State raids SLO man’s home, files 22 gun-related felony charges

October 7, 2022

Dylan Hardy


Special agents from the California Department of Justice on Oct. 3 raided the home of a San Luis Obispo man who advertises the sale of parts for Russian assault weapons. The state charged the suspect with 22 gun-related felony counts, according to California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Dylan Hardy is the owner of AK Collector’s Source, “the premier supplier of U.S. made side optic rails and other sought-after accessories for Kalashnikov rifles,” according to his company’s Instagram site. Hardy opened his business in 2019, two years after graduating from Cal Poly with a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology, according to Hardy’s LinkedIn page.

During the search of Hardy’s house, special agents found a large cache of illegal ghost guns, ghost gun kits, assault weapons, machine guns and ammunition. Investigators accuse Hardy of using cut-up machine gun parts ordered from Russia to create illegal ghost guns — or unserialized and untraceable firearms — at his residence in San Luis Obispo.

“Firearms built at home by individuals who have not passed a background check and have not had their guns properly serialized leave law enforcement in the dark and endanger our communities,” Attorney General Bonta said. “We cannot stand idly by as children and families keep losing their lives to more tragedies caused by ghost guns. My office will continue to work actively every single day to end this gun violence epidemic and keep Californians safe.”

Agents seized 16 unregistered assault weapons, five unserialized ghost gun AK-style machine guns, 45 AK-style unserialized ghost gun machine gun kits with several stamped “Made in Russia,” two silencers, one unregistered .50 caliber BMG rifle, 420 large-capacity magazines and approximately 150 rounds of ammunition.

California law mandates that anyone who possesses, manufactures, or assembles lawful firearms in the state apply to the Department of Justice for a unique serial number for each of their self-made firearms.

Hardy is charged with 16 felony counts of possession of an assault weapon along with charges of possession of a silencer, importing large capacity magazines and manufacturing assault weapons. The Department of Justice is prosecuting the case.

“It is important to note that a criminal complaint, once filed, contains charges that must be proven in a court of law,” according to the Department of Justice. “Every defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.”

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This guys biggest mistake was doing this in California. If he was in Free America what he was doing would be legal or he could get the permits to do it legally. California hates firearms.

Yes indeed, and firearm death rates are far higher in “Free America.” In fact, 16 of the top 17 states with the highest rate of gun deaths are controlled by Republicans.

Not surprisingly, California ranks 45th with only 8.5 gun deaths per 100,000 people. In “Free America” those rates are as high as 28.6 per 100,000 people. Gee, I wonder where I’d rather live.

Id like to see some statistics about how many crimes are actually solved by using serial numbers.

Using your CNC machine to mill your own gun is perfectly legal. Using it to manufacture and sell unserialized firearms makes you an illegal firearms trafficker.

Who purchases his gear? People willing to break the law—for crime or merely enthusiasm.

Law abiding gun owners should applaud his arrest. If convicted he should do serious time.

It does not appear that he was selling the firearms. He was only selling parts. However, it looks like he was selling magazines > 10 rounds within the state, which is what got him in trouble. The “ghost” guns they just found in the search.

According to California law, you can also no longer use a 3D printer nor a CNC machine to build your own guns after 1/1/23.. And in 2024 you must serialize any gun you build. So many of the statements in this article, by both the reporter and the AG, regarding the legality of his builds are not accurate.

For the most part, this would have been a nothing burger. It sounds like the mistake he made was that the rifles he possessed were not “California compliant”. If they were fully assembled at the time they were seized, he may be in trouble. Depending on the judge, it could be a felony or a misdemeanor.

So his “minor’’ illegal activity selling gun parts resulted in the discovery of his illegal ghost guns. Otherwise it was a nothing burger? Respectfully I think you downplay his activities.

A lot of serious criminal activity starts with the discovery of a “nothing burger”.

What was he going to do with 45 ghost machine gun kits? And the 5 machine guns he’d already assembled? Or the 15 AK’s? It all should be ignored by the judge because they went there originally for something minor?

Being tough on crime means being consistently tough on those who enable crime. 65, unserialized or registered, assault style machine guns off the streets is a good thing.

Actually you are misunderstanding what I’m saying, because your knowledge of gun laws may not be up to par. There is no such, until 2023, as an “illegal ghost gun” if you built it yourself. The laws requiring serialization have not taken effect yet, UNLESS of course, you sell it.. And nowhere in any article I’ve read on this yet said that he sold it.

As far as the 45 ghost gun kits… Again, the law banning those has not taken effect yet. Until recently, it was not illegal to buy/sell/manufacture “unfinished lower receivers.” So he might have obtained these before those laws went into effect, and even now he should be covered until 2024 as far as serializing those parts.

There are only 2 laws which he ACTUALLY broke here. First, is the possession of “assault weapons.” But this is actually a very minor distinction in AR-15 and AK47 rifles and that is why the law is a “wobbler” meaning the judge may choose to make possession a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Secondly, was the most blatant thing of all, and the thing which led to his arrest.. and that is the buying and selling of >10 round magazines. Even still, that’s ALSO a wobbler. There are many people holding on to such magazines right now because that law is in the middle of legal disputes. Also, if you go on his website, you’ll see that every single one of those illegal magazines is in fact listed as out of stock.

Now, whether taking his guns is a good or bad thing as far as being tough on crime really depends on what his intention was with those parts.

So, if you want to become more informed on the actual laws in play here, and come back and have a discussion, I’m happy to entertain that discussion. Until then, I don’t feel like you really much to add.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and facts of the current laws.

You’re welcome. And I didn’t even really touch on what is a legal and illegal “assault weapon”. That is where things get REALLY complicated, and something as simple as a pistol grip can turn the same exact gun into an assault weapon. Or, if you have no pistol grip, you can put a 30 round magazine in it, but if you place it in one with a pistol grip, suddenly it’s an assault weapon. The laws are VERY VERY detailed and specific, and it’s honestly difficult to keep up with them.

There is no such, until 2023, as an “illegal ghost gun” if you built it yourself. The laws requiring serialization have not taken effect yet, UNLESS of course, you sell it.. And nowhere in any article I’ve read on this yet said that he sold it.

AB-857 (signed by the governor in 2016 and in effect as of 2018) required you to apply for a serial number prior to even assembling.

Are you saying that bill didn’t go into effect? Or that it somehow doesn’t apply here?

If he didn’t apply for serial numbers, he likely is in violation of AB857 with the “five unserialized ghost gun AK-style machine guns” — as it reads like those were assembled and not serialized.

Great job by the California Department of Justice. The rule of law being followed and enforced. People are safer and better for it.

Now, if our CDJ would use that same aggression going after the Fentanyl, Meth, Heroin, driven by the Mexican Cartels through illegal immigration invasion along our state border. Thit would be a much more effective attempt to save the lives of California families and improve the safety of all communities through following the rule of law and enforcing them as well. Where are the enforcement numbers on these issues killing our fellow Californians.

I wonder who buys the drugs, the immigrants? If drugs were legal, would cartels stop? Are corporations cartels who don’t get punished and have killed more people? Why is roundup still legal. Did you know living within 100 yards of a freeway increases your risk of dementia by over 30 and cancer by 30 percent, should we ban cars and gasoline? Why was lead in paint and arsenic in wall paper and why did people have to fight to stop it? Should we ban PFAS chemicals that poisoned atascaderos ground water and suing Dow chemical?. Yup, blame immigrants, so clever. Why do people use opiates? Hm? Immigrants, I forgot. Who uses drugs more, poor or rich. Immigrants…lordy man.

The legalization of marijuana hasnt stopped the cartels from illegally trafficking it.

” Where are the enforcement numbers on these issues killing our fellow Californians.” Are you kidding me right now? You think they look the other way on this? There’s an entire government industry built on the drug war.

Well they’re doing a terrible job at that war. There are approximately 300 Fentanyl deaths every day across this nation, and rising quickly. That equates to around 110,000 deaths a year. Government war on drugs? It doesn’t support that they’re very effective. That’s just numbers on Fentanyl deaths. It doesn’t include Meth, Heroin or pot deaths.

In my personal opinion, it’s that war on drugs that’s actually CAUSING the problem. If heroin were legal, people could practice “harm reduction.” With heroin and opiates now cracked down on hardcore, fentanyl becomes a marketable product, and a very unpredictable one.

Fentanyl is to opiates what bathtub gin with methanol was to alcohol during prohibition.

Legalizing drugs is NOT the answer. Look no further than all of the major issues with legalizing pot. Corruption, death, destruction of individuals and families just to mention a few. The mind-altering effects on people making them zombies, unemployable, lazy and irresponsible to the basics of life. Legalizing more drugs make it better? Utopia world at best. My goodness. Sad, very sad.

You call yourself commonsenseguy buy you just made paranoid, ridiculous unfactual statements about marijuana. The idea that smoking weed makes people unemployable zombies is seriously just naive and uninformed. MANY many successful, hard working people smoke marijuana, just like many successful people drink. Death, destruction of individuals and families?! WHAT?! Your statements are so patently absurd I can’t even take you seriously.

The point of legalizing drugs, however, is not to ignore than many drugs can be very detrimental. But that is not a problem society is likely to solve any time soon… the POINT is that prohibition of drugs leads to WORSE outcomes than legalization of drugs. That is why we ended prohibition of alcohol, and yet people still cannot seem to grasp this concept.

I was a production Manager for 25 years. I supervised many people through those years. Drugs and alcohol use and the effects from them led to them losing their jobs. I’ve seen it firsthand. Pot and alcohol we’re easily the first cause of this. These both lead to the gateway of other drugs and eventually worse outcomes. Pot is a problem period. Your justification and defending it says a lot to the lack of common sense and facts of this debilitating drug use.

Legalizing additional death opportunities is pure insanity.