The AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is among the most common guns on the California Justice Department’s list of more than 145,000 assault weapons grandfathered in prior to the state’s 2001 ban.
In this episode of Reveal, we investigate why minorities and kids with special needs face criminal charges for acting out in school; we uncover how police are poisoned on the job, and trace how people are building assault weapons from parts they buy online; and we gain insight into an elusive character fighting the death penalty in the most high profile of ways.
Reveal reporter Matt Drange has been looking at how easy it’s been for sellers to list assault weapon parts on eBay and decided to see if he could get his hands on some using the site. He tells us what happened when he tried to order these parts online, and we find out how criminals are building their own untraceable “ghost guns.”
EBay hasn’t always banned the sale of parts or accessories for assault weapons. The popular online auction and shopping website has gone back and forth on its gun policy for years.
For the do-it-yourself crowd, building an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is as easy as browsing ads on eBay, the online marketplace for everything from vintage dining room sets to video games and, it turns out, assault weapon parts.