With the growing accessibility and the flattening capacity to disrupt a global racket market by decentralizing manufacturing from the East, the 3D printer is giving hope to many that there will be a future for the young people after all. But there are some out there that wish to squander this hope buy using these tools to create tools of destruction. Read an excerpt from this publishing on Nextcity.org
For those cities around the country that have suffered in the wake of deindustrialization over the last few decades, the proliferation of 3D printing holds a lot of promise.
But one self-described crypto-anarchist in Austin, Texas has seen a different kind of potential in 3D printing.
As Forbes reported this past weekend, 25-year-old Cody Wilson and his 9-month-old non-profit company, Defense Distributed, successfully test fired the world’s first 3D printed gun on May 2.
Though the printer Wilson used reportedly cost $8,000, his gun — which he dubbed the “Liberator” — requires only 15 pieces of plastic and one small metal pin to build (or, more accurately, print). It can shoot a .380-caliber bullet without suffering any damage. (A higher-caliber rifle cartridge, however, did destroy the gun, which was test fired at a distance.) Despite warnings from experts that a plastic gun would explode in the shooter’s hand, Wilson seems confident that his creation will soon be put to practical use.
The onset of print-it-yourself guns, combined with citizen-led efforts like that of one Houston man’s wish to arm people in high-crime neighborhoods, has many gun control advocates worried.
Already, urban leaders nationwide have moved to ban 3D printed firearms in their cities. On Wednesday, one such bill appeared before city councilmembers in Washington, D.C., which saw 88 homicides and whose authorities seized more than 2,000 guns last year.
“An undetectable firearm constructed on your computer may sound like science fiction, but unfortunately, it’s already here and our laws have never contemplated this scenario,” D.C. City Councilmember Tommy Wells, who introduced the legislation, said in a press release. “These weapons create a significant and immediate threat to public safety.”
Additionally, two congressmen from New York have indicated that they might seek a national ban. U.S. Rep. Steve Israel and Sen. Charles Schumer have both condemned 3D printed guns as posing a significant public safety risk. On Sunday Schumer announced that he and Israel will introduce a bill called the Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act to make these kinds ofDIY printed weapons illegal.
Read more at Nextcity.org.
Photo credit: The components of “Liberator,” Cody Wilson’s 3D printed gun. Defense Distributed