Because of evolved desk top and garage manufacturing technologies, and the advent of the internet the ghost gun has rendered gun control legislation obsolete because criminals and the terrorists can make any firearm they want.
The percentage of ghost guns is increasing exponentially as the cost of manufacturing reduces, now less than $800 AUD for a basic semi-auto blow-back handgun with no serial number. Sadly the next mass murder is likely to be a terrorist attack using ghost guns.
The likely target will be an unguarded soft target where the Government’s only advice of run and hide offers no deterrent and is ineffective. A ghost gun can be manufactured in a basement on a short run, supplied to the buyer, used the following day for robbery, murder, or rape and thrown away.
Even if it was found by police there is no serial number, no manufacture details, it is traceless. Although many who want harsh laws have their hearts in the right place, the evidence clearly shows it does not work.
Murder carries the harshness penalty and yet murder happens every second day of the week. Does the terrorist who is prepared to die, care about prison time?
There is also the matter of imbalance in the penalties that has resulted in the publics’ lack of confidence in the legal system. The outcome, decreasing conviction rates.
Case in point, in Victoria the conviction rate for rape is about 3%. Other States also have very low conviction rates. The likely penalty if there is a rape conviction is a few years. However, if a woman purchased a ghost gun for her protection to deter a known rapist, her stalker, if caught for mere possession she would receive a harsher penalty compared to the rapist. The prohibition laws create this type of situation. Even if the police were able to catch her stalker it is unlikely he will be convicted noting the poor conviction rate. But if he was convicted, as he the rapist left prison he could laugh at his victim and say “See you in a few years”
Mere possession without criminal intent resulting in more time than a rapist is the outcome of witch-hunt legislation. Of course, as mentioned above the terrorist who is prepared to die does not care about harsh penalties. Witch-hunt legislation has made criminals out of non-criminals, and low conviction rates are the result. Over the past two decades there has been moves to reduce the need for juries. Perhaps the next step is to allow police to be the enforcer, judge and jury because witch-hunt legislation and authoritarianism has failed to control all facets of human behaviour.
A possession charge is easy to prove but proving a person is actually a criminal requires work. Arrest figures go up but the actual problem of firearm related violence in society remains the same or becomes worse as evidenced by the militarisation of our police.
The solution isn’t to make everything a serious crime and hope society will comply. There is a better way and those ways are outlined elsewhere in the Preservation of Life – Community Protection Bill.
On the matter of ghost guns is the NSW Government March 2020 invite to the public to submit submissions with regard to the Firearms and Weapons Legislation (Criminal Use) Bill 2020: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2590
One of the aspects of the proposed laws is that possessing a drawing, software (app), or component part that can be used to manufacture a firearm is a serious crime resulting in a long prison sentence if convicted. Criminal intent is not an element of an offence under these laws.
A few questions about these book-burning laws. Will librarians of the NSW State Government be required to locate books from the history and military section that contains drawings of firearms for a book burning in a lane-way? If a librarians refuses to burn a book containing a detailed drawing of a firearm will they be declared a criminal and charged? Will police now raid sporting shooters, gun-smiths, historians, and anyone that has a genuine interest in the mechanics of firearms? Will police now raid hobbyist engineers that build steam engines because they may have component parts that can also be used to manufacture a firearm?
It is one thing to charge a terrorist in possession of a plan to commit a terrorist act along with plans to manufacture firearms and an entirely different matter as outlined in the above questions.
The above list is not conclusive because without “criminal intent” the proposed laws will make millions of Australians . The outcome is the over reliance on mass surveillance because the best information is no longer being volunteered by the public. You treat non-criminals like criminals and in the end their enemy becomes your enemy. It is the little things seemingly irrelevant things reported by the public that count in criminal investigations.
The internet is a rich source of information on how to manufacture a ghost gun, the simplest design being 2 lengths of water pipe, end caps, and a nail the knowledge of which does not require a piece of paper to commit to memory. The legislation does not prevent this knowledge being known by criminals and terrorist but it does target people that have no criminal intent for mere possession of that knowledge.
The ghost gun has rendered gun control legislation obsolete and a fresh approach is required.