After Defense Distributed released plans for a working 3D-printed gun last weekend, the US State Department demanded that the group remove the 3D-printed gun schematics from its website, citing possible arms-trafficking violations.The blueprints for the Liberator pistol were downloaded more 100,000 times in only a few days, which clearly made a few people in Washington uneasy.
The State Department’s response comes as no surprise, as politicians were making moves to outlaw 3D printed guns just hours after the files were made available online.
This isn’t the first time creator and self-described “crypt-anarchist” Cody Wilson has been met with opposition to his project. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the develops, here’s a quick rundown to get you up to speed:
June 2012: Wilson seeks funding for his “Wiki Weapon” project on crowd funding site IndieGoGo, gathering upwards of $2,000
August 2012: IndieGoGo suspends Wilson’s funding campaign, citing a Terms of Service violation. Wilson subsequently begins accepting donations on his own website via PayPal and Bitcoin.
September 2012: Wilson meets funding goal of $20,000, and purchases a high-end Stratsys uPrint SE 3D printer to begin developing a prototype
October 2012: Stratasys repossesses the printer, stating that it does not condone the use of its machinery to violate federal firearms laws
May 2013: First shots are fired from Wilson’s 3D printed “Liberator” handgun
May 5th, 2013: 3D blueprints for The Liberator are made available online at DefCad.org
May 10th, 2013: State Department issues take down order. Files then surface on popular BitTorrent site, ThePirateBay.
Defense Distributed has complied with the State Department’s orders by removing the Liberator blueprints from its site, but it seems there’s no putting the cat back in the bag. The files have begun to surface on BitTorrent sites hosted outside of the US, where the State Department has no jurisdiction. At time of writing, the 3D file for The Liberator has well over 2,000 seeds on ThePirateBay.
Well, it’s no exaggeration.
I am an average person, who lives by average means, and who has not gone out of his way to “obtain” one of these “weapons.”
I did however, (for the sake of the article) just go out and download my copy of the “Liberator” 3D Printed Handgun.
Whether or not I posses a suitable printer at this point is irrelevant, as “SOME” effort must still be applied! 🙂
But the point still remains,
3D Printed Firearms Have Become Available To The General Public
- guardian tecnologia: 3D-printed guns: State Department orders firm to remove blueprints from web (guardian.co.uk)
- US government orders Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed to remove blueprint for 3D-printed handgun from the web (independent.co.uk)
- Downloads for 3D-printed gun 100,000 (bbc.co.uk)