You Can Build Your Very Own Glock, AR-15 or AK-47

    Kyle Mizokami


    Yes, this is real. 

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the agency that regulates gun ownership in the United States, recognizes that individuals have a historical right to make their own firearms. While this may have been common in the eighteenth century, it is only recently becoming popular again due to the high tolerances of modern machinery and the widespread availability of powered tools. As a result Americans have the ability to make a wide variety of firearms, from pistols to semiautomatic rifles, in their own homes.

    Modern home firearms production is the result of so-called “80 Percent” firearms receivers. Every firearm has a receiver, a common part that brings together the grip, stock, trigger group, barrel and action. It’s similar in function to a car chassis. In the world of small-arms parts, the necessity of a receiver makes it the only single part regulated by the BATFE, and legally designated as a firearm.

    One exception to the receiver-as-firearm rule is that a receiver that is 80 percent complete or less is not subject to regulation; in other words, it is not legally a firearm. Unlike firearms, “eighty percent” receivers can be purchased in a brick and mortar store and brought home without filling out paperwork or conducting a background check, or may be purchased online and shipped straight to an individual’s home.

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