So, NBC’s “investigative reporter” Jeff Rossen is once again spreading false information to keep people afraid of guns. This time he is talking about “ghost guns,” a term he uses to describe firearms made from gun parts kits sold both in retail stores and online. Alrighty then, now that you’ve had your fill of bullsh*t for the day, let’s look at the facts.
A legal loophole means that anyone, including criminals, can order a so-called “ghost gun” off the web without a background check – a gun with no serial number that can’t be traced.
The guns are built from kits and arrive in pieces, so under existing law, when they’re shipped, they aren’t guns. When assembled by their buyers, they’re lethal – and legal.
Federal officials like Graham Barlowe, the resident agent in charge of the ATF’s Sacramento office, say the loophole is dangerous.
“People that could not pass a background check,” said Barlowe, “are purchasing these unfinished receiver kits and making firearms because they know that if they went to a gun store, they wouldn’t be able to pass a background check.”
Police say criminals are well aware of the availability of “ghost guns,” and they’ve been used in shootings across the country, from Maryland to California.
Jeff Rossen, NBC News national investigative correspondent, went online to see how easy it would be to order these gun kits. He quickly found dozens of websites offering the product, and ordered a rifle kit, which he had shipped to former ATF agent Rick Vasquez in Virginia.
All the parts needed to assemble a gun were in the box when it arrived. It took Vasquez a couple of hours to assemble the weapon.
“This is now a completed semi-automatic firearm,” said Vasquez, showing it to Rossen. Rossen noted that there was no serial number on the finished product, making it untraceable.
Said Vasquez, “That is correct … You cannot trace this firearm.” He and Rossen then took the weapon to a range and fired it, where in Vasquez’s expert opinion, it “work[ed] great.”
Here’s the thing: former ATF agent Rick Vasquez and Jeff Rossen are boldly and directly lying to the viewers/readers of NBC News. I know this from firsthand experience, as I’ve built semi-automatic firearms from the ground up, including AR-15s and an AKM.
You cannot buy “all the parts” for any firearm online and simply slap the pieces together to build a functioning firearm as they mislead viewers, and this is a very easy claim to debunk.
Every firearm made or imported into the United States has a part of the frame or receiver that the ATF recognizes as the actual firearm that carries the serial number. All the other pieces are just parts. It is these other pieces—barrels, stocks, handguards, sights, triggers, etc—that can be bought online or in retail stores as individual parts or in parts kits, but the receiver must either be purchased as a serialized firearm like a whole gun, or it must be manufactured from an incomplete piece of material into a functional firearm.
This is where Vasquez and NBC News are misleading you.
The metal part shown about is an unfinished lower receiver for an AR-15 manufactured by 80% Arms. Let me be very clear when I tell you that you cannot simply assemble this into a firearm by slapping other parts onto it…