Stratfor has an eye opening piece on the Fast and Furious operation (the US supply of guns to the Mexican drug cartels that the GOP has been trying to turn into one of their fact-free scandals).
Whatever your position on gun control, you probably want to consider the implication of this particular statement in the report:
One significant emerging source of AR-15/M16 variants is something called an 80 percent lower receiver. (The lower receiver is the part of the AR-15/M16/M4 that carries a manufacturer's serial number. These 80 percent lower receivers do not have any serial numbers.) Under U.S. federal firearms law, the unfinished lower receiver is not considered a firearm and thus can be shipped anywhere and sold to anyone without a license. Once the remaining machining on the lower receiver is completed, one can build an AR-15, M16 or M4 carbine by purchasing the additional required parts -- such as the bolt assembly, trigger assembly and barrel -- which also are not considered firearms. Once the weapon is fully assembled, it is then considered a firearm and subject to federal firearms law.I took a look at some of the 80% receivers on sale on the Web. It would take me an hour or less to turn one into a fully finished part using my drill press and rather less on the mill. It didn't take me very long to find all the other parts I would need to build an AK-47 or M16 clone.
The 80% receiver means that anyone with a $200 drill press can make unlicensed guns without serial numbers. But even if the 80% receivers are banned, a competent machinist can make one from scratch the old fashioned way in a day, and an amateur like myself armed with a $2500 computer controlled mill can churn them out at the rate of one an hour or so ,along with pretty much every other part that might be needed.
And small arms are just the start of the possibilities. Kits to build model airplanes with a wingspan of 6 foot or more are already readily available. Expect to see similar kits of military drones being offered in the future.