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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 looorg on Friday February 17 2017, @11:47PM

    by looorg (578) on Friday February 17 2017, @11:47PM (#468409)

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

    Probably not. Wouldn't that more or less be a shop class? Learning how to use a CNC machine or a Lathe? Hard to see that not being legal.

    While anyone could mill their own AR-15 lower using either hand tools or a CNC, paying for someone else to do it constitutes a sale, which requires the seller hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Crowninshield did not have a FFL. Wilson, by contrast, does. However, Wilson does not take payment for milling nor does he transfer milled firearms.

    So from a quick read of the article it does appear that the problem is that he sold the receivers and he didn't have the proper license for that. Not that he made them. Which makes me wonder what would have happened if he gave them away for free.

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @12:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @12:01AM (#468417)

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

    Nope, he can teach/show all day long but, if he sells, gives away, or finishes the machining for someone else, he's illegal. He can teach a class and finish as many 80% recievers as he wants as long as he doesn't transfer them to someone else. (Finishing the machining process for someone is a transfer).

    "Wilson does not take payment for milling nor does he transfer milled firearms."

    Doesn't matter. Transferring a firearm does not mean selling, it means physically giving it to someone. If you buy a gun mail order, the gun HAS TO BE shipped to a FFL holder. That FFL holder HAS TO run a background check on you (even though it's already your gun). If you fail that background check and he gives you the gun, he's guilty of illegally transferring a firearm.
    Same at gun shows (which is why the "Gun Show Loophole" is a complete lie).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @12:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18 2017, @12:16AM (#468425)

    "it does appear that the problem is that he sold the receivers and he didn't have the proper license for that."

    No.
    ANYONE (including felons) can own and sell 80% receivers because by law, they are not firearms. As far as the law is concerned, they are just hunks of metal.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday February 18 2017, @03:01AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 18 2017, @03:01AM (#468471) Journal

      "because by law, they are not firearms"

      Ditto for muzzle loaders. They are not legally firearms, and you may possess them in any jurisdiction which has not passed it's own laws, specifically targeted at muzzle loading guns.

      --
      We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19 2017, @01:00AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19 2017, @01:00AM (#468792)

        Not true. Take no legal advice from Runaway.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday February 19 2017, @01:51AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 19 2017, @01:51AM (#468819) Journal

          https://www.quora.com/Are-modern-muzzleloaders-legally-considered-firearms-in-the-U-S [quora.com]

          https://www.jobsforfelonshub.com/can-felons-muzzleloader/ [jobsforfelonshub.com]

          Open mouth, insert foot, AC. Note that I specifically stated that some local jurisdictions may have passed more restrictive laws than the federal government. But, a muzzle loader is NOT A FIREARM, legally speaking.

          --
          We've finally beat Medicare! - Houseplant in Chief
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19 2017, @07:19AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19 2017, @07:19AM (#468886)

            Open mouth, insert foot, AC. Note that I specifically stated that some local jurisdictions may have passed more restrictive laws than the federal government. But, a muzzle loader is NOT A FIREARM, legally speaking.

            You should read the entire page you quote.

            Muzzleloaders are considered deadly weapons in all states from a law enforcement perspective.

            And do you know who answers questions on sites like "quora"? Yes, people just like you, Runaway1965! Would you take legal advice from someone as knowledgeable as you?
            .
            (And BTW, what are you doing hanging out on a site like "jobsforfelons.com"? Answers that cop or criminal question, it does.)

  • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Saturday February 18 2017, @03:53PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Saturday February 18 2017, @03:53PM (#468604) Journal

    The whole bit about having a customer press a button is an example of how trying to be really clever and lawyerly about the text of a statute really misses the point of law in America (and likely elsewhere) -- the law is about power (not justice, not fairness). If you don't have actual political power, they'll fuck you over no matter how clever you think you are.