Proposed ban on parts kits being introduced

You knew it was going to happen. The Congress has tried just about everything else in terms of a gun ban, so now they’re turning their attention to banning parts kits. Why ban parts kits you may ask? Because John Zawahri, the man who shot-up a Santa Monica college campus last June, obtained his rifle by ordering parts online and building it himself as reported by the Huffington Post.

John Zawahri firearms

A police photo taken of John Zawahri’s firearms and gear. Note the AR15 upper without the lower and the 1858 Remington revolver.

What the Huffington Post doesn’t tell us is how he obtained the lower receiver of the AR15 used in the shooting which is considered the firearm and isn’t something you can order online and have delivered to your house legally. Other news reports are saying that Zawahri ordered a legal 80% lower and followed instructions online on how to complete the machining processes to make the AR15 lower. A number of companies sell partially complete AR15 lowers for people to buy and build into complete rifles, which is perfectly legal in most cases. The BATF has no jurisdiction over firearms Americans make for themselves outside of the NFA laws which restrict short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, pistols with stocks, machine guns, suppressors, etc. which is the way it should be, IMHO.

Making a firearm really isn’t all that difficult to be honest, with $50 and 20 minutes in my local hardware store I can buy the necessary components to make a crude firearm. If I had any machining skills what-so-ever, I could knock out a far more refined firearm in a couple of days. It’s pointless to try and stop people from making legal firearms for their own use just as it was pointless to ban alcohol in 1920. Plus, we’ve now had what, a total of  one killer use a home made gun in a spree shooting out of a nation of 314 million people? It doesn’t exactly seem like an epidemic problem to me, but if Congress and the media continue with their grandstanding they may give the idea to other lunatics out there waiting in the shadows for their 15 minutes of fame.

John Zawahri's 1858 Remington revolver

A police photo of the 1858 Remington cap and ball revolver. Looking closely you can see the conversion cylinder allowing it to fire .45 Long Colt cartridges.

Apparently the inability to make a legal gun purchase also influenced Zawahri’s decision to use a replica 1858 Remington cap and ball revolver in the crime. Cap and ball black powder firearms aren’t technically considered firearms by the BATF and aren’t subject to background checks. This hasn’t been an issue in the past as few people would use a replica of an antique Civil War era handgun to commit such a crime. What was unique about his 1858 Remington replica though was that it was equipped with a conversion cylinder that allowed it to fire modern .45 Long Colt ammunition.  Both the gun and the conversion cylinder can be ordered online and shipped directly to a buyers home.

So all of this leads up to Rep. Henry Waxman introducing a bill to ban the sale of firearms kits online, the report doesn’t say if he also wishes to ban black powder firearm sales or if he wants to ban the sale of parts kits in retail stores. I guess we’ll have to wait until the bill is introduced to find out.

These Congresscritters are going to continue the assault on our 2nd Amendment rights no matter what. If one lunatic does something unspeakable they will use that as justification to ban a broad swath of firearms for all 314 million Americans. We already know anti-gun laws do absolutely nothing to reduce crime, and proposed laws such as this one will have zero effect on the commission of future crimes. But that’s not the point of these incremental laws.  The point is to take little bits and pieces of our liberty in small potentially palatable chunks so that over time they can achieve their ultimate goal — a complete ban on all firearms.



MAC is an avid shooter, former MCSF Marine, NRA member, Oath Keeper and is commissioned as a Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. Known for his videos on the Military Arms Channel, he also writes for The Bang Switch, for Shotgun News (Be Ready!) and freelances for Guns & Ammo. MAC has been a life long shooter who has an interest in all things that go "bang" but gravitates towards military type firearms.

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  • RPM509

    If you’re not outraged each and every time someone submits a bill such as this one, you’re not paying attention. I’ve already written my reps and senators explaining why this isn’t a good idea for them to support these kind of bills, suggest everyone else do the same and remember to vote in all elections.

  • 33AD

    Not surprised but still mad. It’s really not about saving future lives (if it was we would see widespread swimming pool bans) – it’s fear of having tyranny averted by the citizen.

    • 33AD

      Further – ever wonder why the “homemade” lower was so quickly removed from the upper at the scene of
      the crime? From a forensic standpoint – the upper is where the evidence is.

  • Andrew

    So wait, you support the ATF restricting our second amendment rights, by regulating “short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, pistols with stocks, machine guns, suppressors, etc. which is the way it should be, IMHO.”?
    Seems me the second amendment is clear, I should be able to own a .50 cal BMG full auto machine gun if I want, and the government can go mind their own business.

    • Martin

      Thanks, I was going to say the same thing. If one wants to check history, NFA 34 was actually declared unconstitutional by a Federal District Judge back in 35 or 36. Unfortunately, a political ambitious DA decided to take it to the Supreme Court. unfortunately, unlike today when any attorney would give his left nut to go before the Supreme Court, the plaintiff’s attorney didn’t show up because he hadn’t been paid for his previous work, so NFA 34 was upheld by default.

    • Lifeisdeath


    • Heyoka

      Copy that…. The courts have consistently augued the the militia statute be construed as requiring a rifle or musket, powder, ball and bayonet (yes it was required) of the type in common use. That is because the read US v Miller wrong. The militia requirement was the least you were to bring to muster. Military people can still be fined if they show up for duty and they don’t have the requsite gear, same as the old militia statutes. Then we have the Boston Artillery Company. At the outset of the revolution the company possessed 4 cannon. Two were owned by the Government of Mass. two were owned by several citizens of Boston.

      These were the words of henry Knox the 1st Sec of War. He returned the two cannon left to the several citizns of Boston by order of the United States in 1788, they still used cannon then so they were not antiquated at the time. 64 Ships in the Continental Navy with a total of about 1200 swivel guns and mounted cannon; over 2000 privatly owned and armed ships that possessed over 14,000 mounted cannon and swivel guns operated as privateers for the government. Obviously the Supreme Court did not do the home work required to present a cogent and historically correct evaluation of the 2nd Amendment and I doubt they ever will.

      Bottom line, don’t accept anyone’s word be informed. That is why we may file a Petition for the Redress of Grievance with the Grand Jury for presentation to the government. Its all legal and a constitutionally secured right, the right of the people to peacablly assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievance. Why am I point this out…. Because we don’t study and we don’t know our duty and we let government hypmotize us into thinking the are the bosses. Last I heard they work for us.

      So you damned duty is to know, and instruct your employee on just the facts and the “few and defines” powers granted to them in the Constitution and that any law not passed directly related to the express provision is unconstitutional and is void, of no effect. Al this tuff is on the net and if you don’t study and learn and put your actions where your mouth is then you are as hypocritical as the politicians (not statesmen). Now this fella’s statement is right on. Cannons then are filed artillery now. We are only harrassed in our own country by our own employees because we don’t know our rights.

      “My people are destroyed for their lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

      And Martin (below) is correct. The courts said “absent a showing” because the defendant did not show. The case has been misapplied ever since. Even the damned justices can’t read the dog gone law accurately.

  • Santi

    Hey Mac, if you get a handle on the bill number let us know! So we can write to our congressmen and women on top of just writing them in general about supporting our 2a rights as well as all of the rights.

    • MAC

      Once it’s introduced, I’ll get the info out there.

    • 33AD


      Would also like to reference the specific bill by number.

  • Hybris

    Don’t you have to have any receiver sent to a FFL holder regardless of where online you bought it any way?

    So we have here a madman who already broke the standing laws by getting a AR receiver in a manner not in accordance to the current laws and the left want to add more laws.

    I realize this is par for the course but it still makes my head hurt.

    • Andrew

      No, you can get a 80% finished receiver, thus the AFT doesn’t consider it a gun, but rather a “hunk of something (steel, plastic, etc.)”, and if can be shipped directly to your house.

    • Ian

      No. Not for 80% lowers as they are not firearms. For a regular stripped AR15 lower you do have to go through an FFL.

  • Josh B

    Here’s my surprised face… :^|

  • Mike

    The bigger travesty here (if that’s even possible at this point) is that the physical materials and the inherent traits which make up an “80% receiver” have been up to some interpretation from a number of Government organizations over the years, primarily the BATFE. If this type of legislation were to get a foothold then it could be argued and “rationalized” by the powers that be that any block of raw materiel, tube or stamping of any provenance or type could be deemed a receiver of some percentage and thus subject to such law or further regulations. We see a quasi example of this currently in the NFA side of the house where suppressors and their construction “materials” are concerned. This entire facet of the anti-gun machine reflects further on their overall ignorance on firearms, rights and related issues overall; as one could construct a functioning albeit crude firearm from parts via Home Depot and basic tools. Furthermore, we have seen the barrel ban do literally nothing to slow the rate of imports or number of home builders and it could be argued that there are in fact many more barrels of good quality made here in the US as a result of the ban. If Rep. Waxman thinks this will do anything to prevent violent acts, I would ask that he first examine Russia; where criminals result to exhaustive measures to get ANY sort of firearm to include digging up WWII era weaponry and bringing them back to functioning (in the loosest sense of the word) order. Second, I would refer him to the FBI crime statistics on semi automatic firearms for thorough review and lastly, the US Bill of Rights and Constitution. Example of Russian arms used by criminal elemants:

  • Ryan

    I think the obvious glaring stupidity with this bill is it is entirely legal to buy any of the weapons used, if not from dealers than from private owners. I can’t see how this would help anything. Even barring the obvious 2nd Amendment issues, it is just plain stupid legislation that wouldn’t accomplish anything other than annoying current owners and DIY types. I also agree with Mike that it will just make things resembling parts infringement worthy.

  • dan

    Could we all step back a moment and look at where we have come…let’s do 21 years…clinton x 2 , bush x 2 , obama x 2 with all of the gun bills pro and con, that have been passed and have been defeated…Do you really think our rights are safer or more respected today given the mood of this country……I think not….what my point is and I am a member of OATH KEEPERS, GOA, NAGR, 2nd AMEND.FOUNDATION, NRA..great work they all do..BUT are we FREE to use our guaranteed rights as in the BILL of RIGHTS…are we FREE to use lethal force to repeal attacks at home or when away…are we FREE to travel on highways without being ‘check pointed’ and questioned….since all of the above mentioned organizations have been fighting for our rights….in courts and against our Congress ,who by the way swore an oath to honor our guaranteed rights……they do not give them to us, they are ours to begin with……they just can’t ‘infringe’ on any them…Where do we as freemen and woman say enough of court fights that even if we win in the highest court in the land..some politicians refuse to honor the decisions…and they are not put in jail..none, ever…21 years and counting ..why is that when we win a fight..we lose..and continue to do the same..I keep asking as a member of these orgs… it time to use a different tactic…I ask you is it..?

  • ghostwheel

    Maybe if they ban cleaning patches, rags, and bore snakes, all guns will eventually get dirty and stop working and in so doing achieve their utopian view of a country with out firearms and food stamps for all.

    The way things are going, we need ammo stamps instead of food stamps!

  • Brian in MN

    Imagine how much fun they will have trying to define what is and what is not a “parts kit”. That ought to be even more pathetic than their attempts to define “assault weapon”.

    Frankly, I think the whole point of this is to get Mr. Waxman some face time on TV.

  • Max

    The fight isn’t over. Never has been, never will be. They have no right to try to control local production of firearms. This is a disgusting miscarriage of democracy to even suggest this. Get ready to see 80% lowers go far higher than functioning ones.

  • suburban15

    So the intention is to ban the parts kits, but not the individual parts. So you could still buy everything a la carte, but it’ll cost you maybe $25 more, and will drive the poor schmuck in the warehouse crazy. Oh, yeah, that’ll probably be effective in reducing crime.

    Slippery slope, anyone?

  • Living Hand

    So we’re now to believe that this murderer got an “A” in metal shop? Funny how convenient the DOJ denial of right to firearms ownership was located within his residence. Reminds me of certain passports that lay atop the World Trade Center rubble. I guess that event was used as an excuse to ban freedom in our country as well. First, the pan-opticon state. Now, they want to make self-defense illegal – With this and the Zimmerman persecution just being the latest. The real criminals want to have their way with us. It’s so startling clear. Just fighting for our Natural Rights has become a revolutionary act.

  • bo whetstone

    oboner is going to confiscate all legally owned firearms next spring operation jade helm is preparing the military to do the job.
    buy ghost guns now while you can and stash them away

  • bo whetstone

    the product must be determined by the atf as a non-firearm to be legally sold without a transfer. make sure you know FOR SURE that the product you buy has this determination. the seller should be happy to show you a copy of the atf’s letter. otherwise if the product is not determined to be a non firearm the list of people who bought it will eventually be taken by the feds and they will be knocking on your door to grab it from you and likely arrest will follow