I mentioned yesterday that I think building your own AR-15 makes a lot of sense in the current political climate. Today I’m going to tell you why, and give you some resources to make it happen.
Current Gun Control Push
The current gun control push is mostly about “assault weapons”, the erroneous term politicians use to demonize semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15. Again, how successful the politicians will be is yet to be determined, but make no mistake, they do not want us armed and will not give up their agenda easily.
Their game plan is to, at minimum, ban these types of weapons, preventing anyone from legally purchasing one in the future, and then to force everyone who currently owns one to register it. And, as everyone who has studied the history of gun control knows, registration has always led to confiscation.
Let’s say, academically speaking, because I’m sure no one who reads my blog would ever break the law, that you wanted to avoid this potential situation? Here’s how you do it.
The trick is to have an unregistered weapon, and specifically for this post, an unregistered weapon that you legally built yourself.
On an AR-15, the serialized portion of the firearm is the lower receiver. That is the only part that requires an FFL transfer (background check, etc) to purchase. Everything else can be purchased without an FFL, but without the lower receiver, these parts are just paperweights.
So in order to have an unregistered AR-15, you must have a lower receiver that does not have a serial number, and therefore does not require an FFL. The easiest way to do this is to get an unfinished lower receiver, also called an 80% lower receiver (I’ve also seen 95% lower receivers), and finish the receiver yourself.
What is an 80% Lower Receiver?
An 80% lower receiver is a partially completed piece of material that requires special tooling and skills to be completed and considered a firearm.
How can this possibly be legal?
I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on the internet. Don’t listen to me, do your own research, call Mr. Colion Noir, blah blah blah.
Regarding the legality of building your own unregistered weapon, the following is from The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). I chose to do a screen capture in case this post is viewed in the future after the law has been changed. Click for a larger image.
So according to the ATF, this is perfectly legal, as long you don’t sell it or give it away to someone else. Any further questions regarding legality, see disclaimer.
How To Do It
Once you find an 80% lower receiver, how do you finish it so that you can use it in your AR-15 build?
This video from Ares Armor does a good job of explaining at a high level what you need and what the process looks like. There are more detailed tutorials online, like this one from CNCguns.com, that walk you through the steps required to finish your 80% lower receiver.
Additionally, if you live near Ares Armor in southern California, you can attend one of the Ares Armor build parties where you can build out your 80% lower receiver. The key point is that if you know how to build an AR-15, then you’re most of the way there.
Everywhere I’ve looked online so far is sold out of 80% lowers for months, so this isn’t something you’re going to be able to do this weekend. But it’s important to know that this is an option, if and when you can find the parts.