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NBC News Falsely Reports Criminals Can Legally Make Their Own Guns

February 15, 2017

Last week, NBC News national investigative correspondent, Jeff Rossen, opened his segment saying, “This is a real gun and anyone can buy it, no background check required. It’s perfectly legal.” Rossen was referring to the guns that can be bought online, unfinished, and once they get to the customer, they are easily assembled and every bit as much a lethal weapon as any other gun. Because they are not fully assembled when they are shipped they are not yet considered to technically be guns, but that’s where the legality factor comes in.

The problem with the NBC segment is that the information given by Rossen was completely incorrect. Criminals cannot legally manufacture guns for their own personal use. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon that this is incorrect. They said that felons and other people considered “prohibited persons” under federal and most state laws are not legally allowed to manufacture and possess their own firearms.

“It is illegal for a prohibited person to have a firearm or ammunition,” ATF spokesperson Ginger Colbrun said. “They can NOT be in possession of a firearm.”

ATF agent Graham Barlowe, who was featured on the NBC new segment, warned that some criminals are attempting to manufacture guns with the kits in question. However, he reaffirmed that it remains illegal to do so.

These types of guns have been dubbed “ghost guns” and are popular with those who cannot purchase a gun legally because they cannot pass the background check.

Former ATF agent Rick Vasquez was the man who demonstrated the assembly of these guns on the NBC news segment. He said that the piece didn’t accurately show the manufacturing process and assembly.

“Nothing that I said was misrepresented,” Rick Vasquez told the Free Beacon. “There just wasn’t enough depth. I wish there had been more discussion about the actual manufacturing of the firearm.”

Dana Loesch went on NRA TV to discuss the falsities of the segment: