A recent gun bust in Canada ought to serve as a reminder that gun control is really good at placing restrictions on the law-abiding while encouraging criminals to innovate and improvise.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that police in Winnipeg, Manitoba, shut down an improvised gun manufacturing operation, seizing a dozen firearms and the equipment being used to make them.
Police say they found the operation after trying to stop a man who was riding a bicycle dangerously.
The suspect tried to flee; they spotted what looked like a gun in his waistband and chased him into a house, where they arrested him, along with one woman. In addition to the homemade guns, law enforcement also seized power tools, pieces of pipe, and bullets.
Police also say they found methamphetamine at the scene and worry that the guns were being sold to drug addicts.
As far as gun control policies go, Canada’s situation looks much like what the gun control lobby says it wants right now, as opposed to the more draconian laws in most European countries, which look like what many in the gun control movement actually want.
Last year, the country’s liberal government proposed expanding background checks to cover a person’s entire life history and requiring government authorization for the transportation of privately owned guns. Now, Canadian gun control advocates believe that a full handgun ban is “within our reach.”
Of course, while that will make firearm ownership for our law-abiding neighbors to the north more difficult, it’ll be just another hurdle to clear for those determined to operate outside the law, as evidenced by the story from Ontario. Given all those barriers to private gun ownership, the idea that someone allegedly involved in the drug trade might turn to manufacturing his own guns isn’t surprising in the least. And newsflash: homemade guns aren’t all that hard to make.
Here in the United States, federal law allows you to mill your own guns at home, so long as you’re not barred from owning guns in the first place and the gun is not for sale or distribution. In fact, milling out a lower receiver for modern sporting rifles is quite popular among firearms hobbyists and enthusiasts. And you can also put together a simple, working shotgun or pistol with supplies from your local hardware store.
People committed to criminal enterprises and general wrongdoing will find ways to innovate around whatever gun control measures are put in their way, whether it’s turning to the black market or to a makeshift manufacturing operation in someone’s house.