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Ruling on 3D-printed guns opens door for easily accessible, untraceable firearms

By the middle of this week, anyone with internet access will be able to download blueprints to 3D print an untraceabl...

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 10:04 PM
Updated: Jul 30, 2018 10:04 PM

By the middle of this week, anyone with internet access will be able to download blueprints to 3D print an untraceable gun.

This idea came from the pro-gun group Defense Distributed, which was founded by Cody Wilson.

He posted his blueprints online five years ago and the U.S. State Department ordered him to take it down. However, Wilson fired back, citing free speech rights, and won a lengthy legal battle last week.

The guns, which will return to the internet Aug. 1, can be produced on a 3D printer without a serial number and can be produced without a background check.

Beyond the simple concern about unregistered weapons, some see other dangers with the 3D-printed firearms.

"Mostly because we see the great potential in terms of harm to the user that's unintentional because of the unsuitability of the material," said Dave Dalton, operator of Hammerspace Community Workshop in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dalton points to history as a guide. People have been making guns for centuries albeit with different machines.

"The 3D printer just kind of throws a modern twist on an old problem," he said.

One of the worries Dalton has is its affect on the younger generation.

"My biggest concern would be someone seeing these plans and thinking, 'Oh, it's so easy all I have to do is feed this into my printer and everything will be fine,' and that's not something anybody can guarantee because of the variability of 3D printing," Dalton said.

The idea sparks outrage from gun-control advocates.

"I am appalled and I cannot fathom how anybody thinks that this makes any sense," Judy Sherry of Grandparents Against Gun Violence said. "There's no reason for it."

Sherry said this allows people who can't buy guns to get one: "Convicted felons, known domestic abusers, seriously mentally ill people can't get a gun, and now they can," she said.

The topic also found its way onto the campaign trail in the race for the Republican nomination to oppose U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is up for reelection in Missouri in November.

Republican candidate Austin Petersen, who advocates for repealing many existing gun laws, said, "The idea that there would be more crime because there's more access to guns is way off."

That's why Petersen is giving away a "Ghost Gunner 2," which is a milling machine instead of a 3D printer to create a gun.

"If a criminal wants to commit a crime with a gun, then they can always just saw off the barrel or they can just drill off the serial number off a gun that they can steal, so criminals don't obey laws by definition," he said.

Petersen admitted that 3D-printed guns currently aren't safe.

"At the moment, they are really unreliable," he said. "I wouldn't recommend that anyone make a 3D-printed gun, because most of the tests that I've seen right now show that they will explode and they're very dangerous and they haven't perfected the technology."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
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