'Make your own' guns becoming an Upstate trendPosted: Updated: Feb 8, 2013 08:07 AM
Anyone in the Palmetto State can legally make their own gun, from custom-made rifles to souped-up pistols.
The staff at Sharpshooters in Greenville County likened making your own gun to souping up a car. They said they used to get people coming in wanting custom guns maybe twice a month. After the Newtown, CT, school shooting, they had six in one day.
John Simmons sells guns at Sharpshooters and said their store takes custom orders from patrons and can piece together AR-15s using parts from different manufacturers.
He said making a gun adds a personal touch, since designers can mix and match to their own specifications. He also said it can be cheaper - if a person cannot afford an entire gun at one time, he or she can buy it piece by piece.
Simmons said it won't change the gun's gusto.
"You can make it more durable.," Simmons said. "You make the barrel last longer. You can make it respond faster, but you're not going to change the power out of an AR. It's chambered for a certain caliber and you're not going to change the caliber."
The salesman said creating a personalized gun can be done by anyone with the right parts and know-how.
However, Simmons said that making a gun from scratch is much harder, requiring many different licenses and regulations which the average person wouldn't have.
"The federal government has a system in place to try to attempt to track a little bit of what's built. You can't just build a receiver, it has to be serialized. It has to come from a factory. [Authorities] need to have some kind of control over it," said Simmons.
One big concern by some people is the safety aspect. They don't think non-factory-made guns have the same safety mechanisms. Simmons said the guns are still safe since parts without the safety features would be difficult to find.
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