WASHINGTON – A federal judge in Seattle is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on whether to block a settlement the U.S. State Department reached with a company that would allow it to post blueprints for printing 3D weapons on the internet.
The federal agency had tried to stop a Texas company from releasing the plans online, arguing it violated export regulations. But the agency reversed itself in April and entered an agreement with the company that would allow it to post the plans. The company is owned by a self-described “crypto-anarchist” who opposes restrictions on gun ownership, ABC News reports.
“The Liberator” is a 3D-printed gun designed by 30-year-old Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, a pro-gun group. The plastic weapon is made with a 3D printer, internet connection and a free online guide.
“What I’m opposed to is technology unchecked, 3D-printed guns present a real and present danger because they’re both unregulated and untraceable. We are basically handing the keys to the store to terrorists and armed criminals.” ~ David Chipman retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sued and last month secured a restraining order to stop that process, and now they want to make that permanent by having the judge convert the restraining order into an injunction. They fear the plans, if disseminated online, could be used by people who are not legally permitted to buy or possess guns. Critics add that because the weapons aren’t made of metal, they would be undetectable.
The states suing are: Washington, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.
Yes, metal 3D printing technology is real, and yes it can be used to 3D print the parts for a fully functional firearm. There are several different metal 3D printing processes and technologies, but what they all have in common is price. A metal 3D printer will cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, so using it to 3D print a gun isn’t going to be anywhere near affordable.
The concept is easy to scare the sheep with and they leave out so many factors that it is laughable, such as the cost of the printers, materials, the fail rate and so on. Bottom line is, as technology progresses, so will firearms. The concept of banning everything that they deem scary is simply put, very ignorant.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.