In today’s sociopolitical climate, we all need to do our best to be informed on the laws and issues surrounding Second Amendment rights.
Further, due to the fluctuating supply and demand of firearms, many of you may be considering alternatives to their traditional acquisition. From that perspective, let’s talk about an issue that is consistently present and has recently been dramatized by the media: “ghost guns.”
Looking Past The Media Hype
While I mention that term here, it is only to make sure that we are all considering the same thing, and moving forward, we need to do our best to constructively redefine the narrative and not perpetuate the media’s agenda by using that term.
The media’s sole intention is to associate fear with this issue; therefore, I will be referring to ghost guns as “personally-manufactured firearms.”
Federal And State Regulations
Under federal and state law, personally-manufactured firearms are legal to manufacture and possess. Although some states have laws restricting or, in some cases, outright banning personally-manufactured firearms. Kansas is not one of those states.
Licensed firearm manufacturers are required, pursuant to federal law, to engrave or otherwise imprint a serial number on the receiver or frame of all firearms for identification purposes. Personally-manufactured firearms on the other hand, are not required to have a serial number or any specific identifying characteristics.
Partial 80% Lower Receivers
Typically, a personally-manufactured firearm is built from partially pre-made lower receivers, commonly referred to as 80% lowers due to the amount of machining that has already been completed. These unfinished receivers make it easier to build a fully-functional firearm by yourself.
A partially-manufactured piece of metal, such as an 80% lower, may legally be used to complete a personally-manufactured firearm. You must mill or finish the receiver yourself, otherwise it will not be considered personally-manufactured. Though no serial number is required on a personally-manufactured firearm, if you have another, such as a gunsmith mill the receiver, a serial number would be required and the gunsmith would need to be a licensed manufacturer.
2 Things To Avoid When Building A Gun
There are 2 things you cannot do when manufacturing a firearm:
- No firearm may be made entirely of plastic under federal law which requires that firearms be detectable by conventional x-ray machines.
- You may not build a personally-manufactured firearm with the intention of selling it. As just indicated, manufacturing a firearm to sell requires a license and would require a serial number on the firearm.
For any further questions regarding personally-manufactured firearms or “ghost guns” in the State of Kansas, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
The preceding should not be construed as legal advice nor the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This is not an endorsement or solicitation for any service. Your situation may be different, so please contact your attorney regarding your specific circumstances. Because the laws, judges, juries, and prosecutors vary from location to location, similar or even identical facts and circumstances to those described in this presentation may result in significantly different legal outcomes. This presentation is by no means a guarantee or promise of any particular legal outcome, positive, negative, or otherwise.
From everything I have read regarding self-defense trial strategy, a box-stock (unmodified) firearm makes it easier to focus arguments on facts instead of perception/emotion.