Gun rights advocates were quick to spot the ignorance that defined California State Senator Kevin de Leόn’s press conference announcement of a bill to ban what he called “ghost guns,” his hysterical legislative response to plastic printing technology applied to firearms and to unfinished lower receivers requiring milling and drilling by enthusiasts who build their own rifles from parts. Spouting nonsensical terms like “sniper automatic weapons,” de Leόn’s presentation bordered on the bizarre with his claim “This right here has ability with a 30-caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty-magazine clip in half a second.”

The thing is, to his fellow anti-gun colleagues in the California Legislature, the senator was making what they refer to as “common sense,” meaning they don’t like any guns and want to torpedo anything and everything to do with them, whether the promised reasons behind edicts and bans materialize or not.

That’s clear from the results of the Golden State’s law on microstamping, enacted under the promise that requiring all semiautomatic handguns to imprint identifying information on shell casings would, in the words of bill author Mike Feuer, allow authorities “to crack down on gun crime and to put behind bars gun criminals who otherwise would never be effectively prosecuted because there would never be a lead in those cases.”

The upshot of that?

“Recently Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger put even more weight behind that argument,” Kirk Siegler reported on NPR’s Business News. “They’re stopping selling handguns in California markets altogether, rather than comply with the new law.”

That’s not quite accurate.

“It is incorrect … to assert that Ruger is pulling out of California, as so many have said,” Tom Gresham told me, referencing his interview on the nationally-syndicated “Gun Talk” radio program with Ruger CEO Mike Fifer. “Ruger is not stopping sending guns for approval by California. It continues to submit semi-autos for approval, just as it always has. Of course, [the state] is rejecting the pistols because they do not incorporate microstamping.”

“My prediction is within a year or two, they’re all gone,” Fifer told Gresham. “Everything’s off the list.”

“[A]lthough it continually seeks ways to refine and improve its firearms so that consumers have access to the best possible products, the State of California is making that impossible when it comes to California residents,” Smith & Wesson said in a company press release explaining its position. “Under California’s ‘Unsafe Handgun Act,’ any new semi-automatic pistol introduced into that state must comply with microstamping laws.

“Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms,” the release explained. “A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes.”

Both companies have filed statements supporting the Second Amendment Foundation’s lawsuit challenging the microstamping law. But that process takes years, and there is no guarantee of outcome.

In the mean time, de Leόn’s “ghost gun” terminology could become eerily appropriate, albeit not in reference to the plastic kind. If California gunbusters get their way, they’ll kill the industry, and nothing will remain but haunting memories of a betrayed and vanished spirit.
By David Codrea

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6 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Ghost Guns

  1. Robert Bostick

    I have maintained for years the way to stop these attacks on our Constitutional rights is for all the gun manufacturers and ammunition manufacturers to stop selling pistols, rifles and ammunition to all law enforcement agencies in the State of California. Emphasize that they, the manufacturers, will start selling those items again when the California legislature stops all these efforts and in conjunction with the manufacturers associations, repeal all those laws they have passed that violate the intent of the Second Amendment. Do that and the law enforcement agencies will force them to stop it!!

    1. Jim C.

      I’ve been advocating the same thing for NY State. They’re so worried about short term profits they can’t think for the long term.

  2. biker6666

    Obviously California and New York law enforcement agencies do not need firearms – they have “gun control”.

  3. hutch1200

    Ron Barrett refuses to sell .50 cals to LEOs in Ca. He refuses to repair or ship them back. Drive here & pick them up! Balz, thy name is Ron Barrett! His letter below, but read the whole thing.
    It saddened me to have to tell members of the LAPD SWAT team that they would have to send someone for their rifle, because I refused to assist anyone or any organization that is in violation of the United States Constitution. In turn, the department arranged to pick up their un-serviced rifle.

    Barrett cannot legally sell any of its products to lawbreakers.

  4. cam alft

    funny, remember obama saying “were not coming after your guns,were not going to take your shotguns or your rifles or your pistols, were just not doing that,” like we didn’t see right through that comment obama! but you thought we were stupid and said it anyways!
    and how is it that LAPD can’t repair their own rifles? are they that stupid and low brow that they can’t do repairs themselves or with a trained gunsmith? are there laws that prohibit this? and i know that CHP has officially labeled them selves a militarized law enforcement unit! which was them saying that they are “commies”, but that’s me…just saying

  5. Tiger451

    I worked in the state prison for 20 years, and I’ve seen many officers lose their jobs due to stupid laws enacted in Sacramento. You can’t be a peace officer and own a 50 cal. rifle in this state. If you had a restraining order against you even 40 years ago, you lose all professional licenses and your right to own guns. Corrections officers, Police officers,even Medical proffessionals such as Physicians, Nurses, X-ray Techs, and Respiratory Therapists ect. will lose their livelyhood due to these stupid laws. To make matters worse, you can’t adopt or sponsor foster children if you own a gun. To go to the gun range, we go in groups with the ammo in a seperate locked container in the trunk of one car and our rifles with a trigger lock attached in the trunk of another car. The officers are now trained to look upon us as potential terrorists worse than gang members especially if you are 40 to 70 years of age. Vietnam & Gulf War vets were trained before PC took over & the Dept. Brass fears them.


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