Gun Control

Gun Control Is Tax-Subsidized Marketing for Illegal Submachine Guns

If you want people to make their own automatic weapons, just restrict legal access to firearms of all sorts.

|

"DIY submachine guns are popping up across the West Bank," the Washington Post reported recently in a piece about a weapon that has repeatedly played a role in Palestinian attacks upon Israelis. The guns are of a common type referred to as the "Carlo," based on the Swedish Carl Gustav M/45, which dates to the World War 2 era. The article added that hundreds of the submachine guns have been confiscated over the past year, and raids staged on 35 mechanics' shops that were cranking them out.

"The Carlo has remained so popular because of how little machinery and technical know-how is required to produce it," a Times of Israel story noted earlier this year. "A drill press, some welding equipment and blueprints from the internet are all that's needed to create one of these potentially devastating weapons." The story lamented that "it's nearly impossible to prevent its production."

Ironically, Israelis themselves relied on homemade submachine guns during their War of Independence. In their case, they knocked off copies of the British-designed Sten gun and fed them with ammunition manufactured in a clandestine factory beneath a laundry. Similarly to the weapon copied by West Bank mechanics, "the Sten used simple stamped metal components and minor welding, which required minimal machining and manufacturing," according to Wikipedia.

That simplicity is a feature of many simple, sheet-metal submachine guns dating to the war era. Desperate to satisfy the need to produce massive numbers of guns in short order, designers crafted weapons that could be made in any number of existing shops using general-purpose machinery. Long before 3D printers and CNC milling machines drove headlines about DIY firearms, those characteristics made such weapons natural choices for various insurgencies battling governments in regions across the world.

Because they're so easy to produce, submachine guns also became a natural go-to for non-political manufacture in countries that have strict gun control regimes. Brazil seems to be an especially fertile source for homemade automatic weapons. There's an online cottage industry in tracking Brazilian police announcements of gun confiscations and posting photos of the creative copies of commercially produced weapons—as well as weirdly innovative original designs.

Unsurprisingly, Brazil has a thriving market for Sten guns and the like made in car repair shops because it has a severely constrained legal market for firearms. Brazilians have to jump through hoops to get government permission to purchase guns, and even if they satisfy all requirements, police can say "no" on a whim. That leaves many residents of the country without a legal means to protect themselves from the country's extremely busy criminal class (60,000 murders every year, according to some estimates). Those criminals are, of course, well-armed courtesy of that black market described above.

Some of the country's lawmakers want to make it less-daunting to legally own the means of self-defense. But for now guns remain easily available only to those willing to break the law, which leaves opportunity for DIY manufacturers.

Australia also has famously restrictive gun laws of such exquisite legislative perfection that they bear emulation, according to leading presidential contender Hillary Clinton. Well, except that the Australian government is a tad upset about gun smuggling by outlaw gangs and the hundreds of thousands of illegal firearms in circulation. Officials plan yet another amnesty for owners to surrender the illegal weapons, although Sydney University gun policy analyst Philip Alpers told ABC News that he expects it to produce only "rubbish guns" that nobody values.

Because, honestly, if you've gone through the trouble and expense of purchasing one of the "perfectly constructed MAC 10 machine guns" manufactured by a jeweler turned underground arms dealer, why would you surrender it?

Like Brazil, diversity is characteristic of Australia's illegal arms makers, who also produce submachine guns inspired by the late Philip Luty, a Briton who created designs intended for home manufacture (he was imprisoned for his troubles, but his plans are widely available). Ten percent or more of illegal guns seized by Australian police are produced by underground armorers—with powerful and easily made submachine guns featuring prominently among them.

Australia is a much safer country than Brazil, and has a lower homicide rate than the United States. But at least one academic assessment has concluded that the crime rate seems to fluctuate independently of gun ownership. That new gun amnesty is motivated not just by a black market, but by a spike in crime including murders.

Because, once again, restrictions on the legal ownership of firearms have the greatest impact on the most law-abiding segment of society who submit with little resistance. They simultaneously fuel black markets in firearms that efficiently serve insurgents and criminals (as well as principled resisters to state authority). That leaves predators with a real advantage relative to their prey.

And, if you're going to make something illegally, you might as well get the most bang for your buck out of the means you have at hand. If you're looking to supply the demand for drugs, you cook methamphetamine in motel room laboratories. And if you're supplying the illegal arms market, you download the plans for a Sten gun to a laptop in a brake-repair shop.

From the West Bank, to Brazil, to Australia, history demonstrates that if you want people to start making their own submachine guns, all you have to do is legally restrict their access to firearms of all sorts.

Advertisement

NEXT: Murder (or not) at the Library of Congress?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I have given up arguing with gun grabbers. They aren’t interested in arguments. They know damned well that outlawing guns creates a black market, that criminals won’t give theirs up, and that violent crime increases. Those are the reasons they want guns outlawed. They also know damned well what the second amendment says and why it is there. That is why they hate it.

    It cuts down on the numbers of thugs the state has to employ to keep people beaten down if the criminal class does some of the job for them.

    “I don’t care about crime, I just want to get the guns.” – Sen. Howard Metzenbaum.

    1. It cuts down on the numbers of thugs the state has to employ to keep people beaten down if the criminal class does some of the job for them.

      Not quite, Your Suthenship. Criminal Classes pools never stay static, experiencing usually a “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back,” growth modality. (Bloody) Competition from other Gangs maintains the rationale for State Employed Goons to be continuously employed and keep the Bad Guys in check, so’s to speak. The fact that the general public gets caught in the literal crosshairs of theses competing groups is simply a feature, not a bug.

      In fact, Anthony Burgess (and later, Stanley Kubrick) had a lot to say on this subject.

      1. In the modern history of Italy the only government to ever seriously impede organized crime was the fascists. Of course their methods were likewise decidedly fascist, so a lot of innocents suffered as well.

        The progs know, understand, and accept this.

        1. Start working from home! Great job for students…Making more income $97 a hour from computer at home. My sisters friend has been earning 20k for a months and she works about 15 hour a working week. I make 12k last month, it is in real easy and meaningful , here you can checking..
          Go this web site… http://www.Trends88.Com

    2. This is just my personal opinion, but I think the biggest reason they want guns semi-outlawed (i.e. outlawed for us commoners but not for themselves and their bodyguards) is because they don’t like gun owners’ attitudes.

      For instance, someone who owns a gun for self-defense is directly repudiating the idea that the State provides all of the protection we need. Such a person also tends to generally believe in doing things for him/herself rather than running to Nanny. This is anathema to those collectivist turds.

      1. Robert Heinlein observed that “God fights on side with heaviest artillery.” But your point is fresh, original and well-taken. But the key point in the article is that banning stuff multiplies its price by typically a factor of 4, and sheds product liability lawsuit risk. Marketing is whatever one does to tweak the supply and demand curves to move your product higher up on the price curve. Even when this is coercive meddling, there ultimately has to be a willingness to part with the money. Most Texans are keenly aware that a long-barrel revolver or sniper rifle is not going to lose value like paper money, and does not attract looters like a bank account. The rarer, the more valuable.

        1. not to mention being far less traceable.
          Should the scenario come down like it seems it might, a 1942 Mauser 8mm bolt action rifle with iron sights will likely fetch several times in today’s money what the much ballyhooed AR 15 type Modern Sporting Rifles can fetch today. Or one of the venerable Carl Gustav or Husvarna 6.5 Swedes of the same vintage. An M 1 Garand would be priceless…..

          1. an M1 Garand,being a “weapon of war” as the anti’s term the guns they don’t like,would be one of those confiscated or banned.

            But any centerfire hunting rifle good for deer is no different than the military’s “scoped sniper rifle”. Many hunters don’t realize their favorite hunting rifles could be termed “weapons of war” and banned or severely regulated.

            But since Lathe-mill- drills are sold at Harbor Freight for a reasonable price,anybody could become a home gun maker.

      2. Not often you see the words “anathema” and “turds” in the same sentence. Kudos! And also, great point! So does the recent surge in gun buying and concealed carry applications indicate a rejection of the Nanny? Does it propagate into other Nanny-induced attitudes?

    3. Another Metzenbaum quote: “Until we can outlaw all of them, we may was well outlaw none of them.”

    4. There is no guarantee than an armed citizen will survive an armed attack. But it is almost certain that an unarmed citizen will not.

      Thus surrender to the power of the state.

      That is the totality of their mentality.

    5. That’s hardly a constructive attitude. Talk to them, invite them to the range, try to steer clear of politics. Unless you decide to lock yourself in a self-reinforcing echo chamber, there’s a pretty good chance you will interact with someone close to you who disagrees quite strongly with those arguments.

      Proceeding to impugn people and accusing them of colluding with criminals is lazy. Reducing problems to a set of easily identified “bad dudes” is as well. It really isn’t to difficult talk to gun-grabbers, I’m friends with plenty of them, and they are good intellectual sparring partners.

      1. I think you have a point, but I do find that anti-gun people are probably the most unreasonable (even on economic issues, I can sometimes get leftists to admit that the free market has been responsible for the massive spike in human well-being).

        I’ve never really been successful in moving them in a more pro-gun direction, but I refuse to let them have an echo chamber. If the subject comes up, I will jump right in. I haven’t noticed any of these people changing their views, but they don’t bring up the subject around me anymore. Perhaps I’ve forced them into that uncomfortable phase where they start to realize that some deeply held belief is wrong, or maybe not. I don’t know. But I’ll always put out an effort to show people the real facts, even if it’s a fool’s errand.

  2. Once again Tuccille and his ilk fail to understand the basic concept. When something is outlawed, people aren’t allowed to have it. Just because some people are able to skirt a ban doesn’t mean you toss the ban out. You just ban harder until people understand the ban is not a sham, it’s the plan. Fan or no fan, the ban can.

    Don’t pan the ban, man.

    1. 50 Ways to Ban Your Firearms, Fist of Syllables?

      1. That’s just cats in spats over gats.

    2. Shorter version: don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the shortsighted prohibition laws that make everything worse.

    3. The link on crime spike is misleading. Aussies elected by secret ballot to rob and murder simply banned stuff that was legal. The banned stuff didn’t disappear despite clapping and believing in fairies, so they sent armed thugs to make arrests and press charges. The Kristallnacht laws simply manufactured criminals. That they call gun-related crime is victimless economic activity suppressed by the violence of law–NOT an increase in extrajudicial robberies and murders with guns. Aussie looters are practicing reality control and speaking Newspeak.

    4. Just because some people are able to skirt a ban doesn’t mean you toss the ban out. You just ban harder until people understand the ban is not a sham, it’s the plan.

      Or until the people who ignore the ban and KNOW their God-given rights take their banned items and use them to finally overturn the ban….. which WILL happen once enough of those propagating and promoting the ban have their own turnover…. under those daisies they’ll be growing, after a few loader buckets of dirt are overturned on top of their cute little boxes which are now housing their earthly parts.

  3. Why do the criminals always have better guns than I do?

    Also, does anyone know a good punch for removing the retaining pin for the rear sight on a Mosin Nagant that won’t render said pin unusable for reassembly?

    I got a rail system I want to try, but it mounts to the same screw holes as the rear sight, and I don’t want to preclude restoring the original configuration if the rails don’t work out.

    1. I got a real simple trick, I don’t try to put modern rail systems on 1893 designed military surplus weapons of questionable accuracy.

    2. Try Midwayusa or brownells. They will have punches and sight tools for that.

      Anytime I modified a military rifle I regretted it. MikeT is right. Put that mosin in the closet and use the money to buy a new gun.

      1. I’ll take a look and see what they have on offer.

        As for Mike’s recommendation – Aside from the fact that he’s wrong about the accuracy, I already own the parts and I doubt $40 would have gotten a new gun from a reputable source.

        Besides which, the guns in my collection I bought new are more of a pain to work with, and cost so much that modding projects are too much of a risk. I’m looking to keep the pin intact in case it does turn out to not really work and I want to restore the iron sights.

        1. The Mosin is a beater gun; do whatever the hell you want with it.

          1. On this I agree.

            Although personally I think the upper limits of mods for an M96 is a ghost ring rear sight (on the cocking piece.)

            It’s a minute-of-torso rife, because even if the rifle is accurate surplus ammunition often is not.

        2. Depends on the individual Mosin, but many were made with very crap manufacturing standards, they were meant to be robust and cheap not precise. Also worth noting the limit on how accurate you can make anything with a trigger that crap.

          I mean, you do you.

    3. Just punch it out and get a new pin, or better yet, a new sight. It isn’t worth it to baby it, trust me. An entire rear sight can be had for 25 bucks.

      And if you want a real target/hunting/SHTF rifle, modify a Swedish Mauser, a P-14, or a K-31. They are a lot more accurate, ammo is of higher quality, and they are all still relatively cheap.

      A Mosin is designed to be beat to hell, as is, shooting the worst, cheapest milsurp ammo imaginable. They have their place, but modifying them has rapidly diminishing marginal returns.

      My one exception is the Finnish Mosins. They are made better.

      1. I’ll add my yes behind the Swede 6.5 mauser action military rifles… some of the finest bolt guns made anywhere. Amusingly enough, hunting (soft point, etc) ammo is commercially available at almost every place handling anything. That caliber is still very popular with good reason. Friend of mine regularly gets big bucks (some trophy size) at 400 yards and better with his stock 1942 Carl Gustav, the only mods to which are a custom stock he made, and the fitting of a 4 x 32 scope of good quality. Under seven pounds all up, so it does not wear him out in a long day’s hunt (he’s in his 80’s now, still shooting and hunting). That round shoots quite flat for a long ways….

        The 7.5 Swiss Schmidt Rubin is also a good round, though nowhere near as common. And that straight pull bolt action is quite good.

          1. Fuck Wikipedia.

  4. Wow.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new…..-high.html

    Looks like their gun ban is working exactly as intended.

    1. Not quite, some of the peasants are getting uppity and trying to question their betters. That definitely wasn’t part of the plan.

    2. Mark Castle, of Victim Support, said knife crime ‘shatters the lives of so many and more must be done to educate people about the dangers of carrying knives’.

      Look, all they need to do to solve this upsurge in violence is ban harder and ‘educate’ people about knives by banning and confiscating them. Who really needs a steak knife to cut steak when it can be boiled to death and cut with a butter knife?

      1. No, no, no. They need more knife surrender bins.

      2. Who really needs a steak knife to cut steak when it can be boiled to death

        You, of course, mean a figurative death in less than 2″ of water heated by a hot plate that’s attached to the pot/pan and bolted to the counter.

        1. If they simply require that it all be ground into mince that would also substantially reduce choking hazards.

          Win-win!

  5. The Daily Fail’s choice of fotos for that story was not accidental, Suthen. And, your right, neither is their choice in policy.

    Remember, in A Clockwork Orange, there were no firearms carried by either coppers or nadsats.

    1. I’ll be damned. I missed that.

  6. Well, under Queen Hillary it will be different! Because…well, just because!

    1. It’s all about intentions, and “doing the right thing” you know. Results are besides the point in that world, the proverbial road to hell notwithstanding.

    2. further proof she is delusional. So much so she should be in protective custody. Oh, no, not to protect her from herself, or her fron us. But to protect us from herself.

  7. I figure if Hillary wins and gets a dem congress, her first order of business will be assault weapons ban 2.0. Assault weapons ban 2.0 will be a beefed up version of 1.0. There will be no grandfather clauses and a mandatory *buyback will be a part of the legislation. Anything scary rifle lookingish will be included. This will create criminals out of millions of otherwise mostly law abiding persons who will now have no compunctions about turning their now illegal ar/aks into still illegal fully auto ar/aks. The process is not that difficult. The market for mods will be huge and mechanically inclined individuals will be highly sought after. I plan on making a killing, until I get killed I guess.

    *buyback is a misnomer. an entity cannot buy back something they never owned in the first place. Gun grabbers use this term in order to give the impression to the unthoughtful that the government rightly owns all the guns and only allows us plebs to possess them on their whim.

    1. If she gets elected, which isn’t a lock, she’s not gonna have 60 votes in the Senate or even a majority in the House. She’s gonna have to reinterpret the 2A out of existence by getting a litmus test gungrabber on SCOTUS.

    2. The market for mods will be huge and mechanically inclined individuals will be highly sought after. I plan on making a killing, until I get killed I guess.

      Very true. Now I gotta reconsider my line of work.

    3. So, Civil War?

  8. These very same people clamoring for guns are some of the staunchest opponents to the War on Drugs. They are the exact same thing.

  9. Fantastic article, Too-Chilly.

    Like Brazil, diversity is characteristic of Australia’s illegal arms makers, who also produce submachine guns inspired by the late Philip Luty, a Briton who created designs intended for home manufacture (he was imprisoned for his troubles, but his plans are widely available).

    Over/under on how many secret lists I’ll end up on if I check out his website?

  10. You mean, how many MORE secret lists?

    I’m guessing if you’re commenting here, you’re on an asston more lists than you might imagine.

    1. Really, people. There’s only one secret list. “People who gave more than $100K to the Clinton Foundation.”

      No one else counts.

  11. Gun grabbing Republicans have it down to a system. Any young adult who prefers cannabis or other enjoyables to liquor excise taxes, any brown person–anyone can be branded a felon in a prohibitionist mixed economy and forever banned from benefits under the Bill of Rights. Democrats or course posture and pose as gun grabbers to get votes from commie surrenderists, the IRS, DEA, FBI, KGB and Airport Gestapo, but they haven’t a clue. The redneck GO-Pee picked another creepy teetotaler exactly like Herbert Clark Hoover, as its candidate, as in 1928, for Totalitarian-in-Chief. That’s basically the only difference between the looter parties… unless one happens to be a fertile female.

  12. “Brazilians AND Residents of Washington DC have to jump through hoops to get government permission to purchase guns, and even if they satisfy all requirements, police can say “no” on a whim.”

    Fixed it for yah…

    1. nuther fix is needed.. ya forgot New Jersey, California, Maryland, and pretty much Chicago and I think its Connecticut to that list.

  13. Brazilians AND Residents of Washington DC have to jump through hoops to get government permission to purchase guns, and even if they satisfy all requirements, police can say “no” on a whim.

    FIFY

  14. Seriously, REASON, HAVE I BEEN GONE THAT LONG?!?!? WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?

  15. Rulers never support the idea of looking down the gun barrels of unhappy subjects. Because gun owners aren’t subjects, they’re citizens…Rulers don’t want citizens, they want subjects.

  16. ? ? ? News Update
    Watch Full HD Movie Streaming Online For Free Trial
    visit ? ? ? http://theaterbox.club/ ? ? ?
    Register Needed

  17. Amazing isn’t how The Bad Guys seem disinclined to obey the law. Note, I use “disinclined” in a desire to stay within the bounds of polite conversation. Gun Control works, but only for those inclined to obey the law, and willing to so do.

  18. Just one more reason why gun control can not ever be useful. Anyone that has the intent of killing will never be
    stopped or even slowed down by lessor laws like gun control. We also have to understand that it is perfectly
    legal in most states to build a gun (not full auto) for your own use.

    This is exactly why laws like Universal Background Checks will never make the law abiding safer but just
    mean that more people will not have the tools necessary for self defense and that the criminals will have
    yet one more advantage.

    It is past time that we stop spending public money on things like NCIS and put that money to good use by
    having gun training in every school and available at every police station in the US. Make it a national
    priority to have a well trained and law abiding generation of young shooters.

  19. what the gungrabbers don’t realize is that ” in the land of the blind,the one-eyed man is King”.

    IOW,when every ODC is disarmed,anyone with a weapon(or just greater numbers) has the upper hand when the police are not around,which is the usual case when vermin choose to strike.

    ODC= Ordinary Decent Citizen.

  20. Just one gripe: “Ten percent or more of illegal guns seized by Australian police are produced by underground armorers?with powerful and easily made submachine guns featuring prominently among them.”

    “Powerful” and “submachine guns” don’t really belong in the same sentence. I’ll reconsider when they make one that fires .50 AE.

  21. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  22. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    …….. http://www.jobprofit9.com

  23. thanks for sharing this article very informative lucky patcher app download

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.