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Blueprints for 3D-printed guns can now be owned and distributed legally

By midian182 · 18 replies
Jul 11, 2018
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  1. As reported by Wired’s Andy Greenberg, the decision comes after the Department of Justice offered gunmaker Cody Wilson and his co-plaintiffs a settlement to end a lawsuit they filed in 2015.

    Back in 2013, Wilson uploaded the blueprints for the world’s first working 3D-printed pistol, the "Liberator,” to his website. A week later, the US state department demanded he remove them or face prosecution for violating federal export controls.

    Wilson’s lawyers have argued that stopping him from posting the blueprints is a violation of his right to bear arms and his First Amendment free speech rights. In the settlement, the government agrees to exempt “the technical data that is the subject of the Action” from legal restriction, which means you can own and distribute the files, and probably even print and use the guns. You just can’t sell them.

    Speaking about the decision and what it means, Wilson said, "I consider it a truly grand thing. It will be an irrevocable part of political life that guns are downloadable, and we helped to do that."

    Wilson and the nonprofit he founded, Defense Distributed, are now chasing the original vision of creating the world’s largest online repository of digital gun models, called DEFCAD. “This legal victory is the formal beginning to the era of downloadable guns. Guns are as downloadable as music. There will be streaming services for semi-automatics,” he told TechCrunch.

    Gun control advocates worry that the settlement could see criminals 3D printing a range of firearms that could be essentially untraceable.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,216   +2,679

    30 years from now, murder is legal, as long as you can 3D-print the victim back.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 446   +275

    No harm, no foul.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 749   +379

    What will this mean for the arms industry? Why sell loads of rifles and handguns to a country or organisation if they can just 3D print them? I know (or hope) we're not yet at the stage where we can 3D print a reliable weapon but it's only a matter of time.
    Do 3D weapons need to be registered? How will the authorities know who has them? Are they required to have serial numbers?
    Can bullets be 3D printed?
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,017   +1,412

    I think there will be a lot of hand-wringing over this for nothing. You need a million dollar 3D printer to make one and then it's only good for a couple of inaccurate shots. The technology is a LONG ways away from, "Honey - think I'll print a 3D gun and ammo and go for some target practice in the back yard while waiting for dinner."

    In America there are more guns then blades of grass. You don't need a 3D printer to easily get one. For now, this is just novelty, chat-room stuff.
    Capaill likes this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,613   +721

    Yeah 3D printed guns (out of plastic) aren't really all that dangerous compared a properly manufactured firearm with the necessary metal parts. That being said as tech improves it could become a problem. We really don't want just anyone able to make firearms, but the Bill of Rights second amendment does say the people have the right to own and carry. I think we need to update the 2A to be a little more specific, but on the other hand if someone REALLY wants to kill someone, they will find a way; firearm or not. There are unfortunately plenty of other effective methods to kill someone without a gun.
  7. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,762   +3,182

    Soooooo ..... how long until the grey market, unregistered firearms are lawful?
  8. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,307   +376

    Yes we have all seen altered carbon.
    Hexic likes this.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,381   +3,602

    I would think that 30 years from now, you'd likely be able to drop the victim into a tank of liquid helium, while you cloned him (or her), another of whichever part got broken.

    Head blown off, no problem.Just keep a current "backup" of the beloved's personality on the family server at all times.

    After all, you can never allow anyone to die needlessly. In spite of the fact mother says organisms have to die, to make room for new ones. Bah humbug, what does she know.
  10. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 446   +275

    Off topic, but good friggin' show. Almost finished with it.
    Capaill likes this.
  11. Denso

    Denso TS Rookie

    Its been legal since 1776. Google non-machined lowers and requirements to register in your state.
  12. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    They're legal right now, and have been for ages. There is no "grey market," and a general gun registry is illegal for the government to implement. This is actually part of the reason behind the ATF not having digitized records.

    Arm yourself, both with guns and knowledge.
    Hexic likes this.
  13. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 446   +275

    Knock it off with that common sense. Guns kill people, and I got the knowledge from what my TV tells me.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,205   +4,867

    I think we are headed toward virtually controlling our clones. Who needs to live dangerously? When we can send in our clone and experience it all.
  15. flipp3r

    flipp3r TS Member

    Ok, cheap 3D printers print plastic. They are being used in hospitals to print tissue.
    You can get metal printing 3D Printers for $100k. Pretty cheap if your a drug dealer or politician!
  16. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 569   +568

    Phew, for a moment there I thought it was going to be less insanely easy to get your hands on a lethal machine. Praise Jeebus!
  17. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    Plenty of cars around, my friend.
  18. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 569   +568

    Indeed there are my friend, but while cars can be used as weapons they're undeniably forms of transport first and foremost. Guns are weapons first and foremost. So that's a bit of a false equivalence. 'Things that can cause harm' and 'things designed to cause harm' don't cover the same area on the old Venn diagram of Life.
  19. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    Moving the goalposts.

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