Are 3-D Printed Guns a Cause for Concern?
Cody Wilson, a 26-year-old radical libertarian and crypto-anarchist, did something extraordinary last year.
He fashioned the world’s first firearm using only a 3-D printer.
The gun, called “the Liberator,” was printed almost exclusively of plastic – save for a conventional nail used as the firing pin.
When Wilson pulled the trigger, firing a standard .380 handgun round, he instantly became the first person in history to successfully fire a 3-D printed gun.
For an encore, Wilson fired the Liberator again with a longer barrel and a 5.728 rifle cartridge. This time, the gun misfired and exploded into pieces.
Nonetheless, the world changed that day.
(Warning: This is where the story gets scary.)
Wilson then published the “printing” instructions for the gun on the web. They were downloaded 100,000 times in two days.
What happened next?
With one pull of the trigger, Wilson forever blurred the line between gun control laws and censorship.
It’s a polarizing topic, depending on who you ask.
While some see Wilson’s efforts to circumvent gun control laws as immoral, others believe he’s an incredible patriot. That is, one fighting to preserve our Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Either way, wouldn’t you have expected the 113th United States Congress to take swift action?
I mean, what’s to stop a lunatic from printing a gun and assassinating a world leader?
Well, Congress’ response will likely surprise you.
So far this year, Congress has agreed on just one gun-related bill: a 10-year extension of the Undetectable Firearms Act, which prohibits the manufacture of guns that are immune to metal detectors.
According to its text, it’s illegal for anybody to “manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive” a firearm that can’t be detected once its grips, stocks, and magazines are removed.
But the law still allows such guns to be produced with easily removable metal parts.
It’s a giant loophole, one that lets a would-be assassin easily pop the metal out of his gun to slip past law enforcement or airport security.
Any amendments to close the loophole are vehemently opposed by the National Rifle Association.
“The NRA has been working for months to thwart expansion of the [Undetectable Firearms Act] by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and others,” writes the NRA in a statement. “We will continue to aggressively fight any expansion of the UFA or any other proposal that would infringe on our Second Amendment rights.”
Look, I’m not advocating one side of this argument or the other.
But as it stands now, you’re free to print your own 3-D gun.
Just make sure it has a few metal parts to keep it legal.
Onward and Upward,
Founder, Wall Street Daily