While I agree with the goal,
the facts aren’t there. While it is true that many types of firearms can’t be readily converted to reliable full auto, two of the more common – the AR15 platform and the AK47 platform – can be converted with this highly regulated tool:
Right, a $100 drill press. I’ll allow that finding the exact location and size of the single hole you need to drill in each to facilitate the conversion will take a few seconds of googling. I’m also obscuring that you must have a vise and the proper size drill bit. Oh, but you say, you have to have the parts to install and know how to install them; the parts for an ar15 were about $150 pre-Obama (I haven’t priced an LPK, sear, and bolt carrier recently). The parts for an AK47 were free for about a decade; every AK47 parts kit ordered from any reputable vendor came with everything, including the full auto fire control parts. The first step for the homebuilder of an AK-pattern weapon was to toss that jailbait in the trash.
Robb is leading the charge; Tam picked it up today. While it’s true that the conversion isn’t interesting (Robb covers why), in these two cases, it isn’t hard. It doesn’t require a machine shop. To do it legally requires the paying of a lot of fees (FFL, SOT, ITAR); to do it on a small scale, illegally, does not. The conversions are neither difficult nor requiring ultra-precise machine work.
This also sets aside that both platforms have a well-known, no-machining work-around. The AR15 supports the lightning link, the exact dimensions of which are easy to find; the AK47 supports that U-shaped thing without a real name, AFAIK. Neither of these options require modification of the host firearm.
Again, I agree the drumbeat of “OMG FULL AUTO” in the media is idiotic. I also agree that, by definition, any firearm a non-stamp-buying member of the general public may purchase is not readily convertible; the ATFE has decreed it to be so, therefore it is.