So-called “fact checkers” and Big Tech inadvertently validated Gun Owners of America’s concerns while targeting a tweet as disinformation for censorship.
Immediately following passage of the “Untraceable Firearms” section of H.R. 7910, Gun Owners of America tweeted that the bill would “criminalize disassembling, cleaning, and re-assembling your gun without a firearm manufacturer’s license.”
Despite labeling the tweet “false,” the Associated Press’ source presumes Gun Owners of America’s interpretation might be valid, acknowledges that the bill’s language is “confusing and ambiguous,” and instead claims that no one is likely to “ever be charged under this statute.”
The Supreme Court usually declares such laws “void for vagueness” under the 5th Amendment, but that hardly makes policy analyses of unconstitutionally vague legislation untrue!
In fact, GOA was merely pointing out that the definition of a “ghost gun” was so vague that it included many unserialized parts on guns in circulation today, like a slide on a handgun or an upper receiver on a rifle or shotgun.
With “assembling” a “ghost gun” criminalized by H.R. 7910, gun owners would no longer be able to disassemble their firearms, clean them, and “assembl[e]” them back into “a functional firearm” if even one unserialized part meets the new definition of a “ghost gun.” The fact-checkers claim that this only applies to manufacturers, but the bill states “it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture…a ghost gun.”
That is why all of the Associated Press’ sources lean heavily on the qualifier “serialized.”
For example, the “AP’S ASSESSMENT” emphasized that the ban didn’t apply to “firearms [with] serial numbers” and a Giffords gun control activist emphasized that the law wouldn’t affect “a firearm that is serialized.” Again, they must have intentionally skipped over the other portion of the same bill that changes the current definition of parts that would be subject to serialization or otherwise be classified as “ghost guns.” Our research indicates that several parts of most modern firearms would meet this new definition (see examples mentioned above).
Therefore, if most guns today are made up of multiple unserialized “ghost gun” parts, as the bill proposes, then you won’t be able to clean your gun without violating the law unless you have a firearm manufacturer’s license.
Big picture: these anti-gun Democrats didn’t even do their own research, because when ATF tried the same definition change last year, GOA and our activists fought back, and ATF later acknowledged and backtracked [Page 24727] this change.