3DPrinted Gun Pt1: Control Debate >

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3DPrinting advances are about to make the gun debate in the United States much more intense. Last week, Forbes highlighted Wiki Weapon, a project to prototype the world’s first fully 3DPrintable gun.

U.S. Second Amendment advocates want to make acquiring arms as easy as downloading a file and hitting Print. Defense Distributed, the group behind Wiki Weapon, aims to raise $20,000 to buy a high spec 3DPrinter to further develop the concept, unsurprisingly raising eyebrows.

Prepared for rhetorical battle Defense Distributed‘s website draws from American history to support the concept that building firearms at home is legal and a long-standing tradition in the U.S., stating openly that Wiki Weapon “is about challenging gun control and regulation.”

The idea of a fully 3DPrintable gun now seems inevitable. 3D CAD models of a lower receiver for a semiautomatic rifle sparked controversy when they popped up online last year. A gun enthusiast succeeded in using one to fire 200 rounds of ammunition. 

It is lawful to build a firearm for personal use in the U.S., but making one out of plastic may violate a 1988 law designed to prevent people from sneaking such guns through airport security, as Wired indicates – the legality issue isn’t clear cut.

The 3DPrinting revolution has been slowly unfolding for about a decade, but it’s only in the last few years that it’s begun to creep into mainstream awareness. Whilst the technology is still young we can now 3DPrint everything from houses to human tissue. 

Soon enough, the list of things we’ll be able to print out will grow even more mind-blowing. In the meantime, we already have plenty of complex issues with which to grapple.

2 responses to “3DPrinted Gun Pt1: Control Debate >

  1. It’s not only enough to put a limit on what a 3D printer can do, but also to stop it from the source and control 3D scanners (to a degree, of course).

    • Indeed, this is perhaps inevitable? As the main trend in publicity for 3DPrinting is now the wikiweapon project, legislation is surely forthcoming. That required legislation may well be hijacked by corporate interests and become something similar to ACTA?