A huge step forward for 3D printing technology and gun rights was made when a landmark ruling made it possible for anyone to distribute DIY gun blueprints online. That means literally anyone can legally download the files and print them using a 3D printer. At the center of the ruling is the co-founder of Defense Distributed, Cody Wilson who won a settlement against the State Department which made it legal to upload his 3D gun instructions to the internet.
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Wilson had this to say about his recent victory, "There are a few types of guns that can be made on 3D printers now, although none of them are reliable or have any type of substantial commercial quality that you might expect in a real gun. It doesn't take a ton of knowledge or expertise. It might take a lot of patience." Wilson's website was shut down by the State Department five years ago because it "violated international export laws". Wilson decided to take the State Department to court and argued that the code was protected under the First Amendment right to free speech.
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The State Department settled with Wilson last month allowing him to freely share his 3D gun blueprints online. <a href="https://defcad.com/">Wilson's website</a> is back up and running and will have new blueprints in August which will be available for free download. So, how does one go from blueprints to a working gun? The process involves downloading the blueprints which are usually on a CAD or other design program, and then 3D printing every part using either plastics or metal. Then, you can put all the parts together and according to Wilson, a handgun can be printed and fully assembled within 24 hours.
The current law does not require you to have a license or register a 3D printed firearm if it is intended for personal use and or sale. This has caused some critics to refer to them as "ghost guns" since they are untrackable due to not being registered. One critic named Adam Skaggs, chief counsel at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said, "It's going to make it much easier for dangerous people, otherwise prohibited from getting guns, to get them." What Skaggs fails to take into account is the fact that far more good people will also have more access to firearms to protect themselves from those dangerous people.
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Wilson adds, "I understand the argument that at some point, someone who's not allowed to own a gun might make one for himself, because of access to this information. But that was always already true before my case. My case didn't somehow change that. And now to some degree at the margins, I might make that easier. But the problem is that you have to draw lines about policing information and access to knowledge itself."
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Defense Distributed</span>
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