Civil Liberties

Banks, PayPal Spurn Defense Distributed, But 3D-Printed Gun Development Continues


Liberator Pepperbox

From Defense Distributed comes word that Chase Bank says it is "unable to retain" DefCad's account, and that PayPal has suspended services for Defense Distributed. Call me a suspicious sort, but I see federal pressure behind this sudden attempt to cut off financial support for Cody Wilson and company's efforts to demonstrate the unenforceabilityof laws restricting the ownership of firearms. Increasingly, governments are turning to behind-the-scenes attacks on their enemies rather than publicly flex muscles and invite debate. Defense Distributed supporters are suggesting alternative financial channels, including Bitcoin. And progress on new 3D-printed guns continues independently, to later be discussed in the DefCad forum.

That intriguing image to the right is a Liberator Pepperbox. It's worth reading through the thread to see the thought processes as the design is refined and critiqued. But repeaters overall are coming along nicely. The Trantor 224 moves beyond the pepperbox idea into an actual double-action revolver which has been written up as a scientific paper, if you're interested.

The big supposed vulnerability of 3D-printed guns is, allegedly, ammunition. Sure, we can make our own guns, say haters of an armed populace, but what are we going to put in them? I usually glance at my reloading press and roll my eyes at that, but it turns out that 3D printing may have a solution, after all.

3D printed .24 cartridge

As of yet untested, though intriguing, is a .24 caliber cartridge using a printed plastic case with a sabot-style bullet that seats a ball bearing as the projectile. It requires gunpowder of course (chemical printing may have an answer for that, soon) and small pistol primers. With a properly designed gun, it seems like an idea that could work. Frankly, ever restriction or proposed restriction on guns and Defense Distributed seems to be spurring workarounds and innovation.

Innovation such as basing the latest Megapack of DefCad designs offshore, available via torrent, for example, to evade U.S. government restrictions.

When the United States pressured PayPal to cut off WikiLeaks, the journalism and transparency operation found other means of receiving donations that not only maintained the organization, but strengthened payment methods that had operated in PayPal's shadow. Most legal marijuana businesses, whether recreational or medicinal, have stuck with cash or disguised accounts. Like these other operations, Defense Distributed will likely weather the financial ostracism it's suddenly suffering.

Repression breeds innovation, in so many ways.