Defense Distributed's plastic, 3-D printed "Liberator" single-shot handgun was here for a moment and then it was gone in more than one sense. For one, the news cycle turned over. Moreover, the State Department came down on Defense Distributed asking it to pull the CAD file for the Liberator off its servers until the lawyers could figure out if putting a free, downloadable CAD file up on the Web violated any arms export regulations. But the Liberator is back and--presumably to Defense Distributed co-founder Cody Wilson's glee--it is evolving.
By the time the State Department asked Defense Distributed to pull down the CAD file for the Liberator, it was already replicating across the Web. And one of the people who appears to have gotten his hands on it is a Wisconsin engineer who identified himself to Forbes only as "Joe." Joe has printed what he adorably calls the "Lulz Liberator" on a $1,725 Lulzbot A0-101 consumer-grade 3-D printer--a printer that is far less expensive than the industrial-grade one used by Wilson and company to create the original Liberator, which essentially was a disposable pistol--one shot and the barrel breaks, requiring the user to print another.
Joe's Lulz Liberator--cost: $25--successfully fires eight rounds through a single barrel (and a ninth round through a replacement barrel) in the video below, proving that plastic guns have already leapt beyond the one-shot-per-print limitation. The Lulz Liberator is still a single-shot weapon--that is, it only holds a single round at a time--but it can be reloaded and fired multiple times using a single barrel.
Joe made his Lulz Liberator from PA-747 ABS plastic, a standard kind of ABS that is the working material for most consumer-grade 3-D printers. Yet he claims that it's stronger than the more expensive stuff Wilson prints with in his larger, more costly Stratasys printer. Joe also augmented his version with a few components not found on the original Liberator, which is all plastic except for the firing pin made from a standard nail. The Lulz Liberator uses a metal nail for a firing pin, but also employs metal screws--available for pennies at your local hardware store--to hold the body of the firearm together rather than relying on plastic pins as Wilson's does. And like Wilson's, it contains a non-functioning piece of steel designed to bring it into alignment with the Undetectable Firearms Act.
The Lulz Liberator reportedly misfired several times during tests, and some of the screws and firing pins had to be replaced throughout the testing. Reloading is also no simple matter; each spent .380 cartridge expanded enough that they had to be pounded free of the chamber with a hammer. So it's not like the Lulz Liberator is a rapid-fire, or even a semi-rapid fire plastic firearm.
What it is: A confirmation that Wilson's Liberator design indeed functions the way he says it does, as well as proof that now that this thing is out there in the maker ecosystem it's going to evolve independent of Wilson and Defense Distributed.
One key difference between Wilson's Liberator and Joe's Lulz Liberator: the Lulz Liberator design file is not available for download online and it's unclear if or when Joe might release it into the wild. But it doesn't really matter. Defense Distributed's file is still circulating out there, and it's unlikely Joe is the only maker out there tinkering with new ways to make better firearms from cheap plastic.
I love guns.
But why do I need one?
There are elementary plans for making a gun out of a piece of pipe. So what is the real point then, if another easy way is invented? Is everyone going to quickly run around and make a gun and beginning a killing spree; I don't think so.
But why does the common citizen need a gun?
@Sometimes... For the same reason the North Korean people need the internet.
Because in the US the Government is the People. The citizens ARE the government.
If governments need weapons, then in the US the People need weapons for all the reasons that governments do.
Also, since our government is designed to serve the People, rather than ruling the People, the balance of power must always be in the hands of the People.
That said, I have guns for national defense, home defense, personal defense, fun shooting, target shooting, and hunting a host of different delicious critters.
How would we stop criminals from getting guns or printing guns?
@Sometimes: A few good reasons given here: http://youtu.be/G48lOx-L3JQ
We won't, and police are only good for cleaning up the mess after a crime has been committed. Criminals will always get/make/have guns, so why should the playing field be in their favor? Why should law abiding people not be allowed to defend themselves in a realistic way?
@Oakspar And this little gimmick is good for virtually none of those. Shotguns, carbines and automatic pistols are still what one should use for house/personal defense. Rifles for hunting, national defense, etc. The lulz? All it is really good for is making a point. Well I shouldn't say that, if we ever have another occupied France we can airdrop these things by the crate for resistance fighters just like we did last time... curiously THAT pistol was also a cheap one shot pistol named the Liberator.
'high capacity' (because 30 rounds is clearly high capacity ~sarcasm) magazines, selector switches, no serial, large calibers and soon we can add printers to the ever growing list of excuses why we can't have guns.
Ah, the joy of printing out my sweet little pink gun is I made is match my shoes. ;)
I thought a lethal weapon is suppose to be deadly looking!
Perhaps with the next printed gun will be in the form
of a doll or pacifier.
Can you hear that? That is the sound of inevitability. That is the sound of your death.
I'm only questions because I am interested in other people's opinions. So let's keep this civil and open.
1) What scenarios do you think a citizen would need a gun?
2) Would the easy access to printing guns help help slow crime rates or would it increase it?
3) How would we keep this from children, let alone, unstable people?
-home defense, whether from criminals, animals, rogue police, other "government" agents who've gone against the Constitution, foreign invaders, terrorists, gangs, cartels, whatever
-hunting, whether food or sport
-target shooting of all types
2)Neither. Crime is ruled by different factors depending on the type. Some crimes are crimes of passion, and most likely, in a heated passion no one is going to print up a gun. Plenty of non-plastic guns are prevalent already. While the gun itself may be cheap when 3D printed, the printer, as yet, is not. Other crime, such as calculated murder or terrorism is usually well thought out, that means the person who intends to do the crime plans to find a way. Sure, a 3d gun may be their best option for their scenario, but maybe not.
3)Technically, you can't totally keep them from children or unstable people, just as we can't with other guns now. You can monitor your children, particularly if you have a 3d printer and bullets, but in that case you probably have guns already that you need to worry about those also. As for unstable people, they can already buy or make weapons if they don't have a mental health record or have the means. Nothing changes there, except perhaps their weapon of choice, which is rather irrelevant since they intend to kill one way or another.
Answer to question 1.
A person may need a gun to kill, Sometimes, perhaps.
1) When the government says it has the right to execute its citizens without trial... that time has come in the US. The sole reason for the 2nd amendment was to give the citizens the power to protect themselves from their government. That need hasn't disappeared.
2) Check out crime rates around the world. You'll find that easy access to guns doesn't affect the violent crime rate one way or the other. Violent crime in the UK went up after guns were banned.
3) Your 5-year-old isn't going to download and print a gun. Printing a gun requires a printer, material and know-how. Securing this gun at home is no different than securing any gun. As far as keeping guns away from unstable people, we aren't doing that now and we really can't. If you look at the majority of the mass shootings recently, the killers had prior known mental health issues. Printed guns weren't available to them, but it didn't stop them from getting guns. Heck, our Department of Justice was handing guns out to the drug cartel! You can't stop people from getting guns if they want them. You can only make it inconvenient.
@Wonder, I will take that as a joke.
What will be the next thing for Home 3D printing?
A man recently today was found dead, while cleaning his printer.
Yes, it was a joke...
I cant understand why anybody thinks this is not going to end up in the hands of kids and teenagers.
The whole 3d printing community exists almost entirely on the internet. And 3d printers are mostly bought by people who are internet savvy. Also the means of acquiring this gun exist on the internet so it stands to reason that this gun is most likely going to end up in the hands of people who are internet savvy. The problem with that is that in most households the people who are the most internet savvy are the kids. Therefore it's pretty likely that this will end up in the hands of kids. Anybody who thinks that a kid is too dumb or too smart to put this together is a fool.
When you live in a household with guns then the adults are expected to teach you to behave around them but when you live in a household with out guns then nobody ever bothers to teach you how to respect a weapon and operate it with caution. This technology brings the possibility of putting guns in to households that didn't expect them. And that's a major safety problem. Was it inevitable? Yes. Should it have been carefully put in to place instead of zealously dumped on to the open web? Yes. As a gun owner I know that I wouldn't want a gun anywhere near my house unless I knew where it came from and if it was safe.
You can make an argument that you still have to get your hands on a bullet but in that sense I'd ask you how the Liberator actually liberates you from government control of guns? "Can't the government just start controlling the sale of ammunition?" Then you'd say some thing like "Well one day we'll probably be able to 3d print bullets!" To which I'd say "Exactly."
but who knows... maybe by that time the whole 3d printed gun paradigm will have completely changed.
In either case I feel like Cody Wilson is an impractical idealist who has rushed head first in to this for the fame and attention he's getting from his supporters. He could have at least waited until he got a working safety built in. At least.
Maybe they can use that new Graphene technology. It's like 10 times stronger than steel and from the articles I've read it seems to be in powder form and perhaps useable in 3D printers.
First off I'd like to say it is dangerous to make this type of device and use it. Modern firearms are "proofed" and have been designed by pro's who use tested materials. A user or bystander could be killed using any of these novelties. Your life is in as much danger as the target is with these.
I don't really see the big scare here. Sure, anyone can make a real metal gun from simple tools. In fact, most of the third world has been crafting copies of common firearms for decades. Some in small towns do this with the most crude of hand tools. This actually requires some technology and know-how to make a 3D printed gun.
I don't need a gun, tv, truck, air conditioning, fork, chainsaw, pressure cooker, gasoline, fertilizer nor hundreds of other devices. But I have them and they all could be used against civilization.
The weapon shown, while an interesting curiosity, is basically an expensive zip gun. And I would probably trust a zip gun more than this chunk of plastic.
@Sometimes "What will be the next thing for Home 3D printing?"
Drones! Or, if human history is any indication it will be bongs and sex toys.
1: Beyond Hunting and other Sport Shooting, as long as citizens do not want to have the *need* for a gun. If we have them as free citizens we should never need them as free citizens. I know it is a bit of a Catch-22...
2: As others have said, no effect. Weapons can be anything when wielded with lethal intent. More than this, firearms (weapons that are truly only good at stand-off distances) are available to criminals fairly easily on the black market due to the vast amounts of weapons in existence. There is no practical way of removing these weapons from circulation.
3:"We" can't anyway. I can teach MY child and YOU can teach YOURS proper safety in the way that each thinks is correct, but there is no way "we" can keep guns or any other hazard away from kids beyond teaching the kids themselves how to mitigate the hazards they may come across. For "mentally unstable," please tell me (and I mean all the respect possible, I to like heathy debate) how to identify those with mental illness. The only thing we have to go by is those that have received treatment, which really only designates those heathy enough to seek treatment or those so messed-up that they were involuntarily committed (which means no shoelaces, much less guns). BTW the mentally ill are, as a population, less likely to commit violence than the "general population," and far more likely to be victims.
What you send out, you will inevitably find returned to you.
Since this PINK gun is made with a printer, they might as well print on the side of the gun the words "I love you", so the victim and the shooter don’t feel so depressed or many " Hearts and Happy Smiley" faces.
What was the creator of this gun thinking, oye!
Some more question from me:
1. If there is indeed no way to stop criminals from getting guns, why are there so few gun murders in Japan or the UK?
2. Even granting the assumption that some criminals can in principle always get guns, is it not (considering that most criminals are simply not very smart) counterintuitive to make it even easier to get them than it has to be?
3. If you need your guns to fight a government that kills its citizens without a trial - well, we already know this is happening. Just today the White House admitted to killing 4 US citizens without any judicial involvement or any oversight whatsoever. My guess is, you are still sitting in your living room with a bowl of potato chips. Why are you not marching on Washington with your guns right now?
4. Do you feel safer in a society where there's a good chance the guy walking behind you on your way back from work has a gun, even though you may have one yourself, or in a society where the chance of anyone other than the police having a gun is vanishingly small, even though you yourself also don't have one?
1 You are comparing Apples to Turtles. Regardless, I don't care when criminals get killed—or kill each other. I do care when an otherwise innocent person gets killed, by any means. And, as seen in the UK the other day one need not use a gun to kill, all you need is a meat cleaver—or should those be banned?
2 "considering that most criminals are simply not very smart" you mistake in correlating smart with cunning and sociopathic. If they were smart, cunning and sociopaths they would be on Wall Street making millions—or running for public office.
3 Most of #3 is a rhetorical statement not a question. As to "Why are you not marching on Washington with your guns right now?" Because of the backward gun laws in Washington D.C. which make it illegal and, as someone who tries to abide by the law, the march would preclude weapons.
4 Yes, if it is a legal CCW holder. I know quite a few people with concealed carry permits who carry all the time. In general they are all friendly, competent shooters who know the law and the consequences of using a firearm. More so than the general public which is rife with misconceptions.
Tools and technology progress and they make man's activities easier - including killing for food, defense, or crime.
Attempting to stop killing by removing guns is like trying to stop the free press by outlawing printers. That cat is already out of the bag.
The zip guns made by these printers are crude - but they do one thing - they let us know that in the future, gun regulations WILL be unenforcible.
Even with the regulation of ammo - spring and air weapons are capable of more than deadly ballistics - so even printable ammo is a possibility with pump-based propelling.
A gun in the hand of every man is the future, and it requires governments to realize and adapt to a world in which all of mankind is more powerful and dangerous.
This is a good thing.
@zombietimeshare thanks for giving your opinion.
1. We are in agreement that people will always be able to kill others. Hell, if they really want to, they can take some aconite (grows in most climates and can most likely be found within 20 minutes walk of where you live) and poison people. There is such a thing as a "base risk of living in a society". It is not useful to think in terms of "either a measure solves a problem completely or it is nonsense". You can have laws which have a net benefit without solving 100% of the problem - these are not bad laws or useless laws. What if the 2 guys in London a few days ago had had AR-15s? Don't insult my intelligence and tell me that the death toll would not have been much higher, especially considering they later had a confrontation with the police which ultimately led to shots being fired.
Saying that people can kill one guy with meat cleavers if they really try, and therefore there's no harm in giving all people access to tools which greatly facilitate taking someone's life strikes me as a non-sequitur.
As a side note: in Japan or the UK, it's not just less criminals being murdered with guns, it's less people overall, because there are no guns to murder anyone with. It's really not rocket science, you know.
2. You say that "If they were smart, cunning and sociopaths they would be on Wall Street making millions—or running for public office." so... what? From what you write it seems you agree that street thugs aren't criminal masterminds or even particularly smart. So why would you think that they would still be able to effortlessly get their hands on guns? Being a sociopath does not magically give one access to guns. There's lots of criminals in Germany, they are every bit as cunning or sociopathic as anywhere else. If that's all it takes, why doesn't the vast majority of them have guns?
3. So, you need your guns to keep your government in check, but if your government does actually become oppressive, your reason for not doing anything is "it would be against the law". Sounds to me like you want your guns because you want your guns, and you summon some valiant cause to justify keeping your toys. But when push comes to shove, it's revealed for the pretense it is.
4. Well, I hope you will never get your wish. The gun you have won't stop someone else's bullet. Having a gun in your holster won't bring you back to life. If someone attacks you with his fists, you may still lose your money and break your jaw, and if he jumps you there's nothing you can do about it, but you'll be alive.
If everyone has guns, the one who shoots first is the one who will walk away. Will that be you, or will it be the thug who did it already ten times before? I think anyone who wants deregulation on guns has to ask themselves, if they will really come out on top in such a situation.
1. Japan has a completely different attitude towards guns for one. Europe has nuances in cultural differences that make people less prone to use guns. Last time I looked at a comparison of violent crime rate, the U.S. was better off in terms of aggravated assault, attempted murder, and rape than a lot of places including Japan and the U.K.; that said, this was off set by the our having a slightly higher murder rate. I have to ask the question in response any time someone brings up gun violence or variations there of: Is a body any less dead when killed with a knife or a club than when killed with a gun?
To answer your question per AR-15’s: well, that U.K. soldier might still be amongst the living. Guns, generally, and rifles, specifically, are standoff weapons. In the confines of an urban environment, rifles give almost no advantage over handguns, which the police had (in a 30m engagement, a weapon accurate at 30m is sufficient, accuracy at 500m is superfluous). The advantage would still have gone to the Police, due to their body armor. Since we’re playing “what if”: What if they’d had Molotov Cocktails, an IED, or a car bomb? Also, In your scenario, does half the population of London have guns or just the killers and the police?
2. The point here is not the ease of the criminal getting the gun. I agree with zombietimesare in that dumb people can be clever, under certain circumstances. Further, you confuse laziness for an apparent lack of smarts. The stereotypical violent criminal becomes such because he perceives that life as the most likely to advancement. Perhaps he rightly figures that college would not be a great advantage to him. Perhaps, if we steered such individuals to technical fields instead of saying that the ONLY legitimate path to advancement lies in college, then these folks might not come to the conclusion that the gang life is their only choice?
3. Why march on Washington when I can write my Senators and my Congressman? They’ve been asking questions of the administration; now the administration is admitting it publicly and at least giving lip service to changing the policy. Plus, this and other issues that I feel are government over-steps have encouraged me (and others like me) to be more politically active. Perhaps you are trolling, or perhaps you truly believe that guns are evil. If, the former, there is nothing that can be said to satisfy you. If the latter, you may have a prejudice that proponents of the 2nd Amendment want armed revolt. I do not, nor any other like-minded person I know! This would always be a last resort. Exactly how far gone do you think America is that it can’t be corrected through political means?
4. I feel immensely safe in the Deep South, where I know there are plenty of CCP holders. Why do you have issue trusting your neighbors? Honestly, I felt safer in Afghanistan than I have in NYC – purely because of my being continually armed, with everybody around me being armed.
Also, it isn't the one who shoots first who lives - it's the one who shoots true first. Those folks with CWP's (in most states) have to qualify on a hand gun in order to receive their permit. Plus, there are a lot of factors that determine survivability from a gun shot wound. Since you bring up fists, did you know that more people die (per capita) in the U.S. from fists than from ALL rifles, much less those of Armalite Rifle designs? Do you really think that thugs practice shooting? CWP holders go to these places called ranges where they can fire their weapons at targets without bringing in the police, so yeah, I'm pretty sure any of the CWP holders I know would be the survivor. Frankly, I don't think you know much about weapons (blade, bludgeon, person, or firearm) and the tactical advantages/disadvantages of each, and your ignorance terrifies you. In your fear of the danger posed by other humans (which, I admit is justifiable and practical to have) you want to limit that danger, but what you don't understand is that the most dangerous humans to other humans are equally dangerous without guns simply through their will to be dangerous to other humans.
Well, maybe the societal stance on guns is different, because not everybody is constantly reinforcing the myth that more guns keep people safer and not everybody has them.
Also, I don't know where you got your statistics from. The "slightly higher" murder rate you are talking about is 4.8 (per 100k per year) in the US according to the UNODC, compared to 0.8 in Germany, 1.2 in the UK and 0.4 in Japan. That's between 4 and 12 times more. Just looking at gun-related homicides according to the UNODC/CDC/WHO, the US is at 3.6, Germany at 0.2, the UK at 0.04 and Japan at 0.00. So, we can already see that not only are you way more likely to be murdered in the US, we can see that guns make up the sum of the difference to the other quoted countries and indeed the largest part of your homicides overall.
As for rape and aggravated assault, according to the FBI/BoJ, the forcible rape rate in the US was 26.8 (the UN gives similar numbers of 27.3) with Japan being at 1.0 (UN numbers) and Germany being at 9 (BKA number, UN at 9.4). Aggravated assault has the US at 241, the UK at 117 and Germany at 188 (although it should be mentioned that German statistics include minor assault such as slapping, while US and UK statistics do not).
The above actually goes to your point a tiny bit, because having more aggravated assaults would be in line with the higher rate of homicides just being a result of societal factors, not guns. But, as you can see, the aggravated assault number is only around twice as high, while the homicide rate (as seen above) is more than 4 times as high. If guns had nothing to do with it, a doubled rate of violent occurences would lead one to expect a doubled rate of homicides. However, a higher percentage of violent occurences end in death in the US and as I showed before, the majority of those because of guns. To me it looks like guns make killing easier and people who might not have died without the involvement of guns, did end up dying.
But you tell me: what conclusion do you draw from these numbers?
I'm not going to dignify your paragraph on the AR-15s with much of an answer. If you think, as you are implying, that criminals with assault rifles are as dangerous or even less so than criminals with knives or pistols (pistols, by the way, also being a weapon I would outlaw), I can only assume that nothing I say will reach you. Good thing many of the insurgents you imply having fought in Afghanistan had automatic rifles... just imagine they'd come at you and your comrades with only knives or pistols.
And it's quite disingenuous to say "What if they had bombs", as if I would be okay with it in that scenario. Building and using bombs is illegal, because they're dangerous. But as an interesting aside question: If you are saying they could have done more damage with bombs, well why didn't they have some? Surely those "resourceful" criminals you go on to speak about would have had no trouble to get their hands on some, even though they were illegal. Could it be that they used knives because they weren't able to get their hands on something more effective? But no, that's probably just a fantasy of mine...
The point about armed revolt was not a claim of mine, it was a response to previously stated reasons why guns were necessary (specifically as stated by ppardee in this comment stream). If you are saying that the possibility of armed revolt is not a sufficient reason for demanding the right to bear arms as a matter of course, then I will be glad to agree with you.
Your claim about fists causing more murders that guns is once again one I cannot verify. According to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division, in 2011, of 12664 murders in total, 8583 were caused by guns, with "Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)" at 728, or about 8.5% of the gun number. In the previous years those numbers are not significantly different. I wish you would check some actual numbers before you post claims like that in such an authoritative way...
Finally, you may not believe me, but I have no trust issues towards my fellow human beings. I don't fear going outside and I don't have panic attacks when someone walks behind me. I realize that there is a basic risk to living in the proximity to other people, for all the benefits it gives. My intention is to minimize that risk and why wouldn't anyone? The "thing [I] don't understand", as you put it, namely that the most dangerous humans will be equally dangerous no matter what they hold in their hand, whether it be a fork or a pistol or a pound of C4, I will freely admit I do indeed not grasp. And here's why: because it's bullshit. But even granting that for a second, what about the only kinda dangerous humans? What about the "only dangerous for a very brief moment of emotional loss of control" humans?
Listen, I look at the numbers, it's what I do. I want the numbers to be as low as possible. Don't you?