JSD Supply’s Take on ‘The Rise of Ghost Guns’

Our Second Amendment exists to protect the rights of everyday, law-abiding Americans to “keep and bear arms” and, by extension, to create those arms with their own two hands, sweat, and resources. This is a fundamental right–considered so important that the Bill of Rights to which it belonged had to be agreed to as an addition to the United States Constitution before our founders could reach a consensus on adopting the United States Constitution. It is a right we believe passionately in. Unfortunately, when discussing, justifying, and defending a right–even to those who should understand the Second Amendment was put into place to protect, among other things, the First Amendment, guaranteeing the freedom of the press–it can be difficult to gauge just how wide the gap in understanding is. It was a situation I experienced first hand when interviewed for a segment on NBC News Now aired on March 17, 2022.

The News About The News

We all grew up watching the giants of reporting delivering the facts to our TV sets and through our radios. That’s a far cry from today’s infotainment news landscape, where our “trusted” sources are planned out by programming directors, focus groups, ratings polls, and advertising executives who need shows that drive ad sales. You need big stories, dramatic editing, and it helps if you have an ax to grind, whether or not an issue is really an issue in the way you want to frame it. 

The NBC News Now segment was an unabashed hit piece designed not to inform but to persuade viewers through fear. A quick watch of not just the aired segment but the full raw interview shows that the questions posed and the context presented around those questions were approached from an anti-Second Amendment perspective. The statements I made that ended up on the cutting room floor were excluded for a reason. Luckily, the Second Amendment continues to do its job, and technology makes it easier than ever for me to use my freedom of speech to talk directly to the public about our rights, the products we sell, and the misleading statements and conjecture presented on NBC.

Under federal law and in accordance with court precedent, 80% lowers, parts kits, assembled slides, and barrels are not firearms. They do not chamber a round, fire a bullet, or function as anything except paperweights until they are assembled into a working firearm using tools to drill holes, cut away material, smooth edges, place parts, tap pins, and tension springs. These pieces do not just fall into place. You have to have the right tools, learn where and how to use those tools, and take your time to do it right, or else you could end up with a ruined paperweight. 

This process of completing a firearm build takes at least a few hours for most kit purchasers, precisely because it is not a firearm that is ready to be assembled but rather kits filled with parts. In the video, multiple people make statements that imply the average purchaser will take far less time. An experienced firearms handler, gunsmith, or armorer–such as a person who makes their living selling guns parts or special agents from an anti-gun attorney general’s office–will likely be able to build a firearm from a kit faster due to their specialized training and experiences. 

“Ghost Guns” Don’t Exist

When you build a gun using parts from an 80% lower kit, you’re building a non-serialized firearm. The term “ghost gun” is akin to “assault rifle” in the sense that it doesn’t really mean anything but that it’s used to scare the public into believing one gun, by its nature, is more dangerous than another. Quite the contrary, 80% lowers are designed to let their owners use the parts to construct a firearm that offers the same quality, engineering, and production values as a commercially produced firearm, but with the pride and knowledge that come from assembling it yourself. The scary moniker of “ghost gun” is needed to convince you there is a difference so the people using them don’t have to address the fact their goal often isn’t no “ghost guns” but no guns, period.

In addition, it’s also important to understand that “ghost gun” is not only used interchangeably with non-serialized firearms legally manufactured for private use but also de-serialized firearms, often stolen, which have their identifying marks filed away to make it harder to link the criminal to the theft of a firearm. This is done not only by the media but by some law enforcement agencies who make no distinction when reporting statistics–muddying the water and placing all homemade firearms on the same moral and ethical level as stolen–in an effort to deflect attention from legitimate crime by vilifying homemade firearms enthusiasts.

80% Lowers Do Not Lead To More Violence

As I said when questioned by NBC, guns are not violent–people are violent. You don’t want a violent person to have any gun, and that is exactly why laws prohibit some people–those with criminal backgrounds, drug addictions, and domestic assault convictions, for example–from owning a firearm. They are not legally allowed to assemble parts into a firearm or legally purchase one. The report cites a rise in both confiscated “ghost guns” and a rise in gun crime, inferring the two are intrinsically linked. 

The far larger problem is the meteoric rise in stolen firearms, including stolen non-serialized weapons, that both arm the criminal and rob the common citizen of a valuable self-defense tool. Homemade firearms make up a fraction of the guns confiscated by law enforcement agencies and/or used in crimes. Far from prohibiting valid paths to self-defense for the average American, agencies and media exposés should focus on lapses in law enforcement, prosecution, and rehabilitation that protects gun owners and the general public.

Serial Numbers Don’t Make Guns Or People Safer

A lot of focus is placed on homemade firearms being “untraceable” and unregulated while also alleging that they are present on the streets in large numbers. At one point, the news report even vaguely claims that “many” people buying firearms kits are criminals skirting the law–a statement that contradicts the “untraceable” fear-mongering directly. The implication is that you should be afraid because you can’t be sure who has a scary “ghost gun.” The inconvenient truth is that serial numbers don’t prevent crime. They just give the government a window into your personal affairs. Once again, the true purpose of this allegation is to vilify all firearms, one by one, dividing the community to chip away at your second amendment rights. 

A quick look at the large number of stolen firearms (one every five seconds, on average) or the number of serialized firearms versus the number of homemade guns confiscated shows that commercial firearms are stolen, illegally purchased, and misused in much larger numbers, with no thought given to the serial number. With these weapons, a serial number did not prevent the last crime, and it won’t prevent the next one. Prevention comes from responsible gun owners who make, store, and use their guns properly, diligent law enforcement officers who work to arrest criminals, effective prosecution by attorneys general who are more worried about public safety than getting in front of a camera, and legislators who enact sensible laws that don’t turn law-abiding Americans exercising their constitutional freedoms into criminals.

Who Buys 80% Lower Parts Kits?

Our customers are adult Americans who want to enjoy making a quality firearm in their home, workshop, or garage for their own personal use. They love their freedom, privacy, and the constitution that protects both of those traditional values. They buy their parts and tools, do their research, and make a gun they’re proud of at the range, use proudly while hunting, or rely on for self-defense. They’re your neighbors, your coworkers, and your friends. They may even be you.

We’re proud to offer legal gun parts and kits to our customers because the right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed, even when you want to build those arms yourself. Enjoy your rights and join the American tradition of self-sufficiency. Order your 80% lowers, precision gun parts, tools, and accessories from JSD Supply today.