Back in October of 2021 the “good” people who run the state of California decided to further infringe on a citizen’s right to bear arms by passing, or “chaptering”, California Assembly Bill 1057 which further expands on already existing infringements on California resident’s constitutional right to bear arms.

No big surprise there.

California, affectionately known as Commiefornia, has never pulled any punches when it comes to violating gun rights.

(Insert obligatory statement pointing out California’s already very strict gun laws and the fact that California still has some of the worst gun violence in America, even in the face of already very strict gun laws.)

So what does AB 1057 mean for 80% lowers and law abiding residents of California?  In short; beginning July 1, 2022 Californians will no longer be able to legally purchase, sell or transport 80% lower receivers.

Here is the Official Summary/ Bill Text:

Existing law generally regulates the transfer and possession of firearms. Existing law defines a firearm as a device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which a projectile is expelled through a barrel by force of an explosion or other form of combustion. Existing law also defines a firearm precursor part as a component of a firearm that is necessary to build or assemble a firearm and is either an unfinished handgun frame or an unfinished receiver, as specified.
Existing law authorizes an immediate family member of a person or a law enforcement officer to request that a court, after notice and a hearing, issue a gun violence restraining order against that person, prohibiting the subject of the petition from having in their custody or control, or owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm or ammunition, as specified. Under existing law, a violation of a gun violence restraining order is a crime. Existing law permits a person to seek a restraining order to protect against domestic violence, as specified. Existing law prohibits a person subject to that restraining order from owning, possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm, and makes a violation of that prohibition a crime.
The bill would, on and after July 1, 2022, define a firearm, for the purpose of the specified gun violence and domestic violence restraining order provisions, to include a frame or receiver of the weapon or a firearm precursor part. By expanding the scope of existing crimes, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

So basically, under the guise of public safety via Gun Violence Restraining Orders, the definition of a firearm is being altered to include unfinished lower receivers and frames originally referred to as “ghost guns” by those who don’t know anything about firearms.  Various California state laws have been enacted in the past that directly impact a citizens legal ability to build their own firearm using an 80% receiver, but the new infringements go so far as to require a unique serial number for every hunk of material in the shape of a firearm frame or receiver. Regardless of that hunk of material’s actual capability of being a firearm.

Another problem to consider when discussing definitions is the verbiage used in such definitions.  When a law defines a firearm precursor part as a “component of a firearm that is necessary to build or assemble a firearm”, where does that definition end?  If a MILSPEC trigger group is an essential component to the assembly of a firearm, does that trigger group now become a “firearm precursor part”, if so, will each of the components of that trigger group require a unique serial number?  The same could be said for something as miniscule as a roll pin, spring detent, or plunger which are all components considered necessary to build or assemble a firearm.

Soo many questions.

Another point of interest that I think is important to understand regarding “Ghost Guns” is the state of California’s reporting on gun crime.  According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 30% of all guns recovered in California in 2019 were ghost guns, but of the “ghost guns” how many were actual serialized firearms with the serial number having been defaced, which is a felony.  I don’t have those numbers, but I can assume that people who are habitual offenders of the law and typically utilize a firearm to commit crimes are most likely not the same people who tinker and legally build firearms for themselves as a hobby, but in the eyes of California law those people are now one in the same.

For anyone who doesn’t already know, building an AR-15 is not exactly a cheap endeavor, even a “budget build” can exceed $500.  So, hypothetically speaking, does it make sense to assume that would be criminals are committed to spending however much money it takes to procure all the necessary parts to build a functioning firearm in an effort to use that gun in a crime?  Or does it seem more likely that a person intent on violating the law would either steal or purchase a stolen firearm because that person most likely has a predisposition to violate any and all laws already enacted?  So, in our hypothetical situation, wouldn’t it make more sense to assume that a vast majority of the 30% of recovered “ghost guns” are more likely stolen firearms with defaced serial numbers and not the result of a law abiding DIYer?