Cody Wilson (founder of Defense Distributor) topped the accomplishment of printing a functioning rifle lower by using the same means to produce a functional handgun. As the components of this modern technological marvel are almost entirely plastic (it uses a metal nail as a firing pin), it stands to reason that extended use would degrade the firearm (I have not yet found any feedback on the Liberator’s duration of reliable use). But what is not remarkable is the length of use of the plastic gun, but in the implications of its construction.
Defense Distributed proclaims their mission to be “To defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms … through facilitating global access to, and the collaborative production of information and knowledge relating to the 3D printing of arms; and to publish and distribute, at no cost to the public, such information and knowledge …” (Defense Distributed “About Us,” defdist.org/about-us/).
Not surprisingly, the United States government has had a negative response to Defense Distributed’s global dissemination of plans for printing a complete, functional firearm. Wilson is complying with the US Department of Defense Trade Controls’ order to remove public access to the files previously accessible to the public. A red banner on the DEFCAD site (where Defense Distributed’s 3D plans were hosted for users to download) announces that, “Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.”
The argument has begun between gun control and information control. Where do you think it will lead?
H/T to Andy Greenberg of Forbes.com
The Liberator featured image credit: Michael Thad Carter of Forbes (courtesy of Forbes.com).