First 3D Printed Gun
Amidst an era of debate in the United States over gun ownership and regulation, Defense Distributed has created the first gun that can be printed from a 3D printer. They plan to publicly release the blueprints online – when this happens, anybody with a 3D printer will be able to print off their own, lethal gun.
The gun had been under development for the past year, and was printed on an $8000 printer that was bought on E-bay. The metal firing pin is the only component of the gun which was not printed.
For those of you unfamiliar with 3D printing: 3D printing works by building layers upon layers of plastic sheets, which results in a 3 dimensional object. Imagine taking any simple object and slicing it, horizontally, into very thin slices (layers). The printer simply creates the object by building up these slices (layers).
In the case of this gun, the components were printed separately, and then assembled afterwards.
While the 3D printed gun is legal within the United States, many are concerned that as 3D printers become more accessible, many more people will be able to easily come into the possesion of firearms – in particular, youth who should (under law) not be in the possession of such firearms.
Criminals will likely stick to their traditional methods of obtaining guns – I guess a plastic gun doesn’t exactly exude toughness. Jokes aside, I believe this possible mass distribution of cheap firearms is NOT a good thing. Also, when the technology becomes cheap and commonplace in households, criminals will certainly use it. I can’t imagine why they would not.
The developers of the gun claim that they created this weapon out of a pursuit of liberty. They also say that just because a gun could be used to harm others, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be made readily available.
Personally, I think it’s a horrible idea. I’m not American, but I am definite that 3D printed guns will do no good for their country – or the rest of the world, for that matter.
Others seems to share my concerns. Europol, as well as other law enforcement agencies worldwide, have been monitoring the development of firearms/weapons as it pertains to new technology (including 3D printing). It will definitely be interesting to see how this plays out.
What do you think of this 3D printed gun? Is it justified as a pursuit of liberty? Should it be banned? Can it be effectively managed? Let us know in the comments below!