Why Won’t Republicans Fight Terror And Honor Reagan By Renewing His Plastic Firearms Ban? (VIDEO)

Cody Wilson

Cody Wilson, the 24-year-old inventor and part-time director for the Defense Distributed non-profit has created and distributed a design for a fully-functional gun that can be printed on a 3D printer. Photo from Make:.

Cody Wilson — the 25-year-old inventor, self-described “free-market anarchist,” and part-time director for Defense Distributed, — announced yesterday that he had created “the world’s first gun made with 3D printer technology,” as reported by Craig Nakano from The Los Angeles Times. Defense Distributed is an Austin, TX non-profit community seeking to develop and distribute plans for DIY plastic firearms that you can print from home on a 3D printer, and yes, Wilson’s design — and a host of other banned items from DD’s “Island of Misfit Objects” are available for download from their Web site.

Rebecca Morelle from BBC News, interviewed Wilson and wrote that “that the gun was assembled from separate printed components made from ABS plastic” (which Nakano adds is the same material used for Legos), and only a single part — the firing pin — was made from metal. According to a video report from CBS News, Wilson christened his invention “The Liberator,” gave a video demonstration to prove it works, and told reporters that his project “is not about violence, but freedom.”
Um, yeah, the “freedom” to distribute the means by which violence can be committed.

Here’s the video:

This new development raises many concerns. As reported by my AI colleague Nathaniel Downes in “Why Buy An AR-15 When You Can Print Just One From Home? (VIDEO),” the new printers could soon make today’s heated gun debates a moot point. With prices for the cheapest 3D printing models at just under $500, the much-reviled NRA and the gun manufacturers they represent could become far less relevant. What will a world in which any yahoo can just download and print guns from home look like? Is it even legal to download Wilson’s plans, print out a “Liberator” on your new 3D printer, and then share the designs via facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest?

While anyone can legally make firearms, as long as they have a Federal Firearms License, 3D printed guns are a different story, because they are made of plastic. In 1988, Ronald Reagan — the late former president and beloved icon of the Republican party — supported and signed the Undetectable Fire Arms Act, which makes it illegal to own, manufacture, or distribute fire arms made from plastic and other materials that can evade metal detectors and x-rays in airports, government buildings, and other secured environments. Sure, you can design, upload, download, and share information and designs for printable guns … but you can’t actually print one. According to Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai from Mashable, that’s why Wilson’s much-ballyhooed first working 3D-printed, plastic revolver still has that one metal pin — so he doesn’t get thrown in jail on felony charges.

The legislation was renewed in 2003, and this year, it’s up for renewal again. Since our congress is currently hobbled by do-nothing Republicans, an updated Undetectable Fire Arms Act is unlikely to pass. Despite the GOP’s gushing praises of Reagan and frothing rages about vigilance and “the War on Terror,” they’ve remained curiously silent about legislation that should be a no-brainer for Reagan-worshipping, anti-terrorists like themselves. It’s one thing to recognize the challenges of regulating increasingly accessible new technologies, its another to ignore them altogether.

Luckily, not everyone’s ignoring the law’s impending demise. Edgar Sandoval from the Daily News reports that Senator Chuck Shumer (D-NY) spoke out strongly in support of his House colleague, Representative Steve Israel (D-NY)’s proposed legislation to renew the ban. He declared the prospect of untraceable and undetectable weapons to be “stomach-churning,” and added:

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

Shumer also told CNN News:
The first thing we should do is extend the law that prohibits these types of guns that can’t be detected when you go through a metal detector. It expires this year. We should extend it and make it broader.

When CNN’s Erin Burnett asked how Shumer expects to pass legislation when recent gun background checks legislation failed despite high levels of public support, Shumer replied:

I think people who would oppose extending this law do so at their peril. This is so beyond the pale that I think that even the extremists will have trouble getting people to take their point of view here, and I don’t think they’ll oppose it.

Wow. Even extremists like Cody Wilson, his fellow Libertarians, the NRA, and the Republican Party? Here’s the video:


Elisabeth Parker Elisabeth Parker is a writer, Web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante. Come visit her at ElisabethParker.Com, “like” her on facebook, “friend” her on facebook, follow her on Twitter, or check out her Pinterest boards. For more Addicting Info articles by Elisabeth, click here.