EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – An Easthampton man has pled guilty in federal court for the illegal possession of guns he built in Massachusetts and then brought into New Hampshire.
AR-15 rifles are the most common sporting rifles in the country. They are used for target shooting and many states allow you to hunt with them. Surprisingly, it’s pretty easy for people to make their own guns, both legally and illegally.
Raymond L. Blackmer III was arrested and charged with one federal count of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in November 2015, which brings up a question. How easy is it to obtain or build a gun illegally?
NRA certified instructor Kirk Whatley told 22News, “People can make a firearm out of pipes, it’s not that difficult to do.”
Police had obtained information that Blackmer had allegedly assembled the firearms in his workshop from parts he bought online. Kirk Whatley told 22news that many people learn to make guns or change out gun parts by watching YouTube videos.
“If you are a convicted felon you are not permitted to own a firearm of any kind,” said Whatley. “You’re not even allowed to own a replica.”
In order to legally purchase an AR-15 you need to go to your local police station, get fingerprinted, have a photo ID taken, and have an FBI background check completed.
Assuming the background check comes back clean, you will then get your firearms identification card. That, however, isn’t all you need to do.
According to Whatley, “Just buying the gun isn’t enough. You want to learn how to use it properly, find a local trainer in your area, learn how to be safe and how it functions properly, as well as how to store it in your house.”