Defense Distributed, which was started by University of Texas student Cody Wilson, has developed a 3D printed firearm and plans to release the blueprints early next week. The only components that are not printed are a single nail which is used as the firing pin as well as a six-ounce piece of steel, which is required by the Undetectable Firearms Act, which is put into the device’s body to make it visible in a metal detector. Of course, once the file is uploaded online, anyone can download the plans and print the gun, doing whatever they would like, including pulling the six-ounce piece of steel, allowing them to smuggle firearms onto planes or other high-security areas. And while the prototype may look like a toy gun, the fact is it can fire real bullets and the gun can handle different caliber rounds due to the interchangeability of the barrel.
All of this is what worries New York Democrat Representative Steve Israel who has renewed his call for an extension of the ban on plastic firearms.
“Security checkpoints, background checks, and gun regulations will do little if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” Israel said. “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.”
Only time will tell what will happen once everyone has the ability to produce a handgun via 3D printing.