This is the AR-15. There’s more than 5 million in circulation in the US. It’s a military grade semi-automatic rifle whose ammunition has been intentionally designed to be lighter and more aerodynamic. Years ago, the gun’s manufacturer discovered that using lighter, more aerodynamic ammunition would be more deadly on the battlefield. Heavier ammunition tended to hit a human target and pass through the body. The lighter weight ammo tends to hit the body and ricochet around inside doing considerably more internal damage.
The AR-15 is the same weapon used by the mass killers...
- ... at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas…
- …at the Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas...
- …at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida...
- …at the Regional Center building in San Bernardino, California...
- …at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut...
- …at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado...
- …among many others.
It is legal to own an AR-15.
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The buyer must be over the age of 18, pass a background check and in some states, pass a firearm’s safety test. Also, the buyer may not be on the terrorist watch list, be a convicted felon – or, have been convicted of some misdemeanors – the buyer may not be addicted to a narcotic, or have been charged with domestic abuse, you can’t be on probation, you can’t be suffering from a diagnosed mental condition, and you can’t be a member of Larry The cable Guy’s fan club.
Some states have a waiting period before you can take the gun home to show friends how big your penis is. California requires AR-15 owners to register their weapon’s serial number and provide a Lifehack that will stop guacamole from turning brown 5 mintes after you make it.
In 45 states it’s legal for an ar-15 owner to carry it loaded and walk down nearly any street or into nearly any building. In Texas, AR-15s are the preferred gift at weddings, bar-mitzvah’s and when a baby is born.
This is an AR-15, as well (see above). It shoots the same ammunition as the first AR-15. It shoots those light weight bullets I told you about earlier that cause catastrophic internal damage upon contact with human flesh.
This AR-15 is the same exact gun in every conceivable way.
Well, except one.
The buyer of this AR-15 does not have to pass an ATF background check…
Let me repeat that for the sake of clarity.
The buyer of this AR-15 can be on the terrorist watch list, can be on probation, can be a convicted felon, can be suffering from a debilitating mental condition or even Larry the Cable Guy, himself.
The buyer of this AR-15 doesn’t have to ever take a firearm’s safety test, if they live in a state that otherwise requires one for gun ownership.
The buyer of this gun does not have to wait 5 days or even 5 minutes to take this gun home, even if their state has a waiting period on gun ownership.
How is this possible?
How is it possible to own this military grade weapon, the same one used in the deadliest mass murder in modern US history, with the intentionally designed light weight ammunition that does catastrophic damage when it comes into contact with human flesh…without a federal background check?
Well, it has to do with this.
This partially milled, partially finished hunk of metal (See above).
This hunk of metal will become part of the AR-15. Some people called it the lower receiver. The ATF calls it a “receiver blank.”
On the web or at gun shows you’ll see them called “80% lowers. Or, 80% receivers.” And as far as the government is concerned, this lower receiver is the only part of the AR-15 that actually constitutes as a “firearm”.
To the ATF, the rest of the gun is the same as Lady Gaga’s backup dancers… Totally pointless. Sexy, yes. But, pointless.
HOWEVER – until this “Lower receiver” is finished being milled and drilled, it’s just a hunk of metal… and as such, the buyer of said “hunk of metal” is not subject to a federal firearm’s background check.
You see, when this “lower receiver” is finally finished being assembled with the rest of the parts of an AR-15, it will hold the trigger and the ammo magazine.
And the way the hunk of metal becomes operational is to have the top part milled out using a router… and the side part that will hold the selector, hammer and pins and trigger, has be machined out using a drill press.
Many companies that sell these 80% kits (which include all the parts of an AR-15) usually ALSO sell a jig kit with the precise instructions how to attach the jig pieces to the receiver… and explain precisely where and how to drill.
In fact, there are dozens and dozens of videos on-line that walk gun owners through the process of completing the milling of their hunk of junk.
It would take someone with the right skills less than an hour to mill and drill out the receiver… If you were kinda dopey, like me, it would likely take a few hours.
Oh, and the cost of a fully functioning low-end AR-15 is about $1500.
The cost of owning the one you do yourself? About half.
So – now that you know all of this, what are you supposed to do? How do you fix this problem? Yeah, I don’t know…Except, I do know this:
- ...more babies...
- ...and kids...
- ...and church goers...
- ...and music fans...
- ...and…. people...
...are gonna get murdered before we figure it out.
Jon Hotchkiss is the host of Be Less Stupid (see video above). Like the Facebook Page for more videos.