How Sharing Blueprints For 3D-Printed Guns Became Legal | NowThis

How Sharing Blueprints For 3D-Printed Guns Became Legal | NowThis

It just got a lot easier for people to 3D print guns in their own living rooms.
Cody Wilson, gun rights activist and founder of Defense Distributed, heralded in a new age of digital gunmaking in 2013 when he published the printable blueprint of a weapon called the Liberator — a functional single-shot pistol that was mostly made out of plastic. Within 48 hours, the blueprint for the Liberator was
downloaded over 100,000 times. Also within 48 hours, Obama’s State Department ordered
Wilson to take the blueprint down, alleging it violated international firearms trade regulations. Cody Wilson felt the State Department’s demands
violated his right to free speech. He said he wasn’t facilitating firearm exports.
He was just posting code, something that would be protected
by the First Amendment. This belief led him and other plaintiffs
to file a lawsuit in 2015 against the State Department. The case was quietly settled on June 29, 2018
before the issue could be ruled upon. In the settlement, the government agreed
to waive its prior restraint against Wilson, thus allowing him and others to freely publish
blueprints for weapons on the internet. With the legal barrier now cleared,
Wilson says he wants his website to become the ‘Wikipedia’ of downloadable guns. But while Wilson and other gun enthusiasts
see the settlement as a victory, gun control advocates are
scrambling to figure out what to do. Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady
Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said her organization’s first plan of action is
to uncover the mysteries of the settlement. So they filed a Freedom of Information Act to attain
documents pertaining to how the
government decided on the settlement, even suggesting that the NRA or
the National Shooting Sports Foundation were involved. You know nothing changed in this case
other than the fact that control of the presidency and the Department of Justice and State switched. So the coincidence of the timing and
the background of the repeated influence by the NRA and this administration’s gun policies
made us want to ask those questions and maybe there won’t be anything there but we
want to know and we think the public has a right to know. The National Shooting Sports Foundation
said it was not a party in the case and had no discussions or communications
with the State Department about the settlement. The NRA did not respond to a request for comment. But a U.S. Department of State spokesperson said the
settlement was voluntarily entered into between the plaintiffs and the State Dept. The settlement comes as the government
is reviewing public comments on a proposed rule to transfer the
oversight of exporting non-military weapons from the U.S. Dept. of State to the Dept. of Commerce. And this includes any technical data related to these weapons. The advent of digital guns has complicated the
questions gun control advocates have to ask themselves. How do you know if a potentially
violent person has printed a gun? Do you have the right to know
what someone has 3D printed in their home? Can 3D printing companies themselves
take action against what is printed? Are they even allowed to? If instead in the future people can just 3D print
their own gun that eliminates the background check for that particular gun and means that it would be very
easy for dangerous people to get guns. So that’s my first and biggest concern. My second concern
is that the guns will be largely untraceable. They won’t have serial numbers on them. So when
they’re recovered at crime scenes the police won’t be able to trace them back to their original owners. But for people like Wilson, this isn’t a
question about good vs evil. He believes Defense Distributed and
the proliferation of 3D-printed gun blueprints is a public good. So what does this new era look like? Well we’re already kind of living in it. Even though the blueprint for the Liberator was
initially taken down, it was still available on the Dark Web and torrenting websites for anyone to find. The only difference now is that it has
a legal stamp of approval. August 1st is the first day
users can go to Wilson’s website and download the blueprints for a variety firearms,
including AR-15 style rifles. Of course there are some restrictions.
For example, you won’t be able to get files for weapons over .50 caliber since the State Department
continues to maintain control over these files. Gun control advocates have their work cut out for them
because as of now, no one really knows how to go about the issue. We don’t know exactly what we’re going to do yet
but we’re concerned enough about this that we’re trying to explore as many avenues as we can
and we may need to engage the public and industry in that conversation about what kind of country we want to be and how we want to address this problem.

27 thoughts on “How Sharing Blueprints For 3D-Printed Guns Became Legal | NowThis”

  1. Ha! These guns only shoot one bullet at a time, can't repeat fire, and fall apart after like 2 shots. And bullets are still metal; you can't carry them through metal detectors. Nice try fearmongering and lying, lefties.

  2. For those of you who are pushing safety over freedom… Know one fact, and that is YOU ARE NEVER SAFER THAN WE YOU ARE FREE!!

  3. Wow as a woman of color I find it repulsive that they keep allowing men (aka THE PATRIARCHY!!!!) To speak on this platform. Wake up Now This it's 2018.

  4. it has been perfectly legal to build your own firearm with no regulation in the United States SINCE 1775

    and the arms industry and NRA hate 3d printed firearms.

    these are fear mongers. when we become one world real America is exporting the bill of rights in its strongest sense.

  5. <3 karmicComeuppance4headHunters… happiness is not a warmGun just ask JLennon or everyGI buried underground (Y)

  6. Are liberals just unaware that manufacturing your own firearms has been legal in just about every state basically forever

  7. News flash, 3D printers are expensive, make guns that break easily and can only fire one or two bullets max. Tyrone in Chicago has no use for such a weapon.

  8. 3d printing is going to make mass shootings very easy just imagine a kid packing a plastic ak47 and killing 100s of people wake up america

  9. The founding fathers made the second amendment so that people of the country could rise up if the goverenment became to big because corruption and threated the country and its people as a whole so that the poeple could protect them selves and take back the country i agree that you should not be able purchase/make a firearm if have a metal health issue for the safety of yourself and others but the founding fathers where political geniuses and knew what they where doing this is why we have the 2nd amendment because it keeps the goverment in check as a mexican i know this very well, the country's goverment is corrupted and because no one but bad guys have guns and we cant fight back becuase the government took them away from us even if you do a peaceful protest they kill you strick gun laws are not answer i know you dont think gun are needed but as someone how has gone through big goverment taking away the poeples guns i know the usa needs guns

  10. Gun Control is useless….deal with the future. The 1st Amendment protects information, the right to publish and disseminate – gun designs have been encoded and uploaded. Guns have been democratized and distributed. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is being permanently secured. Guns are and will be a part of our lives – now and forever.

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