You’ve no doubt been watching this technology unfold, perhaps more rapidly than anyone expected. But the day has arrived: anyone with a 3D printer and some software available on the internet for free can print his own gun. 3D printers are now for sale at just over $1,000. The software is available here.
The developer is a libertarian law student (is that an oxymoron?) from the University of Texas, Cody Wilson. His company, Defense Distributed is gaining international notoriety as the developer of the so-called “wiki-weapon”, printed by a 3D printer. Wilson isn’t in the business to make money, he says. Instead he’s in it to challenge the state:
I recognize that this tool might be used to harm people. That’s what it is – it’s a gun. But I don’t think that’s a reason to not put it out there. I think that liberty in the end is a better interest.
Of course, the “state” is up in arms (sorry) about him exercising his freedom and pushing the envelope. In horror, a writer at Forbes magazine exclaimed:
Once the [software] is online, anyone will be able to download and print the gun in the privacy of their garage, legally or not, with no serial number, background check, or other regulatory hurdles.
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) – with a Freedom Index rating of just 11 – is positively apoplectic:
Security checkpoints, background checks and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser … we need to act how to extend the ban on plastic firearms.
Yup, it’s that “freedom” thing that drives statists crazy.
Perhaps this comment from a reader at the Defense Distributed website will brighten your day as much as it did mine:
I am a descendant of patriots, terrorists, and freedom fighters. I am not ashamed of that or of the founding fathers who were branded “terrorists” by the English Crown. They were freedom fighters. One of my ancestors was involved in forcing the king to sign “The Magna Carta”. So my ancestors have been a royal pain in the ass to tyrants (English Crown and others) for nearly 800 years.
I hope that my rifle can provide that same service to any tyrant that may try to oppress us…