Earlier this month, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act, a bill that targets “ghost guns,” or unregistered firearms without serial numbers.
Article by Brett Cooper from FEE.
Also called “kit guns” or “80% guns,” most are built at home from manufacturer-produced gun kits. Improvised weapons, also known as “pipe guns,” are another variation, and they’re constructed using 3D-printed parts or salvaged and repurposed materials.
The proposed law would place strict limitations on the obtainment and manufacture of these guns. For example, it would prohibit building or housing a homemade, 3D-printed firearm, as well as trading a kit gun with a friend. Punishments for an initial violation include fines and up to a year in prison. Subsequent violations can incur up to a five-year sentence.
A False Premise
According to Blumenthal, the goal of the act is to “ensure that violent extremists, domestic abusers, and foreign terrorists can’t evade background checks and other safety measures by building weapons at home instead of buying them from a store.”
Yet, the data simply do not support the premise that ghost guns promote violent crime.
Last month, RealClearPolitics reporter Philip Wegmann asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for data on how many violent crimes are actually committed with “ghost guns.”
Psaki was stumped for an answer, but offered that “the experts who are joining us here today have a bunch of data that they could share with you.”
That didn’t happen, however. Instead, the White House later forwarded him publically available numbers on how many untraceable guns were confiscated in various states.
“According to the D.C. Attorney General’s Office, Metropolitan Police recovered three ghost guns in 2017, 25 in 2018, and 116 in 2019,” RealClearPolitics reported. “Baltimore City Police reported confiscating 126 ghost guns in 2020. That same year, authorities in Los Angeles said they recovered more than 700 ghost guns.”
Separate data show other US cities had similarly low figures.
Meanwhile, a 2019 Department of Justice report based on the 2016 Survey of Prison inmates estimated that 287,400 prisoners had possessed a firearm during their offense.
“Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%),” the report said.
While 25 percent of prisoners surveyed said they obtained their firearm from a friend or family member as a gift, one category is notably absent from the DOJ report, critics of the policy pointed out.
“Not a single one appears to have said he made his own weapon,” Sen. Ted Cruz noted at a recent committee hearing. “Hear that again. The Department of Justice asked violent criminals where they got their guns. Zero said it was a so-called ghost gun.”
Despite these findings, in May the DOJ proposed a rule that would redefine the word “firearm” to crack down on ghost guns. The reclassification would cause gun kits to be regulated to the same extent as manufactured firearms.
Once again, the legislation is rationalized by the threat of violent crime.
“We are committed to taking commonsense steps to address the epidemic of gun violence that takes the lives of too many people in our communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.
In their proposal, the DOJ reports that in the last five years, 325 ghost guns were used in connection with homicides or attempted homicide. This number makes up less than 1 percent of homicides that occurred during that period.
Missing the Target
While the danger of ghost guns has been overblown, the legislation itself poses a genuine threat. It would deprive peaceful, law-abiding citizens of essential rights enshrined in the Constitution.
Not only would it infringe on our right to bear arms, as described by the Second Amendment, it would also violate our right to privacy, as described in the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures.
To mandate gun “traceability” is to abolish gun privacy. It constitutes a standing dragnet “search” of all private firearms and makes them much easier to seize.
Violations like this hamper the ability of individuals to defend themselves against threats… including those posed by their own governments.
Although it is often sneered at as “fringe,” standing up for gun privacy against the government is an American tradition that stretches all the way back to the beginning of the Revolution.
In 1774, the British began routinely searching homes and confiscating the guns of Boston colonists under Royal Governor Thomas Gage. This was an attempt to quash the brewing revolution. The Boston Gazette wrote that, out of all of the British Crown’s abuses and usurpations, this government overstep was among the most outrageous.
In April of the next year, British troops marched towards Lexington and Concord under orders to find hidden arms. When they arrived, they were met by a citizen militia. Gage commanded the Americans to throw down their weapons.
The men refused to comply.
The Redcoats were ordered to confiscate as many guns and as much ammunition as possible. It was this threat against the right to bear arms that provoked “the shot heard round the world,” sparking the first military engagement of the American Revolution.
The Americans who fought at Lexington and Concord understood that the right to bear arms was essential to the protection of all other rights against government usurpation. This was the express reason for including the Second Amendment in the Constitution.
The subsequent track record of totalitarian governments around the world shows how prescient they were.
Just as essential as the right to bear arms is the right to conceal arms, as the residents of Lexington and Concord did. If Governor Gage had recourse to a comprehensive gun registry, disarming the Americans would have been much easier. Instead of a provocative mass search, Gage could have done the job with quieter targeted raids.
It was the colonists’ experience with unjust searches and seizures, like Gage’s gun hunt, that led to the inclusion of the Fourth Amendment in the Constitution.
Modern-day Americans should keep this lesson in mind as more restrictive gun control legislation continues to come down the pike. With each new law like the Untraceable Firearms Act, citizens have ever fewer means to obtain and retain their chief line of defense against criminal threats—whether from private actors or future tyrants.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are pacing to be short by about $3700 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
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