The Wiki Weapon Project--the attempt by University of Texas law school student Cody Wilson to develop a 3-D printable handgun and distribute its digital design file across the Web--is under fire. Stratasys, the maker of the 3-D printer the project's backers hoped to use to prototype its designs, has reclaimed the printer they originally sent to Wilson, citing Wilson's lack of a federal firearms manufacturing license and the company's right to rescind any lease if it believes its printers will be used for unlawful activity.
This whole controversy exists in a huge legal gray area, but for now it looks like the Wiki Weapon is stalled.
I am interested in knowing what printable plastic is capable of withstanding the chamber pressure and heat that is generated upon the firing of a bullet that would be a threat to someone.
Plastic treated with Borg nanites?
Well, a low velocity round (say a .22LR sub-sonic) does not create pressure like a high velocity round does (say a 7.62X51/.308win). So a low pressure round might could survive the plastic for a few shots.
More importantly, a gun is not a gun. The lower reciever IS the gun. The barrel (which includes the chamber the load is fired in) and the bolt (which holds the bullet in the chamber and strikes the primer) are NOT the gun.
Thus, a lower reciever (many of which are already primarely composite) is the only part of a gun you cannot simple order online to your home (even if you are a felon, insane, or 15).
I know this project was already about printing the ENTIRE gun, but you are legally making a gun when you print nothing more than the lower reciever.
By the way, making your own firearms is NOT illegal. You are required to give it a "unique" number and keep track of it, but until you try to sell it, it is completely legal (assuming it is only capable of semi-automatic fire).
Was there ever a huge gray area over the use of machine shop tools to make guns? no
@Oakspar: That's actually very interesting. Thanks for the info!
Missing the message guys? Ah yes, the beginning. Not only can you "print" a viable weapon on a 3-d printer but this guy was going to allow you to download the program from the internet. This is the future. You will order a program from Amazon walk down to your local printer who has the raw powders and walk out with your finished product, be it silver ware, shotgun, or medical device etc.. We are a hair's breadth away from the Star Trek Replicator. What then?
Agree with Oakspar and Scott_t, there was nothing really illegal or controversial here. If someone wanted to make a firearm for illegal use, it has always been possible without a 3-D printer.
Oakspar has the laws straight, unless you're manufacturing to resell you just have to permanently (usually engraved or stamped into the metal) mark the firearm with a unique identifier. It sounds more like this company just wanted an excuse to put distance between themselves and any uses for their technology that some people aren't comfortable with. Gotta love a vocal minority...
One thing that's not clear: Did he just make a design or did he actually use the machine to produce a weapon without the proper licencing? It's the difference between the company that broke the lease loosing a big law-suit and the individual who leased it going to jail.
PhotoJoe, see Oakspar's above. There is nothing illegal in producing a non-fully automatic weapon, not in the U.S. at least.
Practicly speaking, one could very easily make a single shot flint lock - with powder and projectile from materials - at any home improvement store. So, a law against would not be enforcable.
It's their right to do so. I suspect Stratasys wants to preempt the bad publicity that it would get when this project eventually (inevitably?) causes dozens of murders, school shootings, and accidental deaths.
I believe in the right to own and bear arms. But I also understand the regulation of weapons. This undermines the regulation process and allows any criminal or thug to make a gun.
Gee, how do you chase down the ballistics of that bullet? It’s not registered or the serial number of that weapon.
""Hey, buddy, what you burning in your back yard?
Sure is making a lot of black smoke!
Are you burning plastic or old tires or something?""
First off, I cannot believe how many of you will simultaneously say you are for the human right to self defense and support the second amendment to our Constitution while in the same sentence or paragraph supporting the regulation of that same right. It is despicable and deplorable in my mind that anyone could think like that. Second, I like how some of you get it and fully acknowledge the reality that a person can and will always be able to simply build their own weapon.
Hell, I could make a weapon more devastating than any gun from one trip to the home depot or walmart and I wouldn't ever have to fill out a single government form to do it. To pretend that such gov't control makes you safer only proves to people like myself that you are a simpleton and an enemy of Liberty (aka, an indentured servant to government).
Finally, I am a devout Libertarian and I will trust EVERY person to own a gun until they prove through their own actions (I.E. armed robbery, murder, forced rape, etc.) that they are incapable of being trusted (not with a weapon or vote, but to live in our society PERIOD). Anyone whom society cannot trust in this manner should be permanently removed. We should not have a title such as felon or second class citizen. We should not have a whole portion of our citizenry who cannot even vote, protect their own home, or pick up their child from school. It is an over reach of authority to create such divisions among the people. There should only be one division, those who do not initiate force and violence upon others and, and those who do. The latter should be driven out of society. This includes people who use gov't power to initiate such force.
I know that to some of you I may seem to have contradicted myself. However, the only defense against force is force. The paradox was not my creation nor is it my wish. It is just reality. Those who use force upon others must be set straight and since each sovereign has the right of defense, the use of force to retaliate and seek justice is a valid power of the individual and the state. Unfortunately, that power is currently widely abused and perverted to such extent that I can hardly point out a single instance of justice in this nation.
If this was only about the U.S., I wouldn't have replied. However, most people in most countries don't want to live with the weapon situation that currently exists in the States,let alone a near-anarchy like Afghanistan.
As for your libertarian utopia, what would happen to people who made one mistake, and "couldn't be trusted"? No other country would want them, so every single first time offender (teenagers beating each other up?) would have to be executed.
Unfortunately, I think the one previous poster is correct - absent a civcrash, any insane person will eventually be able to get a weapon no matter what legal system they live under. :-(
I think you guys are missing th point of this, it's 3D printing and this is exactly what drlobojo: THIS IS THE FUTURE!!!
I'm not talking Star trek, I mean that people will have the power to make whatever the hell they want, guns to an MRI (sorry, got a little ticked off) and use it.
3D printing shouldn't be banned, just registered. Just like a car, ya'll. Don't label me as a "big-gov't jacka$$", I just think if my neighbor could be producing an arsenal in his basement while the kid down the street is selling anything he can make, at least have a registry card to say you know how to use one and that you do use one.
And P.S., I told you so, twice. No, thrice, this is the third time I've had to speak on this topic.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
If you want a polite conversation, give everyone in the room a loaded shotgun.
Guns are safest in two configurations - when noone has them or when everyone has them.
There will always be whackjobs and whackjobs will aquire guns if there are any to aquire unless their is an actual 100% disarmament of the people (a difficult thing to do).
If everone is armed, however, every whackjob is armed, but there are no victims left. Whackjob acts and is quickly subdued.
Consider Arizona or Colorado. If everyone in that AZ crowd was carrying, the gunman would have been stopped before his empty mags jammed. If everyone in that CO theater was carrying, the gunman would have been stopped mid-shooting spree.
Also, it is not like there is any shortage of "junk guns" in any country that attempts to regulate firearms.
So, if you cannot disarm the bad guys, the best you can do is arm all the good guys (which is your entire population, if you are in a democratic country).
I also agree that what he was doing was NOT against the law and the printer company only acted because they held a politically different view. I would immediately file a lawsuit against them for breaking the lease. Additionally, while these firearms will function, the plastics are not strong enough to withstand long term use. On top of that some of you seem to think the ENTIRE FIREARM was made of plastic. It was not. Many of the internal parts, springs, screws, firing pin, and especially the barrel are steel.
So many people try to make comments about firearms (and the related laws) while not actually knowing anything about it Makes you sound foolish, and it spreads misinformation.
Reply, @ Aaronft, as for your assumption that I would consider a teenage fit a reason to revoke a person's life... Apparently you believe the hype that Libertarians are heartless. In fact, what I mean by saying that a person has proven through their own actions that they are unworthy of owning a gun (or any weapon for that matter), is that a person has committed life threatening force upon another person with no remorse and that a jury of his peers has judged that he is incapable of being rehabilitated and returned to society with all of the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that go with it.
You would be hard pressed to get me to think that a teen getting into a fight with another teen (or an adult getting into a fight with another adult) is deserving of such a punishment. No, I'm thinking this punishment would be better reserved for the individual who commits an violent home invasion or whom rapes a child. These people, no matter their age, are beyond such rehabilitation and through their own actions (no pre-crime used here) have proven such.
I am not saying things be as cut and dry as commit a crime and die, but there is no reason why a person smoking should go to jail for 10 years while a man who shoots and kills an armed robber while protecting himself and his coworkers should get a life sentence because he shot one too many rounds into the punk who only moments before threatened him with violent death at the barrel of a gun. Yes I would like to simplify things, but only to serve individual Liberty, and to protect the Constitution upon which MY nation was founded. If you and yours assume very wrongly that there is no inherent natural right for you to defend yourselves, then I sincerely hope that you get what you deserve. And what you deserve is not what I assume, but what history has decided time and time again. Those without the ability to defend themselves are eternally bound to be slaves, second class citizens, or in a more probable case.. immortalized in stories as one of the millions who died in a horrible state run genocide. Such as the ones run by Germany, Russia, China, or Turkey.
You see, what you see in America as a problem with guns, I see as the solution to genocide. So if it means that we have to continually prosecute insane individuals who want nothing more than to kill, then so be it. Oh, and trust me; if someone wants to kill, they will. Guns are not the only weapon in the world and they definitely weren't the first. But as the standard of self protection, they solve more problems than they create. Furthermore, I would really like to start a charity that donates weapons to the people of nations that are denied this natural right. Please tell me where you are from so that I may properly distribute said munitions.
I don't believe that Libertarians are heartless, but I do suspect that our worldviews are too different to be reconciled. The bit about teenagers was a slight bit of exaggeration to try & get my point across.
> "I am not saying things be as cut and dry as commit a crime and die"
... but what _would_ be done with someone who did a crime & didn't get killed in the process? If you would create a system of "no second-class citizens" (aka former criminals) then aren't you stuck with executing all of them? Either in the process of a crime or afterwards?
Incidentally, where does white collar crime fit into this? No one gets physically hurt or even endangered there...
> "Furthermore, I would really like to start a charity that donates weapons to the people of nations that are denied this natural right."
Thanks for the offer, but as a farmer I think that (eg) an ordinary rifle is occasionally handy tool on a farm. I also think that someone should have to prove that they're capable of following rules about weapons (i.e., go through a licensing process).
So do Libertarians have driver's licenses, or are those an infringement on your Natural Rights of free movement? :-)
These designs as a progressing type, and those in durable materials will be handy in time of war, but other than that, we don't need machine pistols much. As a machinist, there are definite limits to what I want to see everyone running around with. This is no competition or hunting tool. I don't teach people how to make these in any medium and I don't think others should without good reason. In other nations, there are populaces being subjected to conditions that don't exist here. But even in those emergencies, this is a can of worms the governments of the world don't want cracked. Still, even being shut down publicly doesn't preclude the idea that they could be hired by our government if their product is top notch.
Time for them to lawyer up and obliterate Stratasys.
Has anyone ever actually shot a Firearm made entirely on a 3D printer? If not and until then, the 3D print technology is still not yet mature and from the gun making point of view, this discussion is thankfully, hypothetical.