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posted by Fnord666 on Friday February 17 2017, @11:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the courts-aren't-buying-it dept.

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?


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  • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Friday February 17 2017, @11:29PM

    by richtopia (3160) on Friday February 17 2017, @11:29PM (#468401) Homepage Journal

    Does anyone know what the law is in the USA? From the article it seems like any unlicensed manufacture of firearms is illegal. Given the gun culture in the USA I'm actually surprised by that, unless becoming licensed is as easy as buying a gun (a phone call for a fast background check).

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by richtopia on Friday February 17 2017, @11:42PM

    by richtopia (3160) on Friday February 17 2017, @11:42PM (#468406) Homepage Journal

    To try to answer my own question, it looks like manufacture is covered under the Federal Firearms License, which was created in response to the assassinations of the Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. However the Wikipedia article reads as if it covers only businesses which manufacture/sell firearms, so I'm not sure if it would apply to an individual making a weapon for personal use.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_Control_Act_of_1968 [wikipedia.org]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Firearms_License [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by DaTrueDave on Friday February 17 2017, @11:47PM

      by DaTrueDave (3144) on Friday February 17 2017, @11:47PM (#468408)

      It's my understanding (recollection based on looking into this years ago) that no license is needed to make a firearm for yourself, but if you wish to transfer (sell) it, it has to be done through someone with a Federal Firearms License (FFL).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @11:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17 2017, @11:55PM (#468412)

        When you make a firearm, it does not get a serial number and it's illegal to sell. I'm sure you could pay the ATF ALOT of money and get it serialized but, it's usually not worth it. Only you can [legally] own that gun.

        • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Saturday February 18 2017, @08:56AM

          by FakeBeldin (3360) on Saturday February 18 2017, @08:56AM (#468532) Journal

          Only you can [legally] own that gun.

          What happens after your passing away? The gun becomes de facto illegal?

          • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Saturday February 18 2017, @01:05PM

            by linkdude64 (5482) on Saturday February 18 2017, @01:05PM (#468571)

            I don't know, but to all the world it would look like a gun whose serial number was scratched off (i.e. it's a murder weapon), so you could either pretend that you made it yourself, or chop it into tiny pieces and scatter the bits into recycling bins over the course of a month or two. If you lived in California, I'd say it's not worth the risk, because this state is really like its own separate nation within the US.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday February 17 2017, @11:59PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday February 17 2017, @11:59PM (#468415) Homepage

      I don't claim to be an expert, but it seems that if you buy an 80% lower and finish it yourself, then do a system build on it, then it might be legal to have an unserialized firearm, depending. Based on the exhaustive internet research I've done on the matter, it seems that both federal and state law as well as the mood of the local ATF are all factors assuming that you are leaving it up to others to have any involvement in your system build other than your purchasing of the unfinished lower receiver.

      Amusingly, ARES armor was raided by the ATF [bearingarms.com]. Of course, when your radio ads sound something like, "Are you tired of the NSA spying on you?" you're gonna get their attention. Now they have some big conglomerate-looking website [americanweaponscomponents.com] but I cannot speak as to whether or not "they" are monitoring your purchases of unfinished 80% lower-receivers.

      If you want to find out whether or not you're on their shit-list, try to order a finished lower-receiver. If you succeed, then you aren't on the government's shit-list...yet.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @12:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @12:03AM (#468419)

    This is a case of "what's right" vs "what the government can get away with".

    Constitutionally the government has no right to regulate, or license firearms. But who is going to stop them?

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Saturday February 18 2017, @05:12PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Saturday February 18 2017, @05:12PM (#468639) Journal

      The 2nd says keep and bear, not manufacture or sell.

      The courts tend to frown on semantical BS law "workarounds."

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @05:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @05:15AM (#468492)
    You can make your own gun.

    But if you SELL it.. Oh now you're in deep rules shit.