Colt made headlines yesterday after announcing that they will no longer manufacture the controversial AR-15 for civilians.They will continue to make AR-15’s for the military and law enforcement.
This news comes on the heels of four big U.S. retailers — Walmart, Kroger, CVS and Walgreens — joining a growing list of businesses asking civilian customers to leave their guns at home.
I wondered whether this would make a difference. Would less people now own AR-15s? Would people with evil intentions now have a harder time gaining access to these guns? Or does this make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves while the criminals remained armed?
After digging around for more information, I soon learned about “ghost guns.”
According to Wikipedia:
“A ghost gun is a firearm without serial numbers. By making the gun themselves, owners may legally bypass background checks and registration regulations. Under U.S. federal law, the creation and possession of ghost guns is allowed, but a license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution.”
In other words, you’re legally allowed to make an untraceable gun for yourself, you just can’t sell or give it to anyone.
Here is a video showing a man making an AR-15 in his office, legally.
Here is a report from ABC news about how you can legally make a firearm in the comfort of your own home.
In recent months in South Carolina, there have also been some attempts at regulating these guns at the government level.
The Mayor of Columbia tweeted in July that city council declared ghost guns a nuisance.
Are these attempts at gun regulation on the local level legal? Are they infringing upon the rights of SC citizens?
Rep. Jonathon Hill from the 8th district, Anderson County, asked these same questions of SC Attorney General, Alan Wilson.
No, they are not legal, and yes, they are infringing upon the rights of citizens, according to Rep. Hill. In a press release he stated:
“This opinion by Attorney General Wilson's office reaffirms that attempts by local governments to ban certain types of guns are illegal and are not likely to stand up in court.”
Hill continued, “I appreciate this thorough examination of this ordinance and of the laws of this state, and I now call on Attorney General Wilson, as chief prosecutor of South Carolina, to take the necessary legal actions to enforce state law and prevent further overreaches by local government officials.”
--from Rep. Jonathon Hill Press Release
Read Attorney General Wilson's opinion in full HERE
There have also been other attempts at various forms of gun control around the state.
According to Myrtle Beach Online, the Myrtle Beach County Council discussed a new ordinance that would prohibit firing a gun in most areas east of the Waccamaw River, within 500 feet of a major housing development of more than 11 houses, within 500 feet of a public building or park and on any road right-of-ways owned by Horry County. They voted against it, however, the issue is being sent back to a public safety committee for further debate and review.
According to the State, South Carolina’s Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has said that banning the AR-15 is not the answer. He has endorsed “red flag” gun control laws, saying the best way to curb mass shootings is for states to identify people who pose a threat to themselves or others and keep guns out of their hands. President Donald Trump has endorsed the idea.
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, a Graham and Trump ally, is waiting to see what emerges on Capitol Hill.
“We’re closely monitoring what President Trump and Senator Graham are working on at the federal level,” McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes said. “The governor believes we must be extremely careful with any legislation dealing with the Second Amendment, and he will never support any measure that eroded South Carolinians’ constitutional rights.”
So around and around we go. Left vs. Right, Democrat vs. Republican, Gun regulations vs. Right to Bear Arms, all these sides are fighting for their beliefs, but is anything getting done?