The Importance of Homemade Firearms and Jstark
Fortunately, the right to make firearms is relatively uninfringed here in the USA, at least when compared with other nations. Anyone allowed to possess a firearm is also allowed to create a firearm using any means at their disposal, as long as it doesn't break any other firearm rules, like the NFA. It does not need to be serialized unless it is transferred to another person, and its maker doesn't need to get a background check while he is making it.
Furthermore, the non-homemade firearm business in the USA is booming. There are so many aftermarket parts and third-party accessories available for purchase that a DIY gunsmith can get almost anything imaginable for whatever project he is contemplating. With the ATF's current definition, only the lower receiver of the firearm is technically a gun, and everything else can be bought and sold online almost without restriction. Everything that is hard to make is unserialized and easy to buy, and everything that is serialized and hard to buy is easy to make.
In other nations, this opportunity for creative freedom is not permitted. Most of Europe has criminalized the home manufacture of firearms, and the possession of firearm parts and ammunition is often a crime even for those who have jumped through all the hoops to obtain a gun-owner's license for a different firearm. As new manufacturing techniques have made firearms easier and easier to make, gun control advocates have become increasingly opposed to simple manufacturing tools, 3D files, technical drawings, or even basic information about firearm design.
Obviously, 3D-printed firearms get a lot of focus in the press. American media outlets and politicians are increasingly vocal about stopping "ghost guns," and their European counterparts are even more committed to preventing private invention of these tools.
In the late '90s, the late Philip Luty designed a crude submachine gun that could be built from sheet steel using hand tools. His construction of the weapon, and his book of instructions, was meant to make a political point about the impossibility of total gun control. The proponents of total gun control jailed him for five years and then, years after his release, raided his house and attempted to punish him a second time for the same crime using new anti-terrorism laws. Luty, by then an old man with advanced cancer, died before he could be sentenced.
And yet, in the midst of increased crackdowns, the pursuit of freedom of information, freedom of manufacture, and freedom of arms has continued in Europe. Hobbyists in the EU do not have the luxury of thousands of pre-made off-the-shelf firearm parts to build around. Hence, their designs require considerably more ingenuity and improvisation.
The most advanced homebuilt firearm that has come out of Europe is the FGC-9; a 9mm subgun with a 3D printed upper and lower, standardized springs and fasteners from regular hardware stores, and a rifled barrel that is electro-chemically machined from a steel pipe. The FGC-9 is a surprisingly capable and robust gun for how simply it can be made, and since its release in 2020, its design files have spread far and wide.
Unfortunately, the designer of the FGC-9 will not be around to see how effective his creation will ultimately become. The 28-year-old inventor, known only as "JStark" on the internet, passed away on October 8th, apparently from a freak heart attack after his home was raided by German police on October 6th. At this time, it's not clear whether he died in police custody or if he was found dead later.
JStark was hunted by international law enforcement after he published his design files and allowed himself to be interviewed by Popular Front for their documentary "Plastic Defense". According to an article in the German magazine Der Spiegel, it was British financial investigators who discovered his identity and tipped off the German police. Der Spiegel was also quick to equate JStark with the 2019 Halle shooter, who unsuccessfully attacked a synagogue with a mysterious 3D-printed replica of a Luty gun, heavily implying that anyone making guns must be planning to misuse them.
This false assumption will cripple a society. The nation that tries to ban all weapons will eventually need to ban all tools that can be used to make weapons, then ban all information about how to construct the tools that can be used to make weapons, and so on. Gun control inherently requires total gun control, which inherently requires total control, always.
Isaac Botkin talked about Jstark and the future of 3D-printed firearms on the T.REX Talk Podcast this week, which you can listen to here.
Stephen Gutowski analyzed the bent of mainstream media coverage of how David Chipman lost his ATF Directorship nomination. Unsurprisingly, it's pretty slanted.
Norway has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe, which tragically contributed to five deaths caused by a murderer shooting random shoppers with a bow and arrows last week.
Quote of the Week
"If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore, what he must be taught to fear is his victim." — Jeff Cooper
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