Democrats Introduce Bill Requiring Background Checks for Guns Built at Home

In this April 10, 2013 file photo, newly made AR-15 rifles stand in a rack at Stag Arms in New Britain, Conn. The gun manufacturing company pleaded guilty Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in federal court in Hartford, Conn., to violating federal firearms laws. Owner Mark Malkowski has agreed to sell …
AP/Charles Krupa, file

Democrat Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL-10) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13) are pushing legislation to require law-abiding citizens to pass a background check before assembling a gun from a parts kit at home.

Note–it is 100 percent legal for a law-abiding citizen to assemble such a gun and assembling an AR-15 from a parts kit and an 80 percent complete lower receiver is very popular in states that don’t ban it. People who like to do projects in their garage throw themselves into the work of finishing the 80 percent lower then adding parts to build a complete firearm.

But Schneider and Espaillat see this a “loophole” in gun laws and they want to do away with it with the “Ghost Guns Are Guns Act.” The text of their act says, “To amend title 18, United States Code, to require firearm assembly kits to be considered to be firearms.”

The Patch quoted the press release that accompanied the introduction of the Act, which said:

Reducing gun violence starts with strong background checks, but some purchasers evade these safeguards by buying firearms online as assembly kits. These frequently impossible to track ghost guns are not subject to background checks under current law and are more likely to be used in violent crimes.

Notice how they frame it. Instead of just saying that building such a gun is a legal endeavor that law-abiding citizens enjoy, Schneider and Espaillat present it as a way that citizens are skirting the system. Moreover, they claim–without providing any evidence–that guns built from kits “are more likely to be sued in violent crimes.” Where is the proof for this claim?

Schneider said, “I’m proud to help introduce this commonsense legislation to close the loophole, expand background checks, and improve the safety of our communities by making it more difficult for these deadly weapons to fall into the wrong hands.” Two things need to be pointed out: 1. Expanding background checks is at the heart of this latest gun control effort and Schneider’s words prove it. 2. His language e have to prevent guns built from kits from falling into the wrong hands paints of a picture of the law-abiding citizen as incapable of retaining the firearms they build; as if law-abiding citizens are regularly misplacing guns built from kits, causing them “to fall into the wrong hands.” His argument is convoluted at best, deceptive at worst.

NBC News reports that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) plans to support legislation giving the federal government power to regulate “ghost guns.” But Schumer warns that it will be an uphill battle because “the NRA is so unreasonable.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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