Gun Historian Ashley Hlebinsky Drops Truth Bombs in ‘Ghost Gun’ Hearing

By Larry Keane

From L to R: David Miles, President of Baron Engraving; Ashley Hlebinsky, Curator of Cody Firearms Museum; Bryan Tucker, CEO of Davidson’s.
If U.S. senators were hoping to give a lift to the Department of Justice’s proposed rule to redefine a firearm, they underestimated Ashley Hlebinsky. IMG Cody Firearms Museum

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- If U.S. senators were hoping to give a lift to the Department of Justice’s proposed rule to redefine a firearm, they underestimated Ashley Hlebinsky.

She’s a historical powerhouse when it comes to guns. Hlebinsky testified before the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on The Constitution, in a hearing titled: Stop Gun Violence: Ghost Guns. Hlebinsky started by shredding any pretenses of false authority by those using loaded terms and ended her opening statement reminding senators whom they represent.

“Firstly, I will not be using the term ghost gun and that’s because as a historian I try to be as precise as possible and the term is used more as a rhetorical tool, a marketing tool and because of that, it can create a false sense of authority on the subject,” Hlebinsky told the senators.

Hlebinsky knows a thing or two about firearms. She’s the president of the consulting group The Gun Code and was formerly the Robert W. Woodruff Curator of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum, and is now Curator Emerita and Senior Firearms Scholar. Before that, she researched at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Firearms Collection.

That’s why Hlebinsky wouldn’t repeat the politically charged term “ghost gun.” It’s too easy to conflate with something that is invisible, undetectable, or untraceable. None of which is true.

What’s Old is New

“But the big takeaway about the history is that these privately made firearms have been around for centuries, basically since the first system was developed over 500 years ago,” she said.

Hlebinsky reminded senators that it was private gun makers that played a vital role in the American Revolution, using locks and barrels the same way parts kits are sold today. Private innovation fueled development.

“I know a lot of people here don’t necessarily like some of the technology that exists today, but I really want to make the point that innovation also means making firearms safer,” she explained.

Hlebinsky added that the proposed rule change by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) suggests a modification to definitions that are inaccurate. She noted that striker-fired and split-receiver firearms aren’t new phenomena, but technologies that date to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“It’s interesting and important to understand that these things can affect both sides, criminalizing those that would otherwise be considered innocent and opening the door for loopholes and litigation, and worst of all, continued violence,” she explained. “The complicated laws continue, you are not only leaving your constituency left vulnerable of a false sense of security, something here nobody wants from either side.”

Guns and Criminals

That’s what Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) noted in his opening remarks. The notion of firearms that possess supernatural powers is a ghost story.

“Homemade firearms aren’t any more dangerous than any other firearms and for all relevant purposes, homemade firearms are treated like any other farm under the law,” Sen. Cruz said. “If a person commits a crime with a homemade gun, they will be prosecuted just the same as anyone else. If a felon makes a homemade gun, he’s a felon in possession of a firearm and will be prosecuted. If a person sells a homemade gun to a criminal, that person will be prosecuted.”

Sen. Cruz challenged Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Conn.) assertion that the hearing was intended to reduce crime when antigun Democrats refuse to enforce the laws already enacted. It’s really about getting a handle on who has what guns in America, he said.

“They want a registry of every firearm in America,” he said. “They want a government list of what guns there are. Who owns them, how many they own them. And when you see countries enact registries of firearms, the next step is confiscation. And numerous Democrats on this committee have advocating confiscating firearms.”

In fact, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) openly called for confiscation. Sen. Feinstein explained in a 1995 60 Minutes interview that she wanted much more than a 10-year ban on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs).

“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in,” she said.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) noted that it was John Moses Browning who revolutionized gun-making in America and did so privately, designing and creating his own firearms before selling the patents. He explained that the law will have greater impacts on those who obey the law than those who circumvent it to commit crimes. Sen. Lee said the proposed rule is an attempt to make an end-run past Congress and negate its role in creating law.

“I’m convinced that proposals like the proposed rule the Biden administration issued on Friday will affect those law-abiding Americans who use 80 percent lower receivers or receiver blanks while doing very little to stop criminals who want to use guns in order to hurt other people.”


About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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SSG_WILL
SSG_WILL
1 month ago

It’s about time somebody stood up and gave them a true definition of what firearms is and how they need to enforce the laws that are on the books before they start trying to add new laws that take away the rights of law abiding citizens but protect the criminals who don’t obey the law. Way to go Mrs. Hlebinsky. I wish I had your job. I love the history of firearms and weapons.

Country Boy
Country Boy
1 month ago

“Hlebinsky reminded senators that it was private gun makers that played a vital role in the American Revolution, using locks and barrels the same way parts kits are sold today. Private innovation fueled development.” That is why guns and the 2nd Amendment truly scares the anti gun politicians. They fear that the American people will once again overthrow the oppressors of We The People who dare to be free men. They realize that if and when it does, they will lose all of their power and authority and that it is themselves who will be on “the receiving end” of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Country Boy
swmft
swmft
1 month ago
Reply to  Country Boy

why do you think they are trying to stop us from making our own?? they are talking of purging military of patriots !!! sounds like venezuela to me I was there saw it first hand could not convince the people they were going to be plowed under. as for ar Americas Rifle (beats armor lite) Is a light infintry rifle supposed to replace m1carbine and m14 it is an ok replacement for m1 but does not hold a candle to a m14, an ar10 is close but not as durable

JimmyS
JimmyS
1 month ago

It’s pretty interesting to hear Republicans describe current treason as okay, while they discourage newer and varied forms of the same attempts to subvert the right of the people and the law of the land. And how many of you morons keep supporting them and their treason?

Wolf44
Wolf44
1 month ago
Reply to  JimmyS

Who the hell are you calling a moron? Do you know me and how I vote. Here’s a suggestion for you, ” Engage brain before putting mouth in gear”.

Country Boy
Country Boy
1 month ago
Reply to  JimmyS

Are you inferring that you, yourself support the Democrat Party?

nrringlee
nrringlee
1 month ago

Orwellian Newspeak terms to avoid:

Ghost Gun
Assault Rifle
Assault Weapon (unless wire guided or fire and forget missile)
Gun Violence
Popularly Supported, Common Sense Solutions
Gun Control (equals people control)

There are many more. Feel free to add them as you see fit. Here is the bottom line. Language is the foundation of argument. If you surrender to spurious and misleading terms you surrender the argument. Then you surrender your God Given Rights.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  nrringlee

Yep, just like using the P word in front of joe kamalatoe obidens name. It’s the same thing.

DIYinSTL
DIYinSTL
1 month ago
Reply to  nrringlee

Why avoid “Assault Rifle” if it is a real thing? The Sturmgewehr and M-16 are assault rifles and, of course, the semi-automatic AR-15 is not. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifle

SSG_WILL
SSG_WILL
1 month ago
Reply to  DIYinSTL

Most if not all politicians in Washington have no clue what the true definition of machine gun or Assault rifle is. The AR in AR 15 means Armalite Rifle, not Assault rifle.

nrringlee
nrringlee
1 month ago
Reply to  SSG_WILL

Correct. In the Progressive Mind facts and logic are replaced with figments of the imagination and emotion. Fear and loathing dominate because they do not believe in the true HOPE of the world but believe instead in Hope-a-Dope. from their king dope, Obama. That is why they drool on command when stimulated by buzz words. Our reason is limited, yes, but theirs in nonexistent. That is why things are as they are.

gregs
gregs
1 month ago

undoubtedly they will dismiss this woman as a sympathizer and disregard her testimony. again, they (congress) have abdicated their authority to unelected, unaccountable administrative state, who also does not care about you nor me. government does not care about us, their only concern is accumulating and wielding power over their subjects.

Bill
Bill
1 month ago
Reply to  gregs

Our nation is run, nay, ruled by bureaucrats; not those people we’ve elected!

JPM
JPM
1 month ago
Reply to  gregs

The only “authorities” and “experts” Democrats and liberals recognize and use are the ones who agree with their twisted ideas and perverted legislation.

Hazcat
Hazcat
1 month ago

The clowns could put a stop to this by following the words of the Constitution, “Shall not be infringed”.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Hazcat

You have to be able to read with an open mind in order to accomplish seeing the truth. That would take common sense of which the demonrat politician has none.

Part of the problem is that our fore fathers spoke in clear, plain, direct English. They didn’t use convoluted terms or make new different definitions to make a new meaning of an old word. They said it straight without deception.

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

And they did so in order to remove “the law” from the private exclusive domain of lawyers and royalty.
Plain language carries specific meaning. Obfuscating lawyerspeak puts the law outside the grasp of the common man. And THIS was one of the main foundingprinciples of this great nation.

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy
1 month ago

One thing is clear, gun control/gun safety is about one thing,Control.

Last edited 1 month ago by Green Mtn. Boy
Darkman
Darkman
1 month ago

The problem lies in WHO gets to define and determine what is Inappropriate.

nrringlee
nrringlee
1 month ago
Reply to  Darkman

Republicans and cuckservatives have surrendered on that exact issue for over 50 years. Defenders of Liberty must stand what little battle line is left

Jaque
Jaque
1 month ago

The true purpose of gun registration is to confiscate and enslave. Nothing less

Happy Everafter
Happy Everafter
1 month ago
Reply to  Jaque

So correct!! Else, what other legitimate purpose would there be for registration? “Just in case” whatever is NOT the way we are supposed to live, that’s guilty until proven innocent…

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  Jaque

Gee let me think where would you draw a conclusion like that from. Humm, how about Hitler. He comes to mind.

And demonrats refer to us as Nazi. They are the best at calling someone else what they are and accusing someone of doing what they are doing.

Gee, the Putan lie comes to mind, Hitlary comes to mind.

SSG_WILL
SSG_WILL
1 month ago
Reply to  Jaque

Hitlers plan worked. He destroyed the Jewish nation with it. Are we replaying world War II totalitarianism?

JimQ
JimQ
1 month ago

Good!!

inappropriate use of a firearm should and is illegal. manufacture should not be made illegal.

swmft
swmft
1 month ago
Reply to  JimQ

the government has been attacking people for kit guns for quite some time, remember the madi grifin??? 50 bmg handgun parts and plans sold through mail used postal rules to shut it down and arrest designer I for one would love a 50 bmg pistol own several rifles so

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago
Reply to  swmft

Hah!! When I was a kid I”d get the Sears and Rareback catalogue long about October, prowl through it coveting all manner of “things”, and I’d always see Colt and Smith revolvers, new JC HIggins bolt actioin hunting rifles (almost all in .30/06) or lever action thuttythutty rifles. Anyone could buy one, just send in the twennynineninedynine with a personal check, and the mailman would drop it on the front porch in about a week. Many folks also left the keys to their car right there in the ignition joke-of-a-lock. And the murder rates were a fraction of what we… Read more »

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago
Reply to  JimQ

It’s not about the gun it’s all about control and getting rid of homemade guns to protect people makes as much sense as this.

If you really wanted to end people killing themselves you would get rid of all the tall bridges because people jump off of them. I know, let’s make all tall bridges illegal and offer the city or county that have them 100 bucks for each one they tear down. We can call it a bridge buy back program.

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

SSSSssssshhhh be quiet about that idea. DOntchya know we’ve got summa them thar PAWL a TISH ins roaming about with their big ears flapping in the breeze. One of them just might decide that’s a great ides. Then we’d have to bring back the old ferryen and their flatboats.

But then some scounrel will start puching folks off of THOSE< or maybe even jumping in themselves ti “end it all” (doesn’t work, because once you die, eternity is just beginning.. and there is NO escaping that one)

Tionico
Tionico
1 month ago
Reply to  JimQ

True It ain’t the tool. Its always the heart of the one holding it. Go and re-read the account of when Cain murdered his brother Abel. HOW did God deal with that? Did He “ban rocks, or was it clubs”? Nope. He banished the MURDERER. Ya think HE might know a thing or three about we humans, whom HE created? How many times have we seen some violent felon get released from the lockup (because covid?) and within a week or two he has a gun (passed his background check, he certainly did, didn’t he?) and had killed again. Its… Read more »

SSG_WILL
SSG_WILL
1 month ago
Reply to  Tionico

I was challenged many times when I worked in a gun store that weapons can harm people. I always told them if weapons were the problem many people would die at gun shows and shooting ranges. Then I would place my loaded weapon on the shelf behind me and tell them watch out its gonna shoot you. Pay attention it is going to pull its on trigger. I always told them before you spout off about weapons gain the right knowledge.

swmft
swmft
1 month ago
Reply to  SSG_WILL

if you think about it there are few things truly dangerous on their own,ford had cars that would jump in gear if left running but requires operator neglect ,even nuclear bombs are “safe” without someone actively setting them off,so as long as we keep the nutcases in the shell nature will be the only dangerous thing (dont think there is a big enough nuthouse for the demoncrats)

swmft
swmft
1 month ago
Reply to  Tionico

remarking about covid and leaving out all the poor black people obummer let out because they were black?? there was a Chicago police press release that was on their site not picked up by any “news” organization that i saw’ stating more than 70% of the people released had committed new crimes was about 3 mouths after program started