[He’s back! I get to talk about ghost guns again!]
The National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA is a Depart of Defense budget. It funds the military, pays its people, buys its equipment, etc. But as with most legislation there is always pork, little stuck on bits of pet projects that take a few million here and a few million there to fund.
One being hailed by Max Rose, Congressman from New York, would require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct an annual threat assessment on home built firearms.
“Unregistered, untraceable ghost guns have been used by terrorists seeking to inflict mass casualties, including just this year in California and Germany,” Rose, a Democrat representing Staten Island and South Brooklyn, told Newsweek in a written statement. “They are a real and growing threat to our public safety, causing incredible challenges to the already hard work of our law enforcement.” – Newsweek
Terrorists, Congressman? That was a highschool kid who murder/suicided himself and two schoolmates for are unknown combination of stressors, but by all means let’s lump him in next to folks like ISIS and Boko Haram, totally the same.
Rose originally introduced his portion of the legislation in May to combat the increasing prevalence of ghost guns, which are assembled from individual parts that don’t meet the technical definition of a firearm under the 1968 Gun Control Act. His bill would require DHS to examine the potential for ghost guns to be used by terrorists and debrief local law enforcement agencies on its findings.
Here is my ultimate question… Why? Why are we adding this spending to DHS budget to research a known quantity? Politico types, like Rose, are constantly acting like ‘Ghost Guns’ are a new threat and that DIY firearms are a brand new never before seen thing. Far from it.
Let me save you the time and you can send me the check, Congressman.
The threat posed by nonserialized firearms to law enforcement and the population, in the hands of terrorist or organized criminals, is roughly the same as those of serialized firearms in the same caliber. Weapons in the hands of a group with ill intent are a threat regardless of if they are stamped with a number on the side or not.
This threat, the threat of an armed hostile or hostile group, is not significantly altered, nor is their capacity for causing damage significantly altered, by the lack of a serial number on their firearms. The inability for Law Enforcement to source a DIY firearms exact origin will not impact that firearms lethality if used against someone else.
Individuals willing to violate federal and state laws to arm themselves with a DIY gun would be equally willing to utilize theft, straw purchase, or peer to peer methods to acquire weapons with or without serial numbers. Organized crime and terror cells, being better funded and with a higher level of operational training and experience to draw from will be far more adept at using any available method to acquire arms illicitly and use them to effect (Bataclan Theatre Attack) in defiance of laws.
“Despite the best efforts by the gun lobby and Republicans in Congress to stop any progress on addressing the gun violence epidemic, I’m proud to see my legislation to help give law enforcement the tools and critical information they need to address ghost guns on track to be signed into law,” Rose added.
I’m as curious as the next guy about the DIY numbers but for very different reasons. Academically, I would be curious to see if there is a significant proliferation of the firearms, what they are associated with if tied to unlawful conduct, and whether or not an increase in unlawful conduct is prevalent.
But I’m also a home tinkerer and like working on my own guns. And I would bet those numbers dwarf the illicit ones, just as the serialized numbers of lawful and peaceful owners dwarf the miscreants of all backgrounds and motivations.
Good try though, Congressman Rose, if it does pass within the NDAA I will be curious about the how much of the information we already knew and just what that price tag that big repeat button came at.