The Reload, the new site from gun reporter Stephen Gutowski, has a preliminary, leaked draft of a forthcoming rule on “ghost guns.”
As I’ve discussed previously, it’s legal to make your own guns for personal use, and these guns don’t need serial numbers — but the law is ambiguous as to how much businesses can help you. Specifically, serial numbers and background checks are needed when a business sells a “firearm,” a term that applies not only to fully functional weapons but also to a gun’s “frame or receiver” or a weapon that “may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.”
Currently, companies can sell receivers that are “80 percent” complete, meaning they still need some machining, but nothing too elaborate. Some companies have even been selling full kits, which include the 80 percent receiver and the other parts needed to make a gun.
The proposal would tighten up the standards dramatically. It would treat “a weapon parts kit that is designed to or may readily be assembled, completed, converted, or restored to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive” as a firearm. So too a “partially complete” receiver that “is clearly identifiable as an unfinished component part of a weapon” and “may readily be completed, assembled, converted, or restored to a functional state.”