The first 3d printed gun has been fired, and I don’t care.

3d-printed-gunSeveral people have sent us this story. I’ve seen it everywhere. A lot of people are upset, on several sides.  A gun has been 3d printed that can actually fire a round.

First, we have people scared that this will bring undetectable guns to people who wouldn’t have had access before. Then we have the gun fans that are reacting to the others with shouts of freedom and liberty and stuff.  The 3d printing community has had mixed reactions, but many are concerned that this will harm 3d printing in general.

I simply don’t care.

It isn’t that I’m apathetic to people who are victims of gun violence. It isn’t that I’m apathetic about “gun rights”. I just think that this specific event makes no difference at all.  It is intriguing in the aspect that it is yet another “First!” for the 3d printer community, but beyond that I don’t care, keep the “firsts” coming.

Here are the different points that I have heard brought up.

1. Accessibility: People are concerned that guns will now end up in the hands of people who couldn’t have gotten them before.

I really don’t think this is a legitimate concern. You’ll note the machine that printed that gun. It wasn’t your average reprap. It cost as much as a small house. If you can afford that printer? You could afford a gun.  Lets just pretend your average reprap could print that gun though. Again, you’re going to have to either buy or build one. At this point, you would have been capable of just buying a gun or… building one.

I guess you could go use a friend’s printer to print your gun, but would that really be any more common than taking another person’s gun?

2. Printing restrictions and Legislation: 3d printer fans are scared that laws will be made that will stop them from printing things.

Do you own a lathe? A mill? You know you can make BETTER guns with those? That’s how the gun companies make them! It’s like you have a gun factory in your home! Actually, now that I think of it, they’re using .22 rimfire which can be fired in a pipe with a cap and a nail! How are hardware stores not illegal?

Listen, if they tell me I can’t print gun shaped things, I’ll probably print one just for spite. They aren’t going to enforce such a silly law, it would be impossible.  They can’t even build anything into the system like scanners that can’t scan money. Guns are too diverse and can be made from basic geometry.

3. Anti-Gun legislation: This may be used to push laws that limit firearms in some way.

Anti-gun legislation has so much gun violence to use as a foundation that a slight change in manufacturing really is a drop in the bucket. This won’t change their ability to restrict things. At least, I don’t think it will.

4. A legitimate concern: Detectability.

The only real issue I see here is that a 3d printed gun wouldn’t be detectable by metal detectors. Bullets are though aren’t they?


These are my opinions on the 3d printed gun. I’m not delving into gun control in general. Since these are opinions, they will most likely be ill-informed and incomplete. Feel free to participate in a civil discussion on the topic.

If you’re curious about whether I personally have a gun, I do not. I think I’m too clumsy to own a firearm. I am fairly sure I’d accidentally shoot someone when I did something stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I do dangerous things. Stupid, dangerous things.

473 thoughts on “The first 3d printed gun has been fired, and I don’t care.

  1. THE TITLE SHOULD NOT STATE “I DO NOT CARE” for the following reasons

    – undetectable firing arms in airport, trains, buses
    – undetectable bullets made from non metallic materials or non ferrous metals
    – kids with psychological access to undetectable firearms & ballistics
    – terrorists access to undetectable firearms & ballistics

    This is a HUGE HUGE DEAL…. Are you kidding me? “I DON’T CARE” ? You don’t care to be shot in the head? WTF… is your head in the right place?

    This is a big problem that we need to OVERCOME… This is a huge problem.

    1. For any type of gun you would still use a kind of powder, that powder smell so no gun is undetectable. Anyway, you could be in a bus tomorrow with someone having a real gun in his bag or in its pocket, it is “detectable” but would it be detected?

      1. Exactly correct. Guys, grow a pair. You could die tomorrow from falling down the stairs or eating under-cooked shellfish. Stop worrying about what MIGHT possibly happen to someone, somewhere, and live your life here and now.

        Worry about the big picture, not the little things.

    2. “This is a big problem that we need to OVERCOME… This is a huge problem.”; overcome your inner wuss. You will never stop human beings from hurting or killing other human beings, even if you outlaw hands. Get real. :) There are so many human behaviors and machines that kill far more people than firearms. Inform yourself, especially before you start jumping up and down and tugging on your hair like that.

  2. 3d printed guns scare me less then knives

    lathes are normally used to make guns.
    those lathes are sometimes made by the same company
    and sold to the public

    hey, if you cant legally buy our model of gun,
    maybe buy our gun-making machine!
    not that we reccomend it for umm, uhh,
    the same thing we use it for??? (makn guns)

    now an _untrained_ man with a lathe/mill … THAT scares me big time!

    large bar stock, wrong speed, no livecenter…
    if i saw that i’d RUN FOR MY LIFE! and maybe call the cops,
    someone gonna get killed from thier own darm machine!
    PS: in wooden houses that lathe could kill someone from two houses away!
    (THROUGH the walls)

    lathes make 3 inch dents in concrete walls, nuff said

  3. 3D-printed guns have a long way to go, no way that is gonna put food on the table.
    Comeback when the first 3D-printed rifle has brought a deer or duck to somebodys table. There might be other kitchen implements thats easier to print for now.
    3D printed kitchen knife that can be used to stab somebody, would it make the same headlines?Homemade crossbows are still superior and they dont need any supressor either :)
    (Funny how the mention of guns makes everybody go “Kill people” when the proper use is “Kill dinner”. Guess its a cultural thing)
    And nobody has commented on the potential for the third gun use, suicide. This 3D printed thing after all takes the definition of Saturday night special to new heights.

  4. To critics: When templates for fully automatic .22 come online and are used in crimes, you will still be wrong…

    Take your kids out of public schools, they will not get anything out of it anyway because bus drivers and gym teachers are teaching them math and science… They will end up just like these Americans who can’t differentiate civil liberties from population control…

    They will die protecting American society from laws that restrict weapons to intelligent and responsible people.

  5. three thoughts:
    1 Anyone who really wants to make a quality firearm from scratch can get a copy of “The Fox Fire Book #5” which contains considerable details on all aspects of gun smithing..
    2 I think a lot of hype is coming out of the media now to scare people from the technology, This may be because of the manufacturers sponsoring the show feel threatened by individuals having the ability to print small replacement plastic parts to repair larger assemblies. (e.g. plastic clips holding the glass to the motor and cable assembly in a car door.)
    3. If you’re building a weapon, why not build a pulse pistol. and use high density plastic for the ammo?

  6. I wonder, instead of using ABS plastic could 3D printers print with a type of clay to make ceramics that you could then bake? that could be used to make a much more durable barrel.

  7. Anybody got a link to the design files for the liberator that I can download with firefox? Each time I try and download it from their web site it tells me it can’t save it then tells me to install Chrome (Which isn’t going to happen).

  8. It’s always nice to see photos and videos of hacks in action. Will HAD be showing photos of people with their faces blown off? You know, that’s what guns are FOR aren’t they? No?… Thought not.

  9. 3D printing a gun is a red herring. It’s simply what gets press and what legislators will point to when they come down on 3D printing. Not over public safety, but to protect corporate profits (Patents/Copyright).

    If you could simply print models from video game by converting files, for example. Why would you buy one from a store?

    Expect commercial printers to start requiring DRM protected files. Expect proprietary dispensers for raw material (like printer ink). And expect grandma to get sued for having a daughter that likes to make and share doll models.

    1. You are spot on.
      I could not care less if the USA decided to swamp the place with printed Saturday night specials and start a civil war. If that is the way you guys want to roll, have a blast!

      The problem lies with this great emerging technology with almost limitless potential. I’d think most hackers like to keep this potential as limitless as possible because this arguably is a good thing. This public disobedience and sabotage of the ethical debate will only fuel support for restrictive measures on the technology.

      Weighed on the balance, I’d say that open 3d printing technology is worth more to humanity than some hicks demanding guns to enjoy their faux concept of freedom and security.

    1. Amen brother

      The thing people/lawmakers forget is that black market guns are available to criminals any time they want. Gun control only restricts the law abiding citizen…

  10. I would like to see someone make a plastic bullet. The only things that won’t be plastic would be the powder & primer. It would be easier to put the rifling on the plastic projectile then on the bore. Could also make the gun more like a muzzleloader with changeable barrels pre loaded.

  11. I wouldn’t fire the thing if they offered me the printer it was printed on.
    It is tiring to listen to people in countries with a population of around eleven million people, making judgements about a country who has states with a population around that number. There are states that have very little crime and states that have a lot. Much as there are countries with severe crime problems and countries who not so much.
    Oh well… and so it goes.

      1. It means we’re the best nation on the face of this planet, and we’ve got an incredibly fine hat to prove it.

        I mean seriously, even the French like our hat, and they have everybody.

  12. if I wanted a single shot weapon, I could use a piece of tubing, make a positive from hardwood, make a silicone mold or two and literally CRANK out single shot weapons. DISPOSABLE, non traceable weapons that would cost me $5 in hardware and supplies.

    But I don’t make them. I am of sound mind and can buy a perfectly good steel quality weapon any time I like

  13. I thin it is time to start blaming the people who actually pull the trigger instead of trying to ban guns. Would you feel better if the perps just beat their victims to death with a baseball bat? Maybe we should ban wood lathes, because after all, you can make a bat…

    1. “Would you feel better if the perps just beat their victims to death with a baseball bat?”

      After the Boston marathon bombing, at least one anti-gun group began lamenting that it wasn’t a Boston marathon shooting.

      Entries in their “gun victims” lists also regularly include people killed in self-defense while attempting to beat someone to death with a baseball bat.

    2. It happens that, if you make it harder to kill people, people tend to do less of it. That’s why there’s so few baseball-bat murders in non-gun-having countries. It’s just not true that, if someone wants to kill someone else, they’ll do it regardless. Statistics bear this out.

      Of course the person is to blame. But the only way to stop bad people shooting other folk, is to take the guns off them. And since we can’t see the future, that means everybody. Civilised people don’t need guns. There’s other, less dangerous hobbies you can do. And I call bullshit on anyone who claims gun ownership stops oppressive governments. An oppressive government is always going to out-gun it’s citizenship. When did armed citizens ever take on their country’s police or army? And win? If I thought it’d work I’d go get a gun myself.

      1. RE murders with baseball bats: I am unable to find statistics on homicides in non-US countries as listed by weapon used. Also, Britain is notorious for their crime reporting habits.

        RE statistics to support “It’s just not true that, if someone wants to kill someone else, they’ll do it regardless.”: [citation needed]

        RE “But the only way to stop bad people shooting other folk, is to take the guns off them”: Like in Chicago? There are more than five million gun owners across the United States. If owning a gun really turned someone into a psychotic murderer, our population would be a lot lower than it is.

        Know how many people got shot at the NRA convention this weekend?

        RE “When did armed citizens ever take on their country’s police or army? And win?”: US revolution, French revolution, French underground resistance during WW2(using a single-shot pistol that took longer to reload than the muskets of the American revolution, no less. You had to disassemble half the gun!) the rule of thumb learned during World War 2 and the more modern wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is that it takes at least 10 law-enforcement or military individuals to quell a single rebel, and in the US, there are more private gun owners than there are active and inactive duty military combined. And that’s assuming the entirety of the military joins the same side.

        1. The French Revolution was before modern police systems and armies were invented. One guy with a sword and musket was about as good as another. They were too innaccurate to be worth much practising with, and police and armies didn’t have modern tactics. Or helicopters, body armour, etc etc.

          The American Revolution was native (ykwim) people vs their ruling nation half a world away. It took months to get reinforcements, and cost an absolute fortune. Since the point of the colonies was to make money anyway, Britain gave up.

          Afghanistan started off as a lawless nation run by ragged militias with AK47s left over from fighting the Soviets. They haven’t had a stable government since, when, the Ottoman Empire?

          None of these compare to a modern country, and for the examples I know best, eg the USA and Western Europe. We’ve had well-entrenched stable “democratic” governments for centuries. With police and armies as good as anyone’s. I really doubt the USA’s gun owners could take on it’s government and win. Really really really.

          I’m not sure what happened in Chicago that you’re referring to.

          And no, I don’t think anyone ever claimed owning a gun made a person into a murderer. I do think it makes an attempted murderer into a successful one, though. A would-be murderer would find it easier to do with a gun, and he’s more likely to succeed than hacking away with a knife or a hammer. There’s the difference. And when the police are armed, criminals arm themselves too. And vice-versa. I feel a lot safer knowing that I’m almost certainly never going to see a gun in my life, so nobody I know will ever be killed by one.

          A few shooters got a bit pissed off when handguns were banned here about a decade ago. If the government ever want to piss all over the people, well, it’ll be too late, they’ve been doing that already. Blame a first-past-the-post voting system with a lack of “none of the above” option.

          Personally I’d have it so you could vote against people, too. Since I would bet 90% of the votes in favour of one party are actually votes against the other. Vote for the least-worst set of cunts who are going to fuck you over the least vigourously. Having a 2-party, or in the UK a 2 1/2 party system really isn’t doing democracy any favours either.

          I think most votes are against the opposite party. And in the UK less than 50% of people even vote at all. Politicians would tell you that’s 50% expressing satisfaction with the way things are, even though the result isn’t known yet! Me, I see it as 50% being too disgusted to vote for either. I remember, once, there used to be left-wing parties you could vote for. They did quite well, too, and people used to actually vote for them.

          1. “I’m not sure what happened in Chicago that you’re referring to.”

            Then you should look up gun laws and crime stats in Chicago.

            The city of Chicago, Illinois is, in a legal sense, your ideal state. Firearms are completely illegal for private citizens to own, and rarely carried by law enforcement. Shooting ranges and gun shops have been forced out of the city because, since nobody can buy or use guns in city limits, nobody can patronize those establishments. It is a bastion of what anti-gun individuals would refer to as “common-sense gun laws.”

            Perhaps you should visit some time. I think you’d like it.

  14. My mum had seen on the tv about the 3d printed gun and was quite worried about the plans being put out on the internet for anyone to use, which worried me more than the actual gun plans due to her being a pretty rational thinker and if she was worried about the plastic gun then a large percentage of people who saw the news must be quietly shitting themselves of the percieved prospect of plastic guns smuggled onto planes – all because the irresponsible news people wanted some sensational story they could grab people’s attention with :(.

    She calmed down a lot when I told her that they can’t yet print the firing pin and bullets on a 3d printer so some distinctively shaped metal would have to try and get through the security checkpoints.

  15. Simpler solution, ban psychotropic prescription drugs that actually *cause* the problem by making people with minor mental health issues go completely off the rails.

    The issue isn’t 3D printing, access to guns or legislation, its that Big Pharma plug their dangerous products(s) in such a way that doctors prescribe them inappropriately and this results in tragedy after tragedy.

    1. But then if you don’t give someone the right drugs, they might go mad by themselves and go do something insane.

      Mental illness isn’t caused by drug companies. I’d blame a lot of it on society in general, and some things in particular. Certainly drug companies have some very bad people in charge, and I really don’t appreciate the syndromising of social behaviour that some people don’t like, being made into “diseases”.

      I could go on, a lot….

      But hopefully the regulatory agencies can do their job. There’s pressure from the scientific community, and some patients’ groups, to force drug companies to post results of *all* their trials. Currently, they can, and do, run trial after trial, and only publish the one that turns out positive. Obviously this is not science and is essentially lying. Hopefully the worlds’ governments will get on that.

      Or at least they would if they weren’t a bunch of corrupt douchebags. Modern politics has gone long past the point of being a joke. Who can I vote for to change this?

      1. Crime isn’t caused by gun companies. I’d blame a lot of it on society in general, and some things in particular. Certainly gun companies have some very bad people in charge, and I really don’t appreciate the syndromising of social behaviour that some people don’t like, being made into “diseases”.

        I could go on, a lot….

  16. im not realy comfortable with the idea , im from the netherlands and not a lot of people have guns here , there hard to come by and you need an invitation by a known member to a gun club to even be able to aply for a licence , offcourse there illegal guns around but right now its pretty contained (there never been a time where guns where normal here except during the war and there hardly any hunting going on here )
    this plastic gun might become a problem because now everyone with a grudge can make it find one bullet (might be the hardest part to the thing ) shoot someone (whell maibe not that eazy but still) and trow the thing in the fire or a paintcan of accetone
    all that will be left is a lob of plastic and no trace of any balistics

  17. The first problem with this initiative is about what it represents. The symbolism of pursuing this concept really shows a terrifying lack of respect for the ongoing ethical discussion, law and the technology itself. It basically states that even if the mindset of the majority was to ban guns, the minority would ignore this. I find this to be a repulsive erosion of society.

    The mindset in my country however supports our gun laws. Nobody here even wants to challenge the illegality of gun as a tool for citizens. This mentality is such that I’m not afraid that with the advent of 3D printed guns we to will suddenly be swamped in firearms.
    Most of us enjoy the freedom from guns and we respect that freedom and the legislation on this subject. We would not even start considering printing illegal weapons.

    The biggest problem is what this will mean for the technology. A lot of comments say that “the genie is out of the box” and that this innovation can not be stopped. Well, that may be true, but that does not mean that nobody will try. Just as photocopiers can be made to refuse the duplication of legal tender, I see no reason why 3d cad and print technology won’t have technology that will make it impossible to print certain parts. Also DRM could be used and sharing laws could limit the potential of these machines.
    Even if these measures would not work it would still impose limitations on these machines that promised limitless possibilities. I find this unacceptable.

    Everybody will loose freedom and technical possibilities just because some subversive lunatic needed to stifle debate because he wants his precious boomsticks.

    1. If you seriously believe that you can prevent people from printing weapons just by adding firmware to the printers that refuses to print certain shapes, you do not belong on Hack-A-Day.

      1. Reading must be an art form.
        I clearly state that whether measures preventing machines from printing certain parts or people getting certain data works or not is irrelevant. What you can be sure of is that it will be tried which will certainly limit the machines or the technology for most people even if they won’t print weapons. Or Imagine legislation that will severely restrict you from sharing 3d files you made. It won’t stop some people from breaking the law, but it will criminalize people by default for doing something that we’d like to see as a good thing.

        I’m also glad that you are not the arbiter of what one must believe or not to be allowed to enjoy hackaday.

        1. Upon re-reading your initial comment and reading your addendum, I have concluded that like me, you think that attempting to prevent people from printing weapons by preventing certain shapes from being printed is stupid. I apologize for that particular misunderstanding.

        2. If your local mindset is fine with gun laws and they can effectively stop violence at the brain level, why bother worrying about this technology?
          …Also, I’m interested in this Utopia in which you live. How can I become a citizen of the locale where none desire to be violent at all?

          1. I also see fault in your currency counterfeiting argument. Money is made more complex by governments to prevent counterfeiting. And yet, people still manage to make fake money. In this case of guns, they are made more simple to prove concepts. You cannot prevent simplicity to a person that thinks.
            …Guns being the cause of a problem is false logic. As we in the states say, “It’s the indian, not the arrow”. The problem lies between the ears, not with the fact that their finger actually did the trigger pulling. It will always be that way. The way I see it, it cannot be prevented, and to blame it on an inanimate object… seriously?!

          2. I see Greenaum and Fritoeata have a fundamental disagreement.

            Fritoeata says “It’s the indian, not the arrow.”

            Greenaum says “It’s the arrow, not the indian.”

            (archaic Hollywood stereotypes notwithstanding. I’ve never actually heard it phrased like that before.)

          3. Hmmm… I guess you’re right. Can I fault the cheeseburger for me being fat?
            This is kinda nice! It Really removes me from ANY responsibility!

          4. I suppose I’d say it’s both. Not every arrow’s going to be used to kill palefaces. But if you take all the arrows away it doesn’t matter how ornery one injun may be, nobody gets, erm, boondoggled.

            Meanwhile archers have to find a new hobby, which is a small price to pay. And if the US Cavalry show up, it doesn’t matter how many arrows you’ve got, you’re still screwed.

          5. Greenaum, your statement implies that people can not be killed without the aid of firearms and/or arrows.

            That, or you’re implying that we should confiscate anything that could conceivably be used to injure another human being.(It’s for your own protection, after all.)

          6. No, it doesn’t. You’ve jumped the gun (ho ho!) on a few people’s posts regarding what you think they imply.

            I’m stating it’s easier to kill someone with a gun. Psychologically, at least, at the time, as well as physically. Don’t you agree?

            In terms of confiscating dangerous things, like many people, I think a risk / reward system is sensible. Air travel, chemotherapy, cars, they all kill people but the utility outweighs the death toll. If air travel were a lot more dangerous, people would go by boat or stay at home. While, in the USA, since there are so many guns, most of them don’t get used in crimes, but they have so little utility to weigh against the deaths they do cause. Can you think of a comparable thing that’s as dangerous to strangers, for so little use?

            And “guns don’t kill people, people do” is a ridiculous straw man. I wonder why it’s such a popular argument. Whoever claimed guns could fire by themselves? Neither do most explosives go into bombs, but they’re still hard to get hold of. The point is, armed people are more dangerous than unarmed people, and there’s enough dangerous people about who do shoot others, that it’s a genuine concern.

            Driving drunk might be pleasurable, and it saves taxi fare. Most drunk drivers don’t kill people. But for entirely statistical / utilitarian reasons, it’s illegal. The convenience isn’t worth the cost.

            From your other post, I’d probably enjoy a day out shooting. I’m only scared of guns when bad people have them. Perhaps I could take you on a night out with some 18-year-old gangsters?

            The citation for “people tend to kill less if it’s harder to do”, I don’t have. It’s something I saw in a documentary. I could look it up I suppose, if I have to. I could point out a few massacres as an easy example, no 1- or 2-man team can masssacre much without firearms.

          7. @ Greenaum, The reason for the logic behind “guns don’t kill people, people do” is not ridiculous. The point of it is simple and true: people will kill regardless of if there’s a gun. If the gun could fire itself, then we could blame the gun for maliciousness. But since it cannot (lol… OBVIOUSLY!), we need to hold the bad guy shooter responsible.

            You said, “Can you think of a comparable thing that’s as dangerous to strangers, for so little use?” No, guns are a pretty powerful tool in any situation. Which is why you need to educate yourself in their use. It’s quite simple really, especially for a “hacker”. Educate and liberate… isn’t it something like that?

          8. “if you take all the arrows away it doesn’t matter how ornery one injun may be, nobody gets, erm, boondoggled. ”

            Given the euphemisms the thread was going with, “arrow” = either “gun” or “weapon,” “injun” = “person,” and “boondoggled” = “killed.”

            and “nobody” = “nobody.”

            So the statement you made is “If you take away everyone’s guns, nobody will get killed.” That, or you’re making a (racist and also irrelevant) claim that individuals descended from the indiginous tribal peoples of North America should not be permitted to own arrows, so that people don’t get… no, “boondoggled” is still a euphemism for killed.

            Your statement was not “no guns makes it harder to kill people,” your statement(assuming it was relevant and not racist) was “without guns, nobody will get killed.” I’d REALLY like to see you justify any other reading to that particular phrase.

          9. @ Volfram +1… LOL! Thanks for keeping logic present here!
            …I see your underlying point. You and I disagree fundamentally, but I understand.

          10. Of course I wasn’t being racist, Volfram. You’ve taken some really obtuse points of view thru this argument, with several people. Do you have trouble understanding nuance and metaphor? I was, for mildly comic reasons, extending the metaphor using the language of old Western films. Which were pretty racist. But then so were white Americans back in the days before they’d killed most of the Indians.

            Interpreting the metaphor rigidly and literally, I suppose, gives you the meaning you put forward. But of course since I’m not an idiot, I am aware there are other methods of killing people. I’m amazed you’d waste effort on even suggesting I’m not.

            The pro-gun side of this argument really seems to be based round parrotting the one point, “guns don’t kill people etc”.

            I realise it’s possible to kill a person or two without a gun. I would bet, tho, it’s impossible to commit a massacre without one. Fighting one-on-one is different to shooting people from whatever distance. There’s no way of defending oneself from an oncoming bullet. Without a gun, one man, or boy, can’t take on a classroom, or a bunch of cops, by himself.

            Isn’t conventional fighting dangerous enough? It’s bad enough kids carrying knives these days. There’s enough violence in a pair of fists for most people’s purposes.

            So, my point for the thousandth time, guns make it easier to kill people. It’s just not true that, say, a mugger would kill his victim even if he didn’t have one. There’s a lot of brinkmanship in such a situation. I wouldn’t want to shoot a mugger anyway. Killing people is kindof a big deal to me, since I don’t live in imaginary spirit of ’76 hero-world. People are safer in a country with no guns, and laws against firearms are very effective in countries that don’t have millions of legal firearms present to be easily diverted.

            Compare shootings between the USA and a country without guns. Then compare murders by other methods. Do other countries have so many more stabbings, etc, that is, all the murders that “would be committed anyway, with or without guns”? Do non-gun countries have many more murders by other methods to make up for all the shootings that don’t happen? Or are the gun-murders simply replaced with non-murders?

            Anyway. This argument’s got right on my tits. I’ve said my piece a good few times now. When an argument degenerates into arguing over Red Injun-based bow murders, I think useful conversation has long-since bled to death in a corner.

          11. @Fritoeata: I’m pretty sure we actually do agree fundamentally. Every post you’ve made on this HAD entry has been pro-gun, and I’m glad you’ve been there as you’re usually more articulate than me.

            “Interpreting the metaphor rigidly and literally, I suppose, gives you the meaning you put forward. But of course since I’m not an idiot, I am aware there are other methods of killing people. I’m amazed you’d waste effort on even suggesting I’m not.”
            How am I supposed to interpret a metaphor besides literally? You either need to qualify it(“Obviously Indians had other ways of killing people, but they mostly use arrows”) or it might mean something entirely different(“I’m actually talking about food preparation, and how important it is to cook raw chicken to avoid getting salmonella.”). The reason I’d waste effort on suggesting you’re not aware of other methods of killing people is YOU HAVE NOT INDICATED SUCH UNTIL THIS VERY POST, and have in fact dismissed all other causes of death when I have brought them up.

            “I would bet, tho, it’s impossible to commit a massacre without one.” A certain gentleman who once owned a truck filled with fertilizer might disagree. It might be difficult for you to interview him, though.

            “There’s enough violence in a pair of fists for most people’s purposes.” This is exactly true. A street thug needs nothing but his raw muscle to commit a mugging, back-ally beat-down, or rape. In fact, more than a few adamant anti-gun protestors have been found to be convicted sex offenders, including one of Bloomberg’s own “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.”(found guilty of attempting to rape a man at gunpoint)

            “I wouldn’t want to shoot a mugger anyway. Killing people is kindof a big deal to me…” This is actually true of most gun owners, as well. In fact, as someone posted on the previous page(look for the Pastebin link), 90% of confrontations between a would-be criminal and would-be target result in no shots fired.

            Put yourself in a woman’s perspective, though. You weigh 120 pounds or 55 kilograms. You have something that most men want, and several men have demonstrated a willingness to take despite your adamant protests. Your musculature and skeleton are both smaller and weaker than the average man. In a confrontation between you and the average criminal(most criminals are male), you’ll be lucky to walk away uninjured even if you give him everything he asks for.

            Put yourself in an elderly individual’s perspective. Your body aches when you move. Your bones are thinner and more brittle than they once were. Your eyesight is dim on the best of days, and your low-light vision is absolutely atrocious. Your hearing is so bad you have to ask people to repeat themselves regularly, and you tire after only a few minutes of physical activity. While you have not managed to store up much money in your lifetime, and almost everything you own has value chiefly sentimental, you know that your demographic has a reputation for being wealthy. Muggers who think a victim is holding out on them tend to get violent, and even in your fairly good state of health, even minor injuries are life-threatening.

            “Do other countries have so many more stabbings, etc, that is, all the murders that “would be committed anyway, with or without guns”? Do non-gun countries have many more murders by other methods to make up for all the shootings that don’t happen? Or are the gun-murders simply replaced with non-murders?”

            This study has actually been done, and multiple links were posted the last time the printable gun came up on HAD. The answer one of the studies gave was “While you are less likely to get shot in a nation with no guns, you are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime.” “Civilized” nations which restrict or outright ban guns and have more murders(not per citizen, simply more people who are murdered) include: China, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa, all of which are otherwise actually fairly nice places. Maybe not China. And all of these places have similar or lower populations than the US. OK, not China.

            For more information, see: The site is a pro-gun blog, but all of the graphics on that page are derived from independent data or sites which can be easily checked. Among other things the data reveals:

            Homicide to gun ownership: slight but definite negative correlation(more guns = fewer homicides)
            Suicide to gun ownership: very slight but definite negative correlation(more guns = fewer suicides)
            Freedom to gun ownership: very distinct negative correlation(more guns = more freedoms)
            Economic index to gun ownership: very slight positive correlation(more guns = richer people)
            Government corruption to gun ownership: significant negative correlation(more guns = less corruption)
            (the five graphs which show this are listed and explained about 2/3 of the way down the above link.)

  18. Longest list of comments I’ve seen on HaD so far. Most of them surprisingly civil an well thought out.

    One point I have not seen mentioned, is that this whole project in general, Defence Distributed, as started by Cody Wilson (a self described Crypto-anarchist) is political in nature. Using firearms as a base, rather than the right to hack your Xbox(r) or Netgear(r) router, guarantees a bit more visibility in the media world.

    There are a number of interesting articles and interviews about Wilson and Defence Distributed including these:

    While Wilson’s problems have not escalated to the levels of those suffered by Andrew (bunnie) Huang or Aaron Swartz, he did manage to get his original Indiegogo campaign suspended after 3 weeks, as well as having his original (leased) Stratasys printer “seized” by the company. (Actually they just sent a team to pick it up after he told them “Ok, come and get it”) because he did not have an ATF license to mfg firearms (DD has one now). Then Makerbot deleted all gun-related files from Thingiverse including Michael Guslick’s original printed ar-15 receiver, as well as all Defense Distributed files.
    Maybe or maybe not the attention they were looking for, but then again, any news is good news as long as they spell your name right.

    Short note about the “players” mentioned above. Wilson is a Texas law student, with no prior experience in “hacking” or 3-d printing, or much interest in guns. He says in several of his interviews that he has become “much more interested” in both of these fields since the inception of Defense Distributed. Guslick on the other hand is a Wisconsin IT administrator and hobby gunsmith. AFAIK his designs were (and are) just a neat project he wanted to share, essentially apolitical.

    As far as my personal opinion, it’s mixed. On one hand as to the morality of firearms, I share the “I don’t care” view. If your gonna kill someone and can’t find a gun, you’ll use a stick. And no, little Suzy isn’t gonna whip one of these up while the parents aren’t home. As far as should you be able to legally distribute your plans without hindrance. hell yes. “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” (B Franklin)

    As I said previously, it’s an interesting situation with (obviously) a bunch of viewpoints. Couldn’t pass up the chance for my $00.02

  19. Plastic guns and plastic bullets already exist, and are far cheaper to make than with a 3d printer, and will not melt as fast as a 3d printed gun. There is no concern for gun control with this except if you print one and it isn’t serialized and registered then you get the same penalty as owning an unlicensed firearm, and also maybe a regulation to print an orange cap at the end of the tip for one that is inoperable or something.

  20. I think a few things are getting mixed up in all of this. I would respectfully submit the idea that you may have the right to legally own a gun in the USA, you do not have the right to legally manufacture one. Firearms are currently all manufactured under strict laws that require (among other things) that they are given a serial number which allows them to be indivually accounted for at the point of manufacture, as well as traced (in theory) in the event they are used in a crime.

    1. Wrong! You can make as many guns for yourself as you like. You just cannot make them with the intent to sell them. Although at a later date if you decide to sell a gun you’ve made you may, if you go through the paperwork.

      Now I need to unsubscribe to this thread because I am getting bombarded by too many idiots that don’t know anything about guns, but wish to emphatically state their opinions anyways.

      1. Actually it depends on the state ( I think in NJ you can’t legally make a handgun ). Also I think there is a limit on the number of guns you can make for personal use a year before the Gov’t says your manufacturing regardless if you sell them (25 if memory serves me correctly).

    2. “Firearms are currently all manufactured under strict laws that require (among other things) that they are given a serial number which allows them to be indivually accounted for at the point of manufacture, as well as traced (in theory) in the event they are used in a crime.”

      That’s not exactly true, as stated earlier in the comments you can manufacture as long as you do not try to sell or transfer ownership. I would propbably read up on the full federal and local laws before warming up the drill press and building a zip gun though as there probably are some tricky bits in there somewhere.

      If you do some research on Defense Distributed, they’ve already had talks with the ATF and it is known that they have built these guns. I haven’t read anything about any arrests or warrants. Have you?

      And what is wrong with being able to manufacture a gun in the US if that is what you choose to do?
      There’s already plenty of laws on the books that could be used to prosecute someone who caused neglegent or intentional harm as a result of an amatuer built firearm. If that’s not deterrant enough to be cause for caution when building or using said firearm then that hypothetical careless or undereducated person will likely find another clumsy or foolish way to cause someone harm. The only real way to avoid that situation is better education so that anyone attempting this would either know how to properly construct and use it or accept that it may be a subject beyond their grasp

      Just my opinion, but I am glad for the freedoms that panicked law making has not yet taken away, whether I intend to excercise those freedoms or not. An amatuer gunsmith could potentially design better non-lethal rounds for law enforcement, or build a more compact flare gun for outdoors enthusiasts, either of which could save lives. If we allow limits on our freedoms to create then we limit what future things it may be possible to create.

    3. wrong, you do have the right to legally manufacture your own gun. Google 80% lower receiver. these can be finished with something as simple as a drill press. So you can make you own assault rifle from stuff you order through the mail and this is 100% BATF legal as long as you never sell it.

      For that you need an FFL, Federal Firearms License, which is also pretty easy to get, just fill out some BATF forms online, pay the fees, and if you pass their background check you too can send/receive guns across state lines through the mail. This guy has one, so he could sell you that thing if he wanted to. Even ship it across state line to another FFL holder who can then transfer it to anyone that can pass his states background check, usually for a $30 fee.

  21. Like the author says, if you own a lathe or a milling machine you can already make a better gun. Internet is full of folks doing this.

    Also several people out there that will sell you an 80% lower receiver (the only BATF recognized/regulated gun part). Because it’s unfinished, they can ship it through the mail as a non-firearm. You can finish these with something as simple as a drill press, order the rest of the parts through the mail and there you have a BATF legal assault rifle that has no government serial number and requires no background check of any kind. You can be “cookoo for coco puffs” and build you own “off the books” assault rifle and it’s 100% legal.

    So I think the author is spot on, interesting use of a 3D printer, but not that interesting. To me it seems like a lot of effort for what amounts to a fancy zip gun. Something you could also make out of non-metal like Delrin that would go through a metal detector just as well. Same as it would if it were filled with explosives.

    Bottom line… You can pass all the unenforceable laws you want, it would never stop someone that is clever and has no intention of complying with your unenforceable law. Last I checked, killing people was against the law, illegal whether you use a gun, knife, fist, homemade bomb, etc. Obviously some folks just don’t care what the law says.

  22. My first concern is safety – of the *builder*. Putting explosive devices in homemade plastic devices seems like a recipe for disaster. Sooner or later someone messing around will make a part that is too weak, and when fired will loose a hand.

  23. The fears that 3d printing a gun would allow people to obtain a fire arm who could not have gotten one before are completely unfounded.
    People often make firearms out of pipe the so called zip gun which is extremely simple to do.
    I’ve even seen semi automatic weapons made from hardware store items.
    These can be much more robust then any 3D printed gun except for those made using laser sintering or lost wax casting.

  24. People have been making guns out of wood or plastic ever since it has been possible. I want to see someone make a plastic bullet, and gunpowder (which is detectable by metal detectors) that will actually work. Then people can worry a little but this isnt anything new.

  25. If this harms “3d printing in general”, you’d better cross-reference that with those “shouts of freedom and liberty and stuff.” I don’t even own a firearm and I understand what this truly means for the peasant class. Attempting to place _any_ restrictions on gun possession is itself illegal under the highest laws of this land and for very good reason. Do those performing illegal check points, illegal door to door home invasions, beating innocents and confiscating weapons do so unarmed??? Of course not. They’re armed as a military force, which is _also_ illegal here, according to our highest laws. Criminalize tyranny.

  26. This _is_ different than a zip gun here and there or an expensive assault riffle shipped as parts. This is the beginning of nearly unlimited, unregistered, disposable firearms for everyone. Our founders didn’t want _any_ firearms to be illegal for anyone, anywhere in the US. There are strong reasons for that, which we’ll be experiencing first hand, sooner or later.

  27. I can’t agree more with some of you! This isn’t exactly new. Sure it’s a 3D gun, that’s new, but the fact that someone can get a gun easily is not new. That’s why this whole gun ban craze it futile. People will always be able to get weapons in one way or another or in one form or another. I have no suggestions as to how to resolve the issue but I do feel like everyone is treating this issue wrong and aren’t helping the problem.

  28. Wow, sorry I’m late to the party. Quite a lot of very polarized and quite a bit of thought out responses.

    To those who cry out ” wait till your kid gets shot!”…
    This threat exists now and will exist even if you managed to ban all guns. The only change would be from getting shot to (insert adjective for violent action here). Listen, there are and always be crazy assholes out there. They will find a way to act on those crazy impulses. As has been said many times, outlawing a thing only serves to make outlaws. Frankly, the problem isn’t the gun, it’s the person behind the gun. The tragedies that have occurred are not a remark on guns, but a remark on the craziness of those people involved. What then? Ban crazy people? In many of these crimes, there were warning signs well beforehand. Just sayin. Instead of focusing on the tool, it’s time to focus on the wielder.

    To those who think that legislation is the answer…
    Making laws is easy. Enforcing them….well….
    An enforceable law is worse than no law, as it leads to situations where the laws get twisted and used in unintended ways, often resulting in basic human rights getting trampled. Different type of law, but excellent example…the DMCA. This law has lead to more muddying of the legal waters than can be justified by any results it has had. The same is likely to happen with gun control laws that are overly broad or unrealistic.

    To those who have pointed out the numerous other ways to produce firearms…
    BRAVO!!!! you have managed to see the tree in the forest. 3D printing is still very much a niche. I’m pretty sure I could search the town of 20,000 people I live in and not find 1. Maybe if I traveled to Fargo (60 miles one way) I could find one….getting permission to use it and print on it…unlikely. I could buy one, but by the time I get it, set it up, print the gun, and assemble it…yeah. Coulda built three or four with common hand tools and saved about $8k. Or created much worse for far less ( the Boston event comes to mind here, My condolences to the families of those involved).

    In short Caleb has the right of it….I Don’t Care. Not one single bit. This is and should be noise in the background, rather than the huge hype it has turned into.

  29. Hi , in the picture above the guy is wearing sunnglases .. meaning “i can watch you but you can’t see were i’m loocking at ” There are many ways to make a firearm google ” philippine home made gun’s ” I personly would not try to shoot a plastic gun , hoping he who makes one blows his hand and face in xxx pieces . He made world news maybe thats what he was aming for . I know how to make plastik resistant to hi pression but i wil not tell because than everyone else knows :-)
    The pencilgun has already been told about

  30. As a non-american, I don’t really see your point in “well, it’s be easier to just go out and buy a gun from the store”.
    I know that at least here in Sweden you need to own a gun license for the specific gun you want to buy, and that license can only be granted to you by the rifle club that has made sure you know how to handle that gun before they let you run a test for gun safety etc etc. When you’ve got that license you’re allowed to buy this one gun that you have the license for from the club or import it (there aren’t really any “gun stores”, as that isn’t a lucrative business here). You’re going to have to do the tests regularly to keep your license, and if you leave the club you leave the license to use that gun as well.

    My dad was in America a couple of years ago and the only reason his friend wasn’t allowed to buy a gun from a legitimate gun store was that he had only been in America for 6 days. 7 days was the required time.

    3D printers, however, will be available all over the world, and you can’t really restrict schematics to only be downloadable in the U.S. So yes, these schematics for a 3d-printed gun will increase the availability of guns a whole lot. Maybe not in the US, what with your thing about the “gun rights” and all, but in the rest of the world.

    As for the arguement that the 3D printer is very expensive:
    So were regular printers when they first came out. I can go to about any electronics store now and buy one for less than $30…

    1. I understand your point. It is becoming more and more obvious, however, that “gun control” is impossible. Hopefully the world will soon realize that unless we can erase the invention of gunpowder by the chinese(tardis?), so-called gun elimination an exercise in futility…
      …That said, I will echo many others that say that this is only a news post, not a hack. You can make a much better gun for much cheaper from a simple hardware store. As a 10yr kid I made one from plastic pipe, hairspray, potatoes, and a lantern flint. It ripped a 20mm piece of plywood to shreds @ 10m with a potato. I bought it all by mowing lawns and it cost about $15usd. I’m not even that brilliant! Through trial and error, I got it to launch it about 400m (@35ish’ angle + extended barrel). I could only tell it went so far by the “BANG” it made hitting the irrigation line across the field.

  31. There is a major lack of education following this story in most articles.

    I have followed this compnay since day one. Many do not realize every aspect of the gun is 100% legal federal law wise. If you look at the schematics you need to make a firing pin out of a metalic rod or nail. The size meets the weight requierment for Metal Detectors and makes the gun detectable. The measurments are all with in legal limits.

    You probably ask why was it taken down? That would be ITAR… It’s a tax pain to many Firearms Manufacturers as they have to pay it reguardless of slaes. ITAR also states you can not provide a gun nor design to a forigne entity if that firearm uses any parts that match a firearm in use by the US Military. It’s being investigated on those gounds to ensure that it does not share any like parts.

    If you are not restricted from owning a gun in any legal maner, you are free to create your own firarm from stock scratch. You have to follow the same guidlines as any other Civilian Weapon Manufacturer. Many people have built their own firearms from pieces that were milled by manufacturers. These all have serial numbers. Some have milled them their selves. If you mill it yourself you do not need a serial number, but it can never leave your possession. If you deviate from the guide lines you must legally destroy the firearm. No Civilian can own an Unregistered Full Auto Reciever, they do not register any new firearms so you can not legally make one.

    Sound Suppressors (Wrongly Called Silencers), Short Barrels, Pistols with Viertical Forgrips, Full Auto Reciveres, and a few other tidbits all requier an indepth process and about 12 weeks to 8 months wait.
    1) A background Investigation (Which is more indepth than firearms purchase, or even your work background checks).
    2) You have to pass the BC and pay a Tax Fee.
    2.A.) If you milled it your self then you have to create a serial number for you weapon and engrave it on the weapon.
    3) Once Uncle Sam has your dues and says you are clear you get a litteral stamp connected to a paper saying you paid the transfer taxes.
    4) You have to keep this paper with the weapon at all times.
    5) If you are ever caught without the Stamp you lose the gun and get federal prison.
    6) Crossing a state line with the Stamped weapon (Suppressors are allowed to cross state lines freely) and not having a letter from the ATF allowing the weapon to be transported will get it taken away and land you in prison.
    7) You can will the weapon to a family member but they must pass the BC and pay the Tax again.

    It like people that believe in the Gun Show Loophole. An FFL or Manufacturer MUST run a NICs check on you no matter where the sale is. They will lose the license and be jailed if they don’t. The “Gun Show Loophole” comes from the fact that Federal Law allows a private citizen to sell a gun to another private citizen without a back ground check as long as:
    1) Both Parties are in the same state.
    2) Niether one has run a in licensed firearms sales bussiness.
    Some states have state laws forbiding this kind of sale though. They requier you take it to a gun store and do a “Transfer” which includes a NICs check. I personally recomend that approach no matter what the state allows you to do. If you private sale and don’t have the recipt later on if your ever asked, you will be in trouble. Transfer is always the safest route.

    People need to be educated in facts. Too many stories floating out there that don’t give all the facts. An Uneducated society is a dangerious place.

  32. Guns are Evil!!! Folks who print guns are CRIMINALS. All guns should be banned, and all technology for making guns, bullets, and other instruments should absolutely be banned, except for our police and our military, and maybe other government officials.

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