Brian Doherty on What 3D Printing Means for Gun Rights

Last weekend New York Rep. Steve Israel last weekend called for the renewal of a 1988 law that might expire at the end of 2013, the Undetectable Firearms Act. Israel made his announcement at a security checkpoint at Long Island’s MacArthur Airport.

Joined by Suffolk County police chief James Burke, Israel expressed panic at the rise of 3D printing, a new technology that allows the creation of plastic objects via computer instructions using a home device. In particular, Israel fretted about the new technology’s supposed ability to make dangerous weapons out of plastic, in, as Burke put it, “our children’s bedrooms, in basements and in dorm rooms.”

Senior Editor Brian Doherty says that Rep. Israel has cause to be upset. Whether gun regulators or even the 3D printing community like it or not, guns are now on the verge of being truly available for everyone who want one.


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