On Wednesday, August 1st, Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed, a non-profit, private security firm located in Austin, Texas, will upload the blueprints for 3D printed guns, known as Ghost Guns, to the internet.
3D printed guns are made from a type of plastic or polymer, and can be produced right from your home for very little cost. In fact, Defense Distributed sells a 3D printer that can be used to manufacture these guns for just $250.
How did this possibly happen? Why hasn’t anybody stopped this Cody Wilson jerk from uploading these plans to the internet?
Well, the federal government tried.
Cody Wilson made his first 3D printed pistol, called The Liberator, in April of 2013. He then uploaded the plans for the pistol to the internet. It didn’t take long for more than 100,000 people to download the plans, and not much longer for the government to allege violations of the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), threaten him with prosecution, and to demand he remove the plans for the gun. Wilson did so, and then sued the federal government for violation of his first amendment rights.
Shockingly, he won. On June 29th of this year, the federal government entered into a settlement with Wilson, paid him $40,000 for his legal fees, and created an exemption in the ITAR regulations, allowing him to publish his plans for 3D printed firearms for international distribution.
Gun safety advocates, liberal lawmakers, and social justice warriors everywhere went nuts when the news was released.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.) all sent letters to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding an explanation for the settlement with Wilson. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer sent Wilson cease and desist letters threatening him with legal action if he made his plans available to residents of those jurisdictions. (Wilson has sued both of them for intimidation and harassment.)
Three gun control organizations — the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence — attempted to get an injunction against Wilson by filing an emergency motion with Federal Judge Robert Pitman in Austin. Pitman denied the emergency motion, ruling in favor of Wilson.
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) wrote this letter chock full of fear mongering to the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs chairs in the house, demanding an emergency hearing. As far as I can tell, they seem to have ignored these demands.
Well known screamer and social justice warrior Chelsea Handler felt the need to weigh in on a topic she knows zero about, of course.
None of these last-minute attempts to censor and control the internet have worked, and the plans will be free to all on August 1st when Wilson releases them.
The problem with all this liberal fear-mongering and screaming, as anyone with even a hint of a working brain could figure out, is that you can’t un-ring a bell. The plans for this gun were uploaded in 2013 and downloaded hundreds of thousands of times! That means they are available. In fact, it took me all of five minutes of searching to locate the plans on the file-sharing site ThePirateBay.org. They are on other torrent sites as well. The plans exist already and they can be downloaded by anybody who wants to spend just a little bit of time searching already, right now.
The other problem, as anybody who’s ever shot a gun can figure out, is that when a gun fires, a violent explosion occurs. Plastic guns are not equipped to handle violent explosions. An ATF test done on several types of 3D printed guns showed that many of them will explode in the user’s hands, perhaps even fatally injuring the shooter. Now, Wilson’s Liberator gun did perform well in the tests and that is the concern that many lawmakers have, however, the idea that a new law prohibiting him from uploading the plans for that gun will stop people from making it is just silly. Mainly because…wait for it…
It’s already illegal to own a gun that can defeat metal detector technology!
The Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 was enacted in response to Glock’s manufacture of the Glock 17, the first gun that was made with a large amount of plastic or polymer components. The law states that no gun shall be made or owned that contains less than 3.7 ounces of stainless steel, or whatever amount is the minimum detection level in metal detector technology. It also states that no gun can be created or owned that is undetectable to weapons imaging technologies. (Meaning guns that don’t look like guns.)
This federal law means that if you were to make a gun made entirely of plastic, it would be illegal. You must insert a metal plate that makes it detectable to magnetometers.
Another problem (and this should be really obvious) is that nobody has figured out a way to make a plastic bullet or shell casing. So even if you have an illegal plastic gun, the shells still have to be metal.
Now, the fear mongering that’s happening out there is obviously ridiculous, but let’s address their concerns. The first is that criminals will have easy access to firearms now that they can just make them in their garage. First of all, there are millions of illegal firearms already out on the streets, available for sale for way less than the cost to build your own. Not only is it easier for a criminal to just buy an illegal gun, it’s much more lethal to own a real gun that fires multiple times without blowing up, than it is to trust a plastic gun that might blow your hand off or might fail after firing a few times.
“Ghost guns are as scary as they sound — a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser or a felon can essentially open a gun factory in their garage. No background check, no training,” Sen. Chuck Schumer
The second is that criminals will be able to sneak a gun onto a plane or into a courthouse. This may be true, however, they still can’t sneak the bullets through. And, to be clear, the plans for these guns have been downloaded already hundreds of thousands of times over the last five years. Thousands of these guns have been created successfully. Nobody has successfully used one to take down a plane or shoot a judge in that time.
The true purpose of this technology is not to build a gun that can be used to sneak through a metal detector. It is to build components of firearms to make guns cheaper and lighter. Defense Distributed will be uploading plans to replace components of many popular firearms with polymer DIY components. These guns still contain a large amount of metal, including all of the actual firing components including the firing pin, the barrel, and usually the receiver. Keeping these parts metal insures they have the structural integrity necessary to fire safely and repeatedly.
Ghost Guns, scary as the name may sound, are effectively useless for anybody with any criminal intent. Making your own gun is no scarier than buying a gun from a gun show, your neighbor, or a local hood on the street, and not nearly as useful. People who decide to make their own guns will do so as a hobby and nothing more, despite the fear-mongering tactics of the liberal left.
Not only this, but the idea of criminalizing and censoring knowledge should scare all of us. The plans to create a 3D printed gun are no different than the plans to create a metal gun using a metal lathe and boring machine, despite the difference in skill, cost, and time to create that metal gun. It’s a slippery slope once the courts start to decide what information we’re allowed to learn.
With more than 300 million actual firearms floating around this country, having a few plastic ones is not going to change a thing. Now, other countries where guns are illegal and don’t really exist, countries such as Australia and Great Britain may actually have something to worry about. If you live in a place where you can’t easily buy or steal a gun, being able to 3D print your own gun makes things much easier. It will be interesting to see how those countries react to the Ghost Gun uploads and what kind of internet censoring they’ll be willing to do to try to stop them.