Ghost Guns

Hobbyists, Hackers, and the Homemade Weapons Revolution

by Mark A. Tallman


The United States remains one of the only countries where it is legal to make firearms without a license.

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Cover image for Ghost Guns

July 2020


Pages 180
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Current Events and Issues/Law and Crime
  • Forthcoming!




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With thorough analysis and balanced reporting, Ghost Guns: Hobbyists, Hackers, and the Homemade Weapons Revolution is an essential resource for readers seeking to understand the rise of homemade firearms and future options for managing it.

For more than a century, strict gun control was possible because firearms were produced in centralized industrial factories. Today, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, combining old and new technologies, threatens to upend this arrangement. An increasing number of hobbyists, "makers," technology provocateurs, and sophisticated criminals are proving that you don't need a factory to make guns anymore.

The security challenges of this transformation are increasingly apparent, but the technologies behind it hold tremendous potential, and so while to ignore the security implications would entail risks, the costs of new policies also must be evaluated. "Do-It-Yourself," or DIY, weapons will bring significant ramifications for First and Second Amendment law, international and homeland security, crime control, technology, privacy, innovation, and the character of open source culture itself. How can liberal society adjust to technologies that make it easier to produce weapons and contraband?

Informative and thought-provoking, Ghost Guns: Hobbyists, Hackers, and the Homemade Weapons Revolution carefully analyzes the technical, legal, social, political, and criminological trends behind this challenging new area of illicit weapons activity.


    • Provides readers with informative background on DIY gun laws and legislative trends, and fascinating descriptions of legal and illegal practices with homemade weapons around the world
    • Presents in-depth explanations of the consumer appeal, technology, economics, politics, and enforcement challenges behind America's quickly growing DIY gun-making phenomenon
    • Evaluates the current and future appeal of homemade weapons for differing types of crime and terrorism
    • Offers a series of forward-looking recommendations for weapons control and security policy in an increasingly "post-industrial" 21st century
Author Info

Mark A. Tallman, PhD, is a security researcher and consultant. He teaches homeland and international security at Colorado State University-Pueblo's Center for the Study of Homeland Security and was a research fellow at the University of Denver's Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy as well as an international project manager for the Program on Terrorism and Insurgency Research. Tallman has a PhD from the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, an MA in global politics, and a BA in international relations. Tallman contributes to the law enforcement blog Calibre Press and edits

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