On Saturday, 3-D printed gunsmith Defense Distributed published on Facebook a photograph of its newly acquired Title 7 Federal Firearms License. The Title 7 license allows Defense Distributed to manufacture and sell ammunition and firearms.
We've covered Defense Distributed here before, most recently last month when founder Cody Wilson fired 600 rounds with a 3-D printed receiver. The licensing brings Defense Distributed clearly in line with the law--a curious move for an organization that delights in questioning legal boundaries. From its mission statement:
Public statements such as these call into question the logic of much gun regulation. The 600-round lower receiver test, after all, was in direct response to congressional talk about ammunition magazine-size restrictions. Questioning the law doesn't require directly challenging it, and Defense Distributed's new license acknowledges that reality for now.
Wilson says he will not start making and selling guns until he receives additional licensing.
Stay tuned on Popular Science for more from Wilson himself.
I can download the files and print my own AR lowers, but if I don't have a printer, I can now buy one from them as they are now a licensed manufacturer.
It doesn't stop them from sharing the files or me from printing them. It just means that now they can sell what they print themselves.
Do they only print the body parts. The parts that matter are the barrel,bolt, and trigger assemblies. Those are the parts that make a firearm.
Its no different from printing money, or gun licenses or ID cards for institutions you don't belong to.
Just because people CAN print it, doesn't mean they will.
In most cases it would still be more convenient to just go get the real thing.
I doubt I will ever 3D print anything even remotely dangerous, because death by 3D printer is just not how I want to check out.
Legally, the lower receiver (the "body") is "the firearm".
The barrel, bolt, trigger assembly and the like are just components.
A single firearm might be modified to fire a different round by changing the barrel, bolt and magazine.
You can find a floating barrel upper with bolt, match grade trigger group, and adjustable butt stock with buffer assembly on Amazon. They even have optics from EO Tech and Trijicon. Everything you might need for sport target shooting.
BTW, Mr. Biden, if you're reading this, this is a sporting use of the system, not that it needs one - but there you go...
They are not printing the chamber - only the lower receiver. Not that an AK is that similar to an AR, but there are a great number of AK lowers made of stamped sheet metal.