Defense Distributed Announces 3D Printed Gun
Kyle Maxey posted on May 06, 2013 |

gun, print, handgun, caliber, ak-47, ar-15, congress, licence, defense distributedNearly a year ago the founder of Defense Distributed, Cody Wilson, announced his plans to create the world’s first 3D printed gun.  In the coming days, Wilson plans to release his 3D Printed gun.  Its name: “The Liberator”.

Over the course of the last year, Wilson and his team at Defense Distributed have made remarkable strides in creating 3D printed components like a magazine and lower receiver for the much maligned AR-15 assault rifle.

However, Wilson’s newest design is a complete departure from their previous work in that The Liberator is a standalone, fully functional 3D printed handgun.  In fact, according to Wilson the only functional component in the gun that isn’t 3D printed is the weapon’s firing pin.  To comply with the US Undetectable Firearms Act, The Liberator also contains a 6 oz. piece of steel to make it detectable by metal detectors, however, anyone who prints the weapon could simply decide not to add this component to their model.

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The other important aspect of The Liberator’s design is of course its simplicity. The gun is composed of 16 pieces that presumably snap together, given the fact that the firing pin is its only metal piece.  This simplicity likely makes the gun easy to assemble and also allows it to be configured with a number of ammunition calibers through a simple barrel switch.

While Wilson and Defense Distributed are celebrating their achievement, there are some in the US Congress who aren’t so sanguine about the news. Rep. Steve Israel, an early opponent of the Defense Distributed's project, released this statement in response to the development. “"Security checkpoints, background checks, and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser. When I started talking about the issue of plastic firearms months ago, I was told the idea of a plastic gun is science-fiction. Now that this technology appears to be upon us, we need to act now to extend the ban on plastic firearms."

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