People have been making their own homemade guns on United States soil since before we were even officially a country. It’s a tradition that’s deeply rooted in our constitution and history. So, is it legal to build a gun? To this day, it is still federally legal to make your own handgun, though some states have laws regulating it. When making your own gun, federal laws don’t require you to register it, pass a background check, or obtain a license, but many state laws still do. Homemade guns laws for personal use don’t require the firearms to have a serial number, which makes them untraceable. These homemade guns are also known as ‘ghost guns’ or ‘untraceable guns’.
Gun Control Act of 1968
The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) states that people who deal and sell firearms must be licensed by the Federal Government. It also states that firearms dealers must perform background checks and keep detailed records of all sales and transactions. However, this law pertains mostly to gun businesses and commercially sold guns. The GCA does not make any statements about homemade gun laws for people who want to make guns for their own personal use. Unless you are prohibited from possessing a gun, it is legal to build a gun in most states. Depending on your state’s laws, many people can purchase a widely available gun kit to create a firearm.
A receiver is the main part of a gun that houses the mechanical components and projects the bullets. Finished receivers are technically complete enough to be regulated under the GCA like any other firearm. Finished receivers need to be registered. Unfinished receivers, also called partial or 80% receivers, do not need registration or a serial number. These unfinished receivers need assembled and can easily be bought online or at gun shows. With a few basic shop tools, these guns can be assembled in less than a day to create fully functional and powerful weapons. The kits can create many types of guns from handguns to semi-automatic weapons.
Because these ghost guns are completely unregistered and untraceable, they are extremely popular among people who value their privacy and want to own something without feeling like they are being tracked. It is becoming increasingly common for gun owners to purchase these products despite the everchanging homemade gun laws in specific states. Whether you enjoy the hobby aspect of creating your own gun, you value your privacy, or you simply want something that’s “off the record,” a homemade gun is an excellent choice.
Is it legal to build a gun? Federal homemade gun law attempts have been made to regulate the sale of gun kits and the creation of ghost guns, but they have all failed. Only a few states have their own regulations and laws on homemade guns which you can read about in the following infographic. States not listed follow the federal law on homemade guns, but may require a license or permit to purchase or carry all or some types of firearms.