Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Common Misconceptions About 3D Printed Plastic Guns

The Liberator - a 3D printed plastic gun

The media and gun control advocates have worked themselves up into a frenzy over 3D printed plastic guns and most of the arguments they make are deeply flawed.

1. This allows people to make their own guns
Making guns for personal use is already legal. A license is not required.

This is nothing new. Zip guns -- improvised 'homemade' firearms have a very long history with hobbyists as well as gangs and other criminals, and are constructed with readily available, very inexpensive materials.
2. This will make it easier and cheaper to acquire guns
Nope. It’s much cheaper to simply buy a gun. You can't reliably print guns that won't blow up in your hand with an $800 printer.  And 3D printing isn't easy or fast. You can't print an entire gun in one pass and even if you could it would take a very long time.

3D printed gun parts
Instead, each part has to be printed separately and then assembled. Then, since it's all plastic, it won't last very long -- especially if quickly and cheaply made. Do you really think criminals are going to go to that much trouble for something that may well blow up in their face the first time they use it, when they can buy a gun on the street for less than $500 right now?
3. This will allow criminals and others who shouldn't have guns to acquire them
10% to 15% of guns used in crimes are simply stolen. Over half are black market cash purchases, either from shady FFL dealers or from others on the street. Most criminals, when polled, indicate that getting guns is easy.

4. This will result in many more untraceable guns
There are already an estimated 350 million guns in America and about 300,000 3D printers. Any increase would be a drop in a very large bucket.

5. This will make the world more dangerous
Only for those folks who test fire their plastic guns manually. They have a habit of blowing up in the user's hands.

6. This will allow people to get plastic guns past metal detectors
“TSA officers are trained and on the lookout for 3-D guns. “We have proven detection capabilities and screening protocols in place.” -- TSA spokesman Michael Bilello

Any plastic gun that is capable of firing more than one round without malfunctioning has to have metal parts. Also, you can’t get your keys past a metal detector and you won’t get bullets past a metal detector either.

7. This will usher in “the age of the downloadable gun.”
Too late. It's already here and you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. 

When the code for the first 3D printed gun, "The Liberator" was first posted on the internet it was downloaded over 100,000 times before it was ordered removed. Since then it's been available for download from numerous other web sites that post links to torrents.

Files for 3D Printed guns

No laws or government can stop illegal downloading of movies, music and software, and they won't stop the distribution of these files either, no matter what laws they pass.

A coalition of five U.S. groups, said the ban on publishing blueprints for 3D guns violates the First Amendment and put up their own web site with the downloads. Others has also appeared as the government now has to play "Wack a mole"

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