The good news: modern technology has advanced to a point where someone can use a 3 D printer and make something out of plastic. The bad news: modern technology has advanced to a point where someone can sue a 3 D printer and make a gun out of plastic, which could pose a security threat a places like airport.
A Texas company is set to release blueprints for making a plastic gun with a 3-D printer — a development Sen. Chuck Schumer called “stomach-churning” Sunday.
Defense Distributed, a collective of gun access advocates headed by self-described “free-market anarchist” Cody Wilson, has announced it made such an untraceable gun with the new plastic-making technology. The nonprofit Texas group intends to post blueprints for “The Liberator” (pictured) online this week.
The Liberator may look like a toy, but “this gun can fire regular bullets,” Schumer said, calling for legislation outlawing the technology’s weapons potential.
The bill was drafted by Rep. Steve Israel (D-L.I.).
Will the NRA allow a law like that? They call the (pardon the expression,,) shots in Congress. Would any law like that be a concern because it restricts freedom on guns? Or will this be on the NRA won’t stridently oppose, since it involves guns people make out of plastic which could compete with the gun industry and mean less revenue for gun companies?
“Security checkpoints, background checks and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print their own plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” Israel said in a statement.
To Schumer, the ramifications of make-your-own untraceable and undetectable weapons are “stomach-churning.”
“Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon, can essentially open a gun factory in their garage,” Schumer said. “It must be stopped.”
According to the New York Daily News, its an easy process: you simply buy a printer for $1,000 print out the pieces, get the blueprint on how to assemble it, and put it together.
Providing security that works is harder. Especially with plastic guns.
FOOTNOTE: It is fascinating, though — and you can anticipate some people trying to make a plastic gun because it’s so fascinating.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.