576724) Journal

        You can go down in history on social media and CNN!!!

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:03PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:03PM (#576735)

        deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

        Especially the "safety" part, if they are manufacturing an M1911 entirely in aluminum. More of a toy than an actual firearm.

        When did this idea that gunsmiths only did modifications and repairs, rather than building entire guns, start?

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:07PM

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:07PM (#576737) Journal

          Better aluminum than plastic.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:48PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:48PM (#576747)

          They're not -- they're making the frame out of aluminum, but the slide, barrel, and all the small parts are purchased separately, and presumably steel.

          And an aluminum-framed 1911 is probably not as durable as a steel-frame, but it's far from the exploding toy an all-aluminum one would be.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday October 04 2017, @02:31AM (1 child)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 04 2017, @02:31AM (#576896) Homepage Journal

            That IS a question in my mind: Just how durable IS an aluminum framed 1911? Initially, it kinda scared me. But, when you think about it, it's a lot less scary. It's going to work, until the machining starts to wear, then it going to start jamming, and the jamming will get progressively worse. But, with all the innards made of steel, the thing isn't going to just blow up in your face, even when it's completely worn out. I suppose you could MAKE it blow up, but then, you can MAKE the genuine article blow up if that's what you want.

            --
            “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
            • (Score: 1) by Chrontius on Wednesday October 04 2017, @11:05AM

              by Chrontius (5246) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @11:05AM (#576966)

              Alloy-framed 1911s are not hard to find. Handled one by Kimber a few months ago.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:16PM (4 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:16PM (#576814) Journal

        Yet mass shootings are a contemporary thing.

        They aren't. For example, there were a number of mass shootings leading up to the US Civil War between pro-slavery and abolitionist sides throughout the US, but concentrated in the Midwest where conditions encouraged such conflicts (following the Compromise of 1850 and further policies along the same lines). And any shooting incident where four or more people are injured or killed indiscriminately is informally considered a mass shooting (there's plenty of tales in the US of such violence over the centuries, from crime, ideological or ethnic conflict, clan feuds, corruption, riots, etc).

        What has changed in recent times is both an increase in the ability of people to kill others with fire arms, higher populations, and much more prominent reporting and visibility of such events. For example, prior to 1865, the US had less than a tenth the population of the current US. That means that even at current rates of mass shootings per capita, they would have them a tenth as often or less. For example, it is claimed [cnn.com] that through the first half of the year, there were 136 mass shootings of this sort. A similar rate in the US prior to the Civil War in 1861 would be far lower, around a dozen incidents for the entire country.

        The reporting of such incidents would be severely diminished since one would be unlikely to hear of such a shooting incident, unless they happened to be close by or the tale were particularly sordid and spread to newspapers in major cities via messenger or telegraph. For example, the Mountain Meadows massacre [wikipedia.org] which was a mass shooting attack by a large party of Mormons and local Indians killed 120-140 men, women, and children in 1857. No one attempted to punish anyone for the attack until around 1874.

        That incidentally would be a greater mass shooting that any modern one.

        Finally, there's the matter of technology and population density. To get the situation of the Las Vegas shootings one would need hand-carried automatic weaponry (already pushing forward the date that this could happen to the early 20th Century) and a large public crowd with enough background noise to cover up gunfire (pretty much the latter half of the 20th Century onward for the venue that the shooting happened at).

        To summarize, I don't think there's anything actually special about current times when it comes to mass shootings. It's more feasible technologically, and there's more people overall than the past. And in the US, the past has often been quite violent.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @04:16AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @04:16AM (#576918)

          Again, I don't think you are seeing the point. This was not a conflict between Indians and Settlers, Abolitionists and Slavers, or anything of the sort. Things like that would be comparable to, for instance, the current Israel-Palestine situation. This is civilians killing other civilians mostly at random with no apparent goal or purpose.

          Many countries in the world have relatively high gun ownership. These include Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Iceland, Germany, and so on. Their per capita rates do not compare to the US but that's largely just because in the US we have a culture of gun owners tending to own many guns, which is something relatively unique. Anyhow, the point being these countries are obviously not exactly plagued by the sort of random gun violence that the US faces.

          And using CNN as a source is about as logical as using FoxNews, Breitbart, or MSNBC as sources.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 04 2017, @11:48AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 04 2017, @11:48AM (#576977) Journal

            This is civilians killing other civilians mostly at random with no apparent goal or purpose.

            As were many of the examples I mentioned.

            And using CNN as a source is about as logical as using FoxNews, Breitbart, or MSNBC as sources.

            Then maybe you ought to stop doing that? Right after you stop beating your wife and threatening Algeria with nuclear destruction.

            Many countries in the world have relatively high gun ownership. These include Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Iceland, Germany, and so on. Their per capita rates do not compare to the US but that's largely just because in the US we have a culture of gun owners tending to own many guns, which is something relatively unique. Anyhow, the point being these countries are obviously not exactly plagued by the sort of random gun violence that the US faces.

            If someone is interested in talking about that, I'm willing to as well. My take however is that the number one way to reduce so-called "random gun violence" is to legalize most recreational drugs and non-victim crimes (like prostitution), not knee-jerk a reduction of freedom every time something bad happens.

          • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Thursday October 05 2017, @11:59AM (1 child)

            by Wootery (2341) on Thursday October 05 2017, @11:59AM (#577412)

            Their per capita rates do not compare to the US but that's largely just because in the US we have a culture of gun owners tending to own many guns, which is something relatively unique.

            Your explanation for the USA's high murder rate is that too many people own several guns rather than just one?

            The fact that virtually no civilians in Europe own handguns seems more salient, no?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05 2017, @02:49PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05 2017, @02:49PM (#577460)

              He's referring to firearms per capita, not murders per capita.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:43PM (3 children)

    by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:43PM (#576654) Journal

    Wilson says he plans to follow up soon with software for producing regulation-free Glocks and other handgun models to follow.

    I love how the article calls it software when it's just a fucking G-code file generated by some CAM software. This is the equivalent of calling an image file featuring naked woman "Software that enables you to print pornography!". I grew up in a machine shop with five CNC machines, two vertical mills and three turning centers. This is pretty mundane stuff. My grandfather had his machine shop in my father's shop and he made zip guns and did "custom" work for his gun buddies at the VFW on manual machines.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:24PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:24PM (#576785)

      Indeed. The headline should read "Ghost Gunner Gcode File Makes the Milling of an M1911 Handgun Slightly Easier for Novices"

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:43PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:43PM (#576795)

      Alright. I'll play Angel's Advocate and also explain why computer security sucks.

      An image file is software for a virtual machine designed to decode raster data. The "image display" software is actually an operating system which facilitates the image reading virtual machines, manages memory and hardware storage, display device API, input peripherals, etc. The modern computer is a nested hive of (virtual) OSs, Software & Machines for them. Even the opcodes for your CPU are only virtual machine codes decompiled into microcode by another virtual machine before performing the operations. The human body is also a hive of machines within machines all the way down to the molecular level. In fact, it is the nature of the universe that as complexity increases so too does the information processing of any interaction, becoming a machine, then a machines of machines, and ultimately a sentient being at a certain degree of complexity.

      Because an Image File is actually software for a virtual machine, it can even contain a malware. Malware is typically made of code for multiple VMs. One set of VM opcode exploits a defect in the image processing virtual machine, and prepares one or more sets of OP codes to run against one or more other VMs. Ancient mystics considered universal principals as Gods, the Egyptians did not believe their deities had animal heads; They wrote in symbolism (linguistic opcode) and chose those symbols which they identified with the concepts being discussed. Much of the ancient legends are actually philosophy mixed with history and science.

      Because you godless fanatics believe "There is no VM! No Imaginary Sky Creator set out with the purpose to put VMs into our PNG or JPG decoders, or make document & image viewers into Operating Systems! This "Emergent Intelligent Design" by proxy is nonsense!" You do not treat "data" as if it were "software", and thus have little to no security in today's computing world.

      Checkmate, atheists.

      • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday October 04 2017, @01:33AM

        by LoRdTAW (3755) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @01:33AM (#576882) Journal

        I... I don't exactly know what you're going for here. Technically true, software is anything not hardware including data such as text, video or images. My gripe is the article makes it sound more complex and difficult to implement than it really is.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jmorris on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:44PM (8 children)

    by jmorris (4844) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:44PM (#576655)

    Banning things is on a fast path to being impossible. The ability to manufacture 'on demand' is growing and will only improve. This is a CNC milling machine, others have made guns with 3d printing of metals. As things become software fed into universal 'printers' that more and more people will own it will make regulating possession of things all but impossible unless they drop a full police state on the printers, which ain't happening. You can use one unregulated machine to make more machines. And we all know any attempt to restrict access to the input files will be futile. If The Mouse, with all its resources and determination, can't stop its products from appearing online before they can release them, good luck stopping a plan for a firearm from lurking on the darknet.

    The FCC is still pretending it isn't facing the same problem with software defined radios.

    No I don't have any answers, but denying the reality of what is going to happen is pointless. Tech relentlessly marches on, we either become Amish or learn to deal with it.

    • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:13PM (4 children)

      by crafoo (6639) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:13PM (#576672)

      Try to get a modern printer without yellow-dot serialization built in.
      They will drop the full police state onto 3D printers. They will require state-signed software. They will make every attempt to regulate this.

      • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:25PM

        by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:25PM (#576676)

        IIRC there are already libre 3D printers, and likely CAD software as well.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:30PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:30PM (#576681)

        The yellow-dot serialisation is based on compliant manufacturers.

        Nothing prevents you from building your own printer - and any attempt to regulate that in the US would fall at the first judge that laughed it out of court. Would it be identical to, say, a top-of-the-line Xerox? No. Doesn't matter. The use case that they desperately claim is their reason (forensics around counterfeit cash) simply doesn't cover all cases for printing.

        Worse yet, this is the sort of regulation that would fall under strict scrutiny. Given that the right to keep and bear arms has been identified as a fundamental, enumerated, individual right, there's a clear path to using both the first and the second amendment to prevent the government from preventing private individuals from building their own mills, and using them as they see fit. Or even just machine shops.

        But I'm sure you're about to explain how licensing and regulating machine shops to the point of banning private ownership is going to happen any year now ...

      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:49PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:49PM (#576727)

        The problem with controlling 3d printers is that they can be used to partially replicate themselves. They can print upgrades and replacement parts for themselves.

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Wednesday October 04 2017, @12:07AM

        by Bot (3902) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @12:07AM (#576856) Journal

        > Try to get a modern printer without yellow-dot serialization built in.

        I know one, she's a monochrome laser printer. If I spot a yellow dot i'll get suspicious.

        but seriously, what if you suck the yellow ink out the cartridge and replace it with water, or maybe nitroglycerine for the lulz?

        --
        Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:27PM (1 child)

      by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:27PM (#576787)

      The obvious counter to this, is that a mass-surveillance police state is rapidly developing. If everything you say and do is monitored, having the means to make a banned item doesn't actually let you do so, unless you can reliably fend off a SWAT team.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:23PM (#576819)

        CELLDAR

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 04 2017, @01:40AM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 04 2017, @01:40AM (#576884) Journal

      Well said.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:58PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @04:58PM (#576664)

    You can spot a moron by how they attempt to use jargon without understanding it.

    Wilson's goal now, he says, is to do for small arms what Defense Distributed did for AR-15s...

    AR-15s are small arms.*

    (Of course, you can also spot them by noting that they write for Wired, a well-known circus specializing in trained morons. Like a bear trained to dance, the impressive thing isn't how well they write, but that they do it at all.)

    *Well, almost all of them are. Of course, given people's tendency to make a crappy version of damn near any weapon with an AR-15 receiver serving as fire-control group, I'm sure somebody's got a belt-fed "AR-15" in .50 BMG on a tripod. But then again, you could do the same thing with a 1911 frame.

    • (Score: 2) by fishybell on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:32PM (1 child)

      by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @06:32PM (#576719)

      A belt-fed 1911 would be problematic because of the slide, but there are many people who have done this for revolvers. There's even a mass produced pistol [thefirearmblog.com] with a belt.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:14PM (#576739)

        No, no slide. You would build a whole hammer-fired beltfed upper receiver, with the bolt at the bottom (gas piston at 9 or 3 o'clock, instead of usual 6 o'clock), and slot in the bottom of it shaped like the bottom of a 1911 slide. It slides onto the 1911 frame to mount it, but it's the bolt or bolt carrier that interacts with the hammer and disconnector as it shuttles back and forth, while the upper receiver actually mounted to the slide rails is static, locked in place with a catch, or possibly bolted through the 1911's mag well. Something like the old Pachmayr Dominator kit, but belt-fed semi-auto instead of single-shot bolt-action.

        As for belt-fed pistols shooting pistol cartridges, those are still small arms; depending on whose definition we're going with, even rifle-caliber machine guns may be included.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:10PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:10PM (#576670)

    In the US, there are regulations on manufacturers of firearms. Might those apply even if one is manufacturing them only for oneself and one's minions?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:26PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:26PM (#576677) Journal

      IANAL, but you can get an entirely unregulated 80% lower and other parts. Then finish it with the CNC mill. Don't tell anybody you did so or distribute or sell it, unless you are confident of not getting ratted out to the FBI/ATF/DOJ/etc.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:36PM (#576686)

      Yes, but only because you used the word "manufacture" -- which is not the same as "make". In the context of US gun laws, "manufacture" has a specific definition that means, approximately, "make with the intent to sell" (obviously, go look up and read the actual definition if you're thinking about making a gun, as it is more complicated than that); if you make a gun for yourself, that is legally not manufacturing, and it's largely unregulated. If, on the other hand, what you're doing is manufacturing, you need a license (FFL) to do it at all, and you have to abide by a bunch of extra rules regarding serial numbers, bookkeeping, etc.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @05:40PM (#576692)

      If it's purely for yourself, and you're not otherwise prohibited from owning firearms, it's nobody's business but your own.

      If you're handing them out to third parties ("minions" as you say) then it becomes a larger question.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:07PM (7 children)

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:07PM (#576736) Journal

      Kinda sorta. You are allowed to make, for your own use, any regular firearm without a serial number or manufacturer's registration with ATF. ("Untraceable." Heh. Grind the serial number off the gun and it's untraceable - which is illegal, granted. But if you're going to build yourself a kit gun I'd be AWFULLY carefully to have fully documented the build process in a way that traces it harder than a regular chain of possession. Not to mention it's just smarter to not let yourself get noticed. And it ain't all that much cheaper to buy a finished firearm instead - add in your own labor cost in building it and the potential maintenance pitfalls and it's probably more expensive.)

      However, some laws do still apply. You can't be a prohibited possessor (think felon) and think you can just make your own gun and it's ok.

      You can't add a stock to a rifled bore and have less than a 16 inch barrel or 22 inch overall length without it having a tax stamp from ATF; AFAIK you can't get one of those for a homemade firearm. You can't add a silencer to it.

      So, here's the question.... Aside from government collecting its taxes, what is the difference if I buy a used rifle at a gun show or have a finished billet aluminum upper in my possession?

      --
      Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:43PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @07:43PM (#576745)

        I'm going to nitpick a lot, so let me first say...
        You really are mostly right.
        But it's worth getting the details right, because there's just too much misinformation floating around.

        You can't add a stock to a rifled bore and have less than a 16 inch barrel or 22 inch overall length without it having a tax stamp from ATF; AFAIK you can't get one of those for a homemade firearm. You can't add a silencer to it.

        That's a 26" OAL, and you left out the similar rule for smoothbores (18" barrel, 26" OAL), but no big deal.

        You can make a homemade SBR, SBS, AOW, etc. You submit a Form 1 (to make an NFA firearm) rather than a Form 4 (to transfer an NFA firearm), and the tax is $200 for everything (whereas the transfer tax is only $5 for AOW, $200 for everything else), but it's basically the same process, with the same months-long wait. This applies whether you're making the NFA firearm from scratch, or making it from an existing non-NFA gun (e.g. cutting down a pre-existing rifle or shotgun), and in the latter case, regardless of whether the existing gun is one manufactured by an FFL, or a "ghost gun" made by yourself.

        As for silencers, they are considered a firearm in their own right under the NFA (it's also possible to make one of these yourself, again with a Form 1 and a $200 tax). Whether made or bought, federal law doesn't care what gun they're on, or if they're on any gun at all. (In general -- obviously, if you're using a short barrel with permanently attached silencer to meet the 16"/18" barrel length, you can't simply remove it without filing a Form 1 to make a short-barreled rifle/shotgun... but that's not really about the silencer.)

        So, here's the question.... Aside from government collecting its taxes, what is the difference if I buy a used rifle at a gun show or have a finished billet aluminum upper in my possession?

        If you're talking about an AR-15, the upper receiver is not the one true receiver that contains the soul of the gun; that's the lower receiver. Assuming you meant lower receiver, or you meant some other gun for which the upper receiver is the controlled part, then there's really not much difference.

        One answer you'll get is that you can't sell the homemade gun. That's not true; I'm not entirely clear on the rules of reselling a homemade gun with no serial number (some people say you can't, some people say you can, I've not really looked into it), but certainly the easy option, with at the very least less explaining to potential buyers, is to come up with a unique serial number and mark the receiver according to the same rules that apply to FFLs (depth of engraving, height of letters, etc.); if you do this, you can definitely sell the homemade gun when you get bored with it, same as the used rifle. (Keep in mind that if you made it with the intent to sell it, that's bad, but choosing to sell it later on is perfectly okay.)

        • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:47PM (1 child)

          by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:47PM (#576797)

          From what I've read, the rules are that you can make up to three firearms per year without a FFL, provided that you don't sell them within two years of the date of manufacture. Make more than three per year, or sell them sooner, and the BATF will "reasonably" assume that you're making them for sale.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @12:08AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @12:08AM (#576857)

            I've read that too (several places), but so far I've been unable to track down where those figures originated -- whether that's an ATF letter, a court ruling, or just some guy at the gun shop making up bullshit to avoid admitting there's something he doesn't know. I haven't looked hard enough to be confident it's the latter, but enough to make me wonder...

        • (Score: 1) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Thursday October 05 2017, @03:51PM (3 children)

          by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Thursday October 05 2017, @03:51PM (#577479) Journal

          The nitpicks were entirely worth it, as I learned quite a bit, thanks!

          And now that you mention it, and I'm sorry for making this hearsay but I can't cite details now, I do remember something-or-other about someone in a state in the Northwest (Montana, maybe?) defending the idea that as long as the unserialed guns are sold only in-state to other in-state owners and not with the intent of doing business that interstate commerce cannot attach and therefore ATF has no jurisdiction on the transactions. I'd be surprised if that actually flew if put to the test (if I were ATF I might think about playing the "it affects commerce of out-of-state sellers so all such transactions have interstate impact.")

          But really the point of this post is saying Thanks for the corrections, AC, and now I wish I haven't posted the thread so I could give you some mod point love!

          --
          Keep everyone ignorant of the magical world! KEEP AMERICA OBLIVIATE!
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @07:42PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @07:42PM (#578276)

            Funnily enough ...

            that's the same logic used by states legalising marijuana. If you look at the regulations passed by states like Washington, they're very clear that this is all about in-state stuff only.

            It's actually a pretty interesting situation. If the feds go after them and win, it's a big PR black eye for the feds and falls right into the federal-overreach scenario. If the feds go after them and lose, a whole bunch of other things suddenly slip from the fingers of the feds. So far the feds haven't called the states' bluff - and if they're smart, they won't. It's a no-win scenario for them.

            Funnily enough, the all-commerce-affects-interstate-commerce argument dates back to, and was a sore point as of, FDR's New Deal. You can look it up, but it's very controversial.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @11:31PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 06 2017, @11:31PM (#578391)

            You're welcome, and thanks for taking it in the spirit it was meant.

            You may be thinking of Montana's Firearms Freedom Act [wikipedia.org], and similar laws passed in several other states. Montana's law, at least, was struck down by the Ninth Circuit using exactly the reasoning you suggest, that even sales of firearms that can't cross state lines still affects the national market for firearms. However, to my knowledge the Supreme Court has not heard any cases involving any of these laws, so it's still possible they could uphold laws of this sort in the future.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08 2017, @03:48AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08 2017, @03:48AM (#578758)

              The thing is, that the Ninth Circuit taking it that way doesn't really matter as much precisely because they're bound by SCOTUS precedent going back to the New Deal. It's also an issue that does not get the same kind of excited attention in the big coastal cities, so it's not a situation that would actually highlight the federal jackboot in the same way that marijuana prosecutions would.

              Same logic, different political reality.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by meustrus on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:40PM (16 children)

    by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:40PM (#576765)

    The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with this...for now. Because the primary purpose of gun control in the US is not to prevent people from having guns. The purpose of gun control to make it really difficult to own a gun in order to deter people who have no good reason to.

    In an ideal system (i.e. not necessarily practical), owning a firearm would require someone to prove basic proficiency in its use, pass a fair psychological screening, pass a criminal background check, and prove in some way a responsibility for and a connection to the good functioning of one's community. Gun control in the US has long aspired to this model, up to and including the assault weapons ban which adds financial requirements.

    The goal is to keep guns from falling into:

    1. Idiots who will shoot themselves or others by accident;
    2. Unhinged persons who will shoot themselves or others on purpose for unpredictable reasons;
    3. Criminally-motivated persons who will shoot others on purpose for selfish gain;
    4. Irresponsible persons who will lose their gun and allow it to fall into the hands of a person in one of the other categories.

    This person, and anybody else with access to and inclination to learn to use the required equipment, does not strike me as within these categories (though the straw-man version of me that I expect you are hearing in your head might call him "unhinged"). The only significant risk of this increased availability is organized crime, including terrorist organizations. However, I would argue these groups have other ways to obtain black market weapons, and their ownership of weapons isn't their primary threat anyway.

    This can change, however, if the equipment to create these weapons is commoditized. It should not be simple or easy to produce that much destructive force. But as long as the road to firearm ownership is difficult, it need not be impossible.

    --
    If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @08:58PM (#576771)

      pass a criminal background check

      So felons should be banned from owning guns for life? [felonyrestrictions.com]

      It will only hurt reformed felons.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:46PM (10 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:46PM (#576796)

      The way I see it, there's nothing wrong with this...for now. Because the primary purpose of gun control in the US is not to prevent people from having guns. The purpose of gun control to make it really difficult to own a gun in order to deter people who have no good reason to.

      You haven't been paying attention, then. Gun people understand that. In fact they understand that in detail. It constantly comes up in these debates, and their concerns can usually be summarised as the abiding belief that the people writing the regulations will define them as the people who shouldn't have guns. And, looking at them, and the typical author of regulations, it's hard to say that they're really wrong. They usually get shouted down with a combination of sneering remarks about "slippery slope argument" and various insinuations about crazy militia members, sexual relations with close blood relatives, and commentary on the civil war, but that doesn't actually invalidate their concerns. If anything, given the people usually doing the shouting down, it tends to support them.

      Part of the problem (and this is a perennial difficulty in public policy) is to differentiate those who have a good reason to have guns from those who do not, and what constitutes a good reason, and even that is fraught because often the good reason, from the perspective of regulators is: "Member of the police in good standing. Maybe. Sometimes." while from the gun person's standpoint is: "Because I want one. Discussion closed." If you don't believe me, consider some of the may issue/shall issue legislation winding through the courts now, along with the arguments advanced on either side.

      Honestly, the two sides have what a relationship counsellor might call "irreconcilable differences". There is no way for both sides to get what they want simultaneously, and any middle ground is regarded as fundamentally unacceptable on both sides. For a rather net.famous illustration of the difficulty, consider https://www.everydaynodaysoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Illustrated-Guide-To-Gun-Control.png [everydaynodaysoff.com]

      Hope this helps you craft your next proposal.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:52PM (8 children)

        by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:52PM (#576803)

        Indeed. Anyone who lacks 100% faith in their government has a good reason to own and practice with military grade firearms. That is the sole purpose of the 2nd Amendment; it never had anything to do with hunting or sport shooting.

        --
        The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by meustrus on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:10PM (4 children)

          by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:10PM (#576811)

          And yet even those without 100% faith in their government have an interest in keeping guns out of the hands of the incompetent, the deranged, the criminal, and the irresponsible.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:35PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:35PM (#576822)

            Sure, and if the regulations could somehow be kept strictly to those categories, with objective standards and no reasonable prospect of overreach, that might overcome the scepticism of the pro-gun side.

            The problem is their contention that the regulations will be subverted, over-extended, and used to favour in-groups at the expense of the out-groups. Given pretty much all of the history of political science, they show every sign of having a strong point.

            Bear in mind that this isn't a gun-specific problem. It applies just as well to control over medications, food production and energy. Just ask any back-to-the-land style hippy freak how they feel about the government telling them what they can and can't grow, how and why, or how they are or aren't allowed to do with water falling on their land. But bring a chair, you might be listening for a while.

            • (Score: 2) by Nobuddy on Wednesday October 04 2017, @04:46PM (1 child)

              by Nobuddy (1626) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @04:46PM (#577092)

              Easy to fix. get money out of politics. Can't bribe for exceptions and market cornering if you can't bribe at all. As it is now we have legalized political bribery.
              That, our militarized and out of control police forces, and our pay-to-play medical system baffles the civilized world as to how we are not rated as a third world nation.

              • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @06:16PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @06:16PM (#577127)

                Getting money out of politics: impossible by definition because they are two pillars of power in society. (The third is ideological support, in general political economic analysis.)

                I agree with you about the police forces needing reining in.

                Pay-to-play medical system - uh, not so much. The USA has a HUGE welfare budget, much of which goes on various single-payer schemes. The private medical system (inasmuch as it is a system) is regulated to insanity, and flagrantly coupled with rent-seeking behaviour courtesy of things like the favoured position of the AMA.

                It's not what it seems, you should probably look into it, and follow the money.

          • (Score: 3, Touché) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @11:02PM

            by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @11:02PM (#576839)

            "the incompetent, the deranged, the criminal, and the irresponsible"
            You mean the government?

            --
            The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @09:17PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @09:17PM (#577190)

          That is the sole purpose of the 2nd Amendment; it never had anything to do with hunting or sport shooting.

          Well, at least since the 1970s when the NRA dumped millions of dollars into lobbying and enodowing the "right" kind of law school chairs. Interestingly, for the 200 years before that, the 2nd was never taken to mean that and was cited only once or twice in all court decisions. This new interpretation is even referred to as "new scholarship" that came about in the 80s. There are many interesting [yale.edu] reads [brennancenter.org] on this topic, but don't fool yourself to claim your interpretation as 10 Commandments-like written in stone. It is currently viewed that way because the NRA drove it that way.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05 2017, @12:19AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05 2017, @12:19AM (#577247)

            Not actually true.

            Go read the supreme court decision on the Heller case. It goes back to colonial days, and follows a train of legal logic that covers the legal texts of the time as well as the federalist papers, building a substantial backdrop of modern as well as original analysis.

            Likelier explanation: until people started hyperventilating about firearms, it was pretty much taken as self-evident.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05 2017, @12:24AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05 2017, @12:24AM (#577248)

            That is the sole purpose of the 2nd Amendment; it never had anything to do with hunting or sport shooting.

            Well, at least since the 1970s when the NRA dumped millions of dollars into lobbying and enodowing the "right" kind of law school chairs.

            So you're saying it previously was understood, rightly or wrongly, to be about hunting or sport shooting? That it was understood to be unrelated to the American Revolution, where militias armed with military-grade weapons fought the regular army of a government they deemed oppressive, and eventually won independence from that government? That it wasn't believed to be related to documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights:

            Section 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

            (Or maybe that was understood to be about hunting and sport shooting too?)

            Sorry, no. Reasonable people can and have argued about whether the Second Amendment protects an unlimited right (protecting, for instance, those guns only useful for hunting, or as range toys, as well as those useful for combat), or whether it's limited only to such arms, and such methods of keeping and bearing them, as actually serve a militia interest. But holding it to not be part of the Founders' anti-army, pro-militia tendency, and to instead be about hunting or sport shooting, is and always has been profoundly unreasonable.

            Interestingly, for the 200 years before that, the 2nd was never taken to mean that and was cited only once or twice in all court decisions.

            You say until the federal government infringed the right of the people to keep and bear arms (for perspective, the 1970s came right after the Gun Control Act of 1968, the second of two major federal gun control laws), nobody much worried about the rule keeping them from doing so? How shocking!

            One of those "once or twice", by the way, would be United States v. Miller in 1939, concerning the then-recent National Firearms Act of 1934 (the first major federal gun control law). Check out this bit from the decision: (Note that neither Miller nor his lawyer appeared before the Supreme Court, thus the Court was unable to take notice of facts that the judges themselves may have been aware of personally, and that the defense would surely have raised, such as the US Army's use of short-barreled shotguns in World War I.)

            The Court cannot take judicial notice that a shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches long has today any reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, and therefore cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees to the citizen the right to keep and bear such a weapon.

            In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.

            Oh no, the Supreme Court appears to have misunderstood the 2nd Amendment! They keep referencing the militia and military equipment, when they should have been talking about hunting and sport shooting equipment! The 1970s NRA must have got to them... perhaps with a time machine?

            Or maybe, just maybe, you're full of it.

      • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday October 04 2017, @07:25PM

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @07:25PM (#577143) Homepage Journal

        Folks, this is not the time to be talking about gun control. I am in Las Vegas to pay my respects with @FLOTUS Melania. Everyone remains in our thoughts and prayers. 🇺🇸

    • (Score: 2) by slinches on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:20PM (2 children)

      by slinches (5049) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:20PM (#576817)

      The problem is that regulations which would be effective in preventing gun ownership by those four groups would be easily subverted to prevent all citizens from owning them. See California for a good example. The state forbids open carry and some local municipalities (cities, counties, etc.) have exceptionally high standards for granting concealed carry permits. This means no ordinary citizen is allowed to carry a pistol in large portions of the state.

      • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Wednesday October 04 2017, @01:11AM (1 child)

        by meustrus (4961) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @01:11AM (#576878)

        Who cares where you can carry your pistol? If you own it and know how to use it, you are prepared for the revolution. Gang banging the streets of LA won't help.

        Outside of city limits, though, I am sympathetic. But as far as I know there are no carry restrictions statewide. Just permitting requirements.

        --
        If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
        • (Score: 2) by slinches on Wednesday October 04 2017, @05:16PM

          by slinches (5049) on Wednesday October 04 2017, @05:16PM (#577106)

          There are carry restrictions, which are relatively complicated, dependant on gun type and location and the subjective interpretation of local law enforcement.

          See here for a decent summary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_California [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:55PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:55PM (#576833) Journal

      Because the primary purpose of gun control in the US is not to prevent people from having guns. The purpose of gun control to make it really difficult to own a gun in order to deter people who have no good reason to.

      Who gets to decide who has a "good reason"? It's peculiar to see this authoritarian impulse. You wouldn't trust the government to do a variety of things (like making war), but somehow they're not going to fuck this up.

      Let's give a hypothetical example. Suppose Trump decrees at some later date that all the neo-Nazis have good reason to own firearms because they are a persecuted minority and deliberately ignores all those gun control schemes you have bouncing in your head. Maybe he even personally buys them a few billion dollars of fire arms to get started. Then one political faction has an enormous amount of firepower and everyone else has to play by these very hard rules. This is the sort of thing that happens when you introduce sensible gun control. The state ends up in control of who gets fire arms, and it's always the political factions with the best connections to the state who have the best access.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:06PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:06PM (#576774)

    Isn't gun drilling a special process? Who in their right mind wants a crappy CNC gun? And you still need bullets. The government will always regulate explosives.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:54PM (#576805)

      Depends on the gun. Drilling the rifling is kind of specialised ... if you ignore that it's just a special case of what we regularly do when tapping holes for bolts; i.e. drilling a hole then milling out a helical path in the interior.

      Bullets are astonishingly easy to make at home, if you really want to, and so are explosives if you passed chemistry and have decent lab safety practices.

      And even then you're ignoring air rifles, crossbows and all sorts of other ways of projecting force. In fact, if you really know what you're doing, you can make a repeating air rifle that is every bit as lethal as one powered by chemistry.

      But don't take my word for it. Research it yourself. It's well understood stuff.

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:55PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday October 03 2017, @09:55PM (#576806)

      Gun drilling refers to the process of drilling the barrel, which is indeed a specialized and somewhat tricky process due to the aspect ratio of the hole and the tight tolerances desired. The drilling referred to here is simple drilling of pin holes in the frame, which could in theory be done with a hand drill and a steady hand, and is frequently done with a drill press. Using a CNC mill just makes it easier and in theory more precise.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:10PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:10PM (#576812) Journal

      The government will always regulate explosives.

      Heh.
      Homemade Gunpowder, For Science! [youtube.com]
      How To Reload Primers with Matches [youtube.com]
      Black Powder Firecrackers [youtube.com]
      Homemade Black Powder Fuses (Ancient Chinese Style) [youtube.com]

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 03 2017, @10:54PM (#576831)

      I can't wait for the CNC file to machine the solid block of gunpowder down to only what's needed for a single bullet.
      Same for the bullets machined from a big lead cube!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @12:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04 2017, @12:35AM (#576865)

      mhajicek's comment [soylentnews.org] is right on.
      Moreover, for pistols, gundrilling isn't even necessary -- a 4-5" .45 barrel is only ~10 diameters. That's annoying, but well within reach of any competent machinist using an engine lathe and non-specialized tools (drills and reamers). Gundrilling will produce a straighter hole, but it'll be straight enough to work fine.

      Anyway, you seem to think gun barrels are regulated in the US. They aren't; anyone can buy them, including minors, felons, etc..

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