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The Government Will Allow Cody Wilson's Defense Distributed to Distribute Gun-Making Software

Second Amendment superlawyer Alan Gura doesn't think the settlement means the Trump administration are across-the-board gun rights defenders.

The Justice Department has reached a settlement with the Second Amendment Foundation and Defense Distributed, a collective that organizes, promotes, and distributes technologies to help home gun-makers. Under the agreement, which resolved a suit filed by the two groups in 2015, Americans may "access, discuss, use, reproduce or otherwise benefit from the technical data" that the government had previously ordered Defense Distributed to cease distributing.

Mark McDaniel/ReasonMark McDaniel/Reason

Before this, the feds had insisted that Defense Distributed's gun-making files violate the munitions export rules embedded in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Defense Distributed's suit claimed that this was was "censorship of Plaintiffs' speech," since the files in question consist of computer code and thus counted as expression. It also argued that "the ad hoc, informal and arbitrary manner in which that scheme is applied, violate the First, Second, and Fifth Amendments." (The Second because the information in the computer files implicates weapons possession rights.)

In what is a very unusual move in ITAR actions, the government will pay more than $39,000 of the plaintiffs' legal and administrative fees. Cody Wilson, chieftain of Defense Distributed, tells Wired that this is only about 10 percent of what they've spent.

That Wired story is mostly devoted to scaring the reader about what a world in which people are freer to use computer files to make weapons at home might mean. Wilson is open that as far as he's concerned, he's killed the cause of gun control by popularizing the home construction of weapons via computer instructions.

Wired also speculates that the settlement is some sign of a Trump administration bending over backwards to satisfy a Second Amendment constituency. Alan Gura, one of the lawyers on the plaintiffs' side—and the attorney who won both 2008's Heller case and 2010's McDonald, two major Supreme Court victories for gun rights—disagrees, noting the administration's record in other ongoing Second Amendment cases.

"This administration maintained the Obama DOJ's cert petition in Binderup (denied 7-2), and has consistently opposed all other as-applied Second Amendment challenges, including Kanter (they won, Kanter appealed), Hatfield (they lost and just appealed), Medina (they won and Medina, repped by me on appeal, appealed, argument 9/11), and Reyes (being litigated now...)," Gura says in an email today. "They have also continued defending the appeal in Mance [regarding gun purchases across state lines]—they had over a year to change their mind, see the light, and admit that the district court was right, but they stuck to their appeal which unfortunately they won, and are defending against the currently-pending en banc petition. There are other cases they defend, some of course less meritorious, but any notion that Trump is pro-gun and having DOJ roll over would be fantasy."

The more likely factor behind the settlement, Gura believes, is that the government "realized that not a single 5th Circuit judge offered that they were likely to succeed on the merits. To the contrary, the centerpiece of their victory was that they could somehow avoid the merits. When they could avoid the merits no longer, suddenly the national security threat faded away."

In a press release, the Second Amendment Foundation notes its favorite aspect of the settlement:

Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber—including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms—are not inherently military.

"Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby," noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. "For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called 'weapons of war,' and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.

"Under this settlement," he continued, "the government will draft and pursue regulatory amendments that eliminate ITAR control over the technical information at the center of this case. They will transfer export jurisdiction to the Commerce Department, which does not impose prior restraint on public speech. That will allow Defense Distributed and SAF to publish information about 3-D technology."

Since this is a settlement and not a victory on the merits in court, the government is still officially insisting their actions did not violate any rights. But an optimistic Gura thinks the "courts might remember this episode the next time the government offers up a spurious national security claim."

The government says the removal of these legal restrictions will be announced by July 27 on the Director of Defense Trade Controls' website. In return for that action the plaintiffs agree to drop the lawsuit.

A ReasonTV interview with Wilson from February:

Photo Credit: Mark McDaniel/Reason

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  • DJK||

    Cue the good Reverend to tell us how this and the Kavanaugh nomination are victories for gun control.

  • Jerryskids||

    More #Winning from Trump! Libertarian moment! The government is now generously giving us permission to exercise our First Amendment rights!

  • DJK||

    It's a better outcome than Cody Wilson ending up fined millions and thrown in prison, no? Take a victory when it comes.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "then"?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It compliments the ice cream cake from earlier we had for the hihnvasion in the other thread.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Apparently the thread was yesterday. It was that Tucille one about living together.

  • Wizard4169||

    You didn't miss much. It was just the usual spiel about how everybody would love libertarians if only we'd stop hating on the government. Once upon a time, Hihn was actually interesting, but these days he's withered away to a handful of tired song and dance numbers. At least he's slacking off on screaming about "AGGRESSION!" every time someone criticizes him.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Your people choose strange events to celebrate.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Look, I have to choose something to consecrate my daily Ice Cream Cake with.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    OT, but I just realized "Strange Consecrations" would be the best band name.

  • Devastator||

    Some people don't live in the real world. They actually think society at large gives a fuck about their mental manifesto. A win is a win.

  • Guy who always means his junk||

    Allow this!

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Second Amendment superlawyer Alan Gura doesn't think the settlement means the Trump administration are across-the-board gun rights defenders.

    Not to defend "The Trump Administration" but these executive agencies- esp. the Justice Dept and agencies like the ATF etc., are really on autopilot and yes, they get new directors with each administration, but they continue to grind forward with their own mission regardless of which douchebag stumbles backwards into the whitehouse.

  • DJK||

    Exactly. The regulatory state has been built over decades. It will take a long time to undo. Not saying Trump will necessarily do so.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Well. That was unexpected.

    Hopefully the Hon. SC Associate Justice-to be Kavanaugh will continue to take a dim view of the Chevron Deference.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    The headline (emphasis added is mine):


    The Goverment Will Allow Cody Wilson's Defense Distributed to Distribute Gun-Making Software

    Says all you need to know about freedom these days.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    That Wired story is mostly devoted to scaring the reader about what a world in which people are freer to use computer files to make weapons at home might mean.

    Wired should do a story on how stuff like the first amendment and the second amendment have outlived their usefulness - especially with this new dangerous technology known as The Internet.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What percentage of journalists do you suppose have ever fired a gun?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Well, I just found one.

    Not in my hands. I've shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).

    The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don't know what you're doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

    I'm not in the habit of calling people sissies-- but I'm making an exception here.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Not to be a dick or anything, but to be a dick, the guy's last name is Kuntzman. I shit you not.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Kuntzmen are an honorable tribe. He shames them deeply.

  • Jima||

    ^This is an exceptionally funny comment. Please continue in the same vein.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you are 12 years old and soft as the labial folds of the woman you will never, ever make love to

    (Not that I have any experience with that, of course).

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Never shot a gun, huh?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    If I had never shot an AR-15 as a 12-year-old as soft as the labial folds of the woman he would never, ever make love to, then how could I know what it was like?

    Which isn't to say that I do. Because I have only ever shot AR-15s as an 87-year-old veteran as hard as the skulls of the Moro rebels he crushed in his youth. But yes, I have shot AR-15s, and any post-pubescent male has no excuse for being even mildly perturbed by putting a few rounds through one.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's okay man. We're family here. We can admit it.

    I don't even own a gun, friend.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

  • perlchpr||

    any post-pubescent male has no excuse for being even mildly perturbed by putting a few rounds through one

    Post-pubescent?

    I'd look askance at even a little girl who was put off by the kick from an AR-15.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Let us not insult children, women or the infirm while insulting this journalist for how wimpy they are.

  • perlchpr||

    That's just it. I'm really not insulting children. I would expect most children to handle an AR-15 just fine.

  • perlchpr||

    This. This says a lot to me.

    Lefties think the AR-15 is a powerful weapon, and that .223 is a powerful round.

    Whereas people who have actually used firearms understand that the AR-15 is a very lightweight weapons system, and the .223 is actually illegal to use for hunting in many locations because it isn't powerful enough to actually kill animals with reliably.

    In fact, one of the design goals for the AR-15 / M-16 platform was increased wounding as opposed to enemy kills, because dead bodies can just be buried, but wounded combatants (theoretically) have to be cared for.

    So when lefties go on about how the AR-15 is a uniquely powerful weapons system that must be banned because it's so dangerous, that says to me that they'll be perfectly willing to ban anything more powerful, which is basically everything.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    That thing about being "meant to wound" is a myth. At ranges of < 100 yards, .223/5.56 fragments in flesh and produces a wound tract equal to a .30 cal round, with the frag range increasing with barrel length. Ruins game meat, and useless for long-range shooting (unless you're using the newest .mil rounds), but fine for hog killing and indoors. That's why it's such a great home-defense round: lethal, but it'll never overpenetrate a human torso and hit someone in the next room. Same reasons that cops use hollowpoints.

    It does have very low recoil, though.

  • perlchpr||

    That thing about being "meant to wound" is a myth.

    Hunh. OK, well, I still stand by the claim that some states ban it for hunting use as insufficient.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    That is true. If you're going to be hitting a white-tail with one round before it hop-run-disapparates into the shrubbery, there's no excuse for not using a Real Man's Round (TM). Plus an elk or bear is a lot tougher than a human.

  • SIV||

    You can kill anything that ever walked the Earth (or swam the seas) with just a .22 RF. Shot placement and follow-up are key.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Also key when hunting an adult black bear at 200 yards: not using a .22 RF.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yeah, well, we're not all comic book characters with perfect aim, who can count on putting a .22 RF through the target's eye, into its brain by way of that little hole in the back the optic nerve goes through. While being charged, and it conveniently falls dead at your feet.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Some states are stuck on the idea that bullets for the .223 Remington are still 1960s light rounds designed to kill crows, prairie dogs, ground hogs. With heavier bullets 62gr and up, .223 still requires careful shot placement for deer. I have helped clean two deer each taken with single shots from an AR. I would not recommend it for a beginner deer hunter and not as a round for bear.

    The "meant to wound" is a myth. USAF Gen Curtis LeMay liked the round because it would kill or disable a saboteur on the airfield without unduly damaging parked aircraft. It replaced the .30 Carbine for USAF security use before it was adopted for Army and Marine combat. In battlefield stats, a casualty is anyone killed or wounded because either is out of the fight. However, I don't think wounding over killing was design intent.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    That's why it's such a great home-defense round: lethal, but it'll never overpenetrate a human torso and hit someone in the next room.

    This is only true with very specific types of 223 ammo, which are very expensive (a buck a round vs 25-35 cents a round for standard target round) and not widely available (makes sense LEOs use it, but it's illegal for military to do so and since they buy most ammo, the default available are not HPs).

    Furthermore, trying to aim a rifle vs a shotgun (or pistol with laser sight) in a home defense need, would be a lot tougher, especially under a lot of stress.

    Now with training, the right configuration, the right rounds, sure, some people could use AR15 for home defense, but for most I think this is a poor option when compared to alternatives.

  • perlchpr||

    This is only true with very specific types of 223 ammo, which are very expensive (a buck a round vs 25-35 cents a round for standard target round) and not widely available (makes sense LEOs use it, but it's illegal for military to do so and since they buy most ammo, the default available are not HPs).

    True about the price, not true about the availability. Ironic that I was just commenting about not using .223 for hunting, because it's precisely hunting ammo that you want to use for self-defence situations. Frangible bullets are the key.

    Furthermore, trying to aim a rifle vs a shotgun

    The mechanics of handling either long arm are the same. If you're referring to the "spread" of shotgun, please be aware that we're talking on the order of a foot diameter at 20 yards. You definitely still have to aim a shotgun.

    https://www.theboxotruth.com/
    the-box-o-truth-20-buckshot-patterns/

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Agreed a shotgun still needs to be aimed to be effective, but I think aim is still much easier.

    As to availability, I could be wrong or just local draughts, and given you can get ammo online, it's available.

    Regardless of which way you go, training is veryuseful

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    This is only true with very specific types of 223 ammo, which are very expensive

    Standard .223/5.56 FMJ/ball (M193/M855) will fragment at velocities of 2700 fps or higher. Even a 10" SBR will still produce that velocity within the 7-yard radius that comprises 99% of self-defense incidents.

    Furthermore, trying to aim a rifle vs a shotgun (or pistol with laser sight) in a home defense need, would be a lot tougher, especially under a lot of stress

    Nothing is easier to aim under stress than a stocked weapon with a red-dot sight (eg all AR-15s in home defense configuration). And a red-dot allows much greater precision than the "bead sights" of a generic shotgun.

    Moreover, the spread of 12g buckshot at across-the-room range is usually going to be under 6", but for home defense, the less spread the better: the only way that a wider spread is going to help turn a miss into a hit is if the center of the spread (eg where a single bullet would hit if you were using an AR) is off the target- which means by definition that half the pellets are flying past the target. And buckshot can pierce a wall with plenty juice left over, which squared by the # of pellets that miss, means higher probability of hitting something you shouldn't've.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's black, angular and scary. The left is well known for not liking things that are black, angular and scary.

  • vek||

    Yup. I use the hunting example with lefties all the time. I then proceed to tell them that any number of real hunting rifles that accept a clip would look like, well, boring old hunting rifles your grandpa had... While killing FAR more people if they were ever used in a "mass shooting" situation.

    Sometimes it seems to sink in, other times they can't get past the AR looking scary.

  • IceTrey||

    Except the AR15 comes in like 50 calibers.

  • Conchfritters||

    That's what I thought. And if you built a plastic one with a 3D printer that was fitted to shot a .50 shell from it, I'm pretty sure the gun would melt.

  • vek||

    50 is a little more than likely methinks... But yes, you can get AR style guns in a few calibers, including the stock AK 7.62, which is more deadly... But the vast majority just come in the regular caliber.

    The whole point though is that a boring looking wooden stock hunting rifle is more deadly than a "normal" AR style rifle... And since there are plenty of semi auto hunting rifles that you can buy decent sized clips for, in stock form, they're more deadly than a standard AR. Even though they look less cool! So why focus on the scary looking gun when boring looking guns are better for killing people???

    Looking scary isn't what actually matters, which is what most idiot lefties concentrate on.

    PS I did just go scope out some alternate caliber ARs real quick... It would be kinda badass to have one in some of the higher calibers that are common/cheap hunting rounds. You could SERIOUSLY fuck some shit up with one of them, AND look cool while doing it!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I think this dates back to the '94 AWB, where they deliberately didn't use rational criteria. Because they weren't going after crime, they were just trying to establish that they damned well COULD ban guns, and arbitrarily, too.

    They figured once they had that point nailed down, they could expand the list of banned guns at will.

  • Ride 'Em||

    The first iteration of the AR platform was the AR-10 which was the 308/NATO 762 round. It was the McNamara Pentagon that wanted the smaller round. The 762 round being more use in Europe and not Southeast Asia.

  • William O. B'Livion||

    There probably are *at least* 50 different caliber options if you lump in the AR10 (which is what the AR15 was scaled down from) variants.

  • Naaman Brown||

    The AR was not designed to look scary. It was designed to be the most ergonomic and economic design possible disregarding looks.

  • William O. B'Livion||

    > .223 is actually illegal to use for hunting in many locations because it isn't
    > powerful enough to actually kill animals with reliably.

    It is useful to remember that generally speaking the sorts of laws around hunting are made by people who don't understand firearms very well, and often were made *generations* ago.

    They also often take into account more than just the interaction between the firearm and the animal it's targeting.

    The .223 is perfectly capable of taking anything up to deer in most of the eastern half of the country where deer are smaller, however *most* of the eastern half of the country is densely populated, heavily wooded and relatively flat which means that a round can be deflected by a branch and wind up in a subdivision 2 miles away. Thus using shotguns on deer (buckshot--doesn't travel as far) and using rounds *heavy* enough not to be deflected. And note, I'm not saying these laws are correct, regulate things properly etc. I'm saying that these are the considerations the legislators and bureaucrats had while making the sausage.

    Also a lot of these laws say things like "must use at least 30 caliber". This means that a M1 carbine shooting .30 carbine is legal for deer, but a .223 is not. I'd rather use the latter if I wanted whatever I shot to stay down.

    The .223 is not a *powerful* round, I wouldn't want to use it on a moose (I live in the part of the country where deer are not small game) but it's not low powered either.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Holy crap what a Nancy-boy .

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This guy is a twat.

    The .223 round in most AR-15s is barely more powerful than a .22 round.

    In other words, if you are a male and cannot handle a 5.56mm round, you should pull your tampon out and shoot a real gun.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The .223 round in most AR-15s is barely more powerful than a .22 round

    #AchievementsInWrong

  • Naaman Brown||

    That's some piece of over-dramatic writing there.
    "deafening (even with ear protection)" AR report is sharp like a whiplash, but I find the chest thump concussion of a M1 Garand in .30-06 more distracting.
    "recoil bruised my shoulder" AR-15 fires a round designed for groundhog hunting, has a tube stock housing a big recoil spring, and was nicknamed the 'poodle shooter'.
    "casings disoriented me as they flew past my face" I never noticed empties when I shot the AR, Was he a left-handed shooter?
    "The smell of sulfur ..." Smokeless gunpowders useed in AR-15 ammo do not contain sulfur.
    "PTSD ... anxious ... irritable ..." The story does lay on the hype.

  • Tionico||

    Perhaps you are unaware: the piddly AR 15 is a wimp of a rifle. Such a wimp most states prohibit its use for the lawful taking of deer in hunting. The round launched by those things is so weak and piddly it cannot reliably take the deer with one round. In most states, the smallest rifle cartrige can lawfully be used to take deer is the tiny but very fast .243 Winchester or the venerable 6.5 Swede military round.

    Sorry, the AR 15 ain't much of a round... but for what it was intended to do, it is wonderful.

    I would NOT recommend yu trying the venerable and ancient .30/06 (7.62 x 59) untill you have some signficant training in how to hold on to a high powered rifle and remain functional. I've long found it amusing that the gun banners perpetually whinge on about the erroneous declaration that th AR 15 is a high powered rifle. Nah. It just ain't.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    If the deer is within the rifle's fragmentation range (100-200 yards depending on load and barrel length), it very much can reliably take down a deer. What works on human, works on deer; and it very much works on human. Those states are just being cautious; there's no good reason to use a .223 instead of a bigger round, at least as far as they're concerned, thus they ban it, because that's what they do. Probably also trying to deter ownership of semi-autos in some cases.

    And thirty-aught is a paper tiger out of a Garand or an Enfield '17.

  • kcuch||

    so weak and piddly it cannot reliably take the deer with one round...

    Which is why the founders wanted us to have full auto.

  • FlameCCT||

    Why do you disparage sissies? I'll bet this so-called male reporter whines like a baby over a hangnail.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Heck, what percentage of Americans have ever fired a gun?

    It looks like the answer is in the neighborhood of 70%. Which means 30% have not. This would be about 100 million Americans, which is a lot of people.

    I think this is something that gun rights advocates like ourselves have to keep in mind. Imagine for a moment that you have never held or fired a gun in your life. That would mean that your only experience with guns would be what you see in movies and video games and the like. But these "guns" aren't real guns, they are imaginary death devices that require zero training, zero maintenance, never need reloading, and are super accurate every time. If this is what you thought guns really were, would you be as gung-ho in support of gun rights as you are now? My guess is, probably not. So IMO a lot of anxiety on the "anti-gun" side of things is based really not on a desire to confiscate guns, but because they have a very warped view of what guns are and what they can do.

  • vek||

    This is totally the case with a lot of people. They have zero concept of how they work in real life. They don't know anything about the differences in capabilities. I've explained the basics to some people who had never even held a real gun before, and some of it seemed to sink in. Like that a normal boring hunting rifle is deadlier than an AR or AK. And that handguns are used for most crimes, so banning ANY kind of rifle will do dick all nothing to crime rates. Plus 100 other misconceptions people have.

    With others when I've told them that *GASP* I've actually shot a gun before, they almost started looking uneasy. Depending on who I'm dealing with I usually lead in with something like "Well I'm no gun nut, but going shooting with my uncles when I was a kid was pretty fun, and..." Then moved on from there to whatever point I wanted to make. It seems to somewhat disarm their freaking out.

    Somebody should start a "National Take A Shit Lib Shooting" day or something. I really do think lack of familiarity is 90% of the problem with gun control stuff.

  • perlchpr||

    Yep. It's why lots of gun bloggers have an offer up in their sidebar to take anyone who has never shot a gun, out shooting, on their own dime. As outreach.

  • perlchpr||

    That Wired story was a joke, and the quote from Zimmerman was a goddamned disappointment.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "Encryption is a defense technology with humanitarian uses," Zimmermann says. "Guns are only used for killing."

    Jesus fucking christ.

  • Yellow Tony||

    You know what else is only used for killing?

  • Yellow Tony||

    You should be appreciative that I inform you all about the occurrences of another (better) dimension. I expect gratitude and dickpics, but here I am, dickpic-less and feeling cold.
    Also, I'm not a creep, meanie.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm still just angry our universe didn't get Omega Labyrith Z.

  • perlchpr||

    Technically, yes, that statement is true. But it ignores the fact that sometimes, people need killing.

  • Yellow Tony||

    I'm glad you agree, but MALfags aren't people.

  • Wizard4169||

    I'd argue that killing or deterring aggressors constitutes a humanitarian use.

  • Tionico||

    Jesus WHO????

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Wired also speculates that the settlement

    Oh... and where are the fucking pedants here to school Reason (see what I did there) that Wired doesn't speculate on anything... that there are a bunch of amorphous blobs of carbon at Wired that are responsible for the opinions and stories, and they're all just random noise, each totally different from the other with no editorial direction. Why, next week they'll do a series of pie recipes. After that, tips on dog training.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I do think that Reason has less editorial direction than many sites. At least in Hit-N-Run which I think has near zero editorial review. People do get let go though, (BRING BACK ED) but I think it's less here than many.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    What's Lucy, chopped liver?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I was after her being here. Was she also let go?

  • Sevo||

    Pretty sure. She seemed to have a hard time finding the spell-check function, which lead to some strange posts.

  • BlueStarDragon||

    Whats funny about all this is you can find plans which show you how to build gun,land mines and other weapons online at the U.S government patent office. It's was a guy from Australia that told me about it first.

  • JeremyR||

    Yeah, but you'd need a machine shop and skills.

    This is using a 3d printer

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Trust me, I've worked with machine tools, and have a 3d printer.

    I'd much rather use the machine tools.

    There isn't a 3d printer on the market that can print a decent gun without the sort of post-processing that requires the machine tools anyway, and the sort of printer you need to produce a gun that's worth having costs about $140K.

    With a plastic 3d printer, the best you're going to manage is either a plastic lower that, if you use one of the better plastics, could last a while, but is only a "gun" in a legal sense, you still have to buy all the real parts. Or a throwaway gun that might fire several shots before blowing up in your hand.

    The guy is establishing some legal precedents that might be important in 5-10 years when metal 3d printers reach the consumer market, and I salute him for doing it. But current 3d printers aren't really suited for firearms.

  • ThomasD||

    Not entirely true.

    You can 3D print an entire weapon, so long as you limit yourself to single shot (or multi barrel) and low powered rounds like .22 LR, .25 ACP, etc. Although much the same can be accomplished with a block of MDF and a drill press.

    But yeah, they're still somewhere between a novelty item and a zip gun.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I seem to recall Wilson saying years ago that he had some new, weird shit ready to reveal the moment the ban was lifted. Perhaps now we'll see if he was lying.

    Maybe those guys fighting Ortega down in Nicaragua will be able to upgrade from those handheld mortar thingies.

  • vek||

    Perhaps a FULL ON REAL gun from files, but out of a solid block of steel instead of plastic? The 80% things are cool to skate on the man knowing, but a design that came from pure, raw materials would be better. Steel = one that lasts longer than a couple shots like the plastic one.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I think the idea is to use the newer carbon-fiber and metal 3d printers to make repeating, large-caliber weapons. I know Wilson got his hands on a MarkForged (carbon fiber) printer a while ago. The metal ones are still decades away from being commonplace, though.

    If nothing else, shotguns, revolvers and SMGs/pistol-caliber carbines should be doable. Assuming that carbon fiber printers akin to the MarkForged become common enough to not be bannable themselves.

  • vek||

    Well, his little machine thing he came out with is more of a specialized CNC machine than 3d printer. So I was thinking solid hunk of steel, pop it in, let it do its thing, maybe flip it a time or two... And voila!

    If you designed the gun around the technology you could probably make a lot of pretty functional weapons that way. Barrel would probably be one of the hardest parts, so likely best to just buy them, and small components would probably still be easier/cheaper to buy too. But if you got the receiver, the bulk of the frame, or whatever it would still not be bad. You could potentially make a design that used "common" hardware store type items in place of specialized stuff too to make it extra DIY/can make in emergency. Like work in nails as firing pins (designed to be easily swapped in too of course!), simple generic springs, hose clamps, etc, or some other such clever stuff to minimize the number of parts you have to source from firearms parts dealers or whatever. Revolvers could indeed be one of the better things to make completely from random parts, if you can auto drill out the important bits.

    But yeah, carbon fiber or other weird shit could be interesting. The Glock 80% things are kinda crazy because they're basically all plastic, hence really easy to finish compared to the AR.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Oh, by the way, you think these little motherfuckers go away quietly, even after a very loud hearing where the police chief said that these guys wouldn't get their jobs back? Oh no, my friends, listen, and understand. That union is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

    Reason needs to cover the fuck out of this.

    Nearly seven years after transient Kelly Thomas was killed in an encounter with police, two former officers involved in the incident are waging an ongoing legal battle to get their jobs back with the Fullerton Police Department in addition to retroactive pay.

    An Orange County Superior Court judge will decide whether the Fullerton City Council was unconstitutionally biased when it voted to fire Officers Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe, who were both terminated in 2012 for their confrontation with Thomas at the Fullerton Transportation Center on July 5, 2011.
  • BestUsedCarSales||

    7 years backpay is a nice gig. Might be able to retire right after getting rehired.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You can't just print an article that says, "Yay, the cops were fired!" and be done. You literally have to follow this shit for decades after the firing, because these fuckwads are almost ALWAYS reinstated with back pay years after the incident that got them fired.

    The media makes a huge deal out of this shit when it happens, then you get one quick article noting they were reinstated with back pay. This one took two years of the union fighting.

  • SIV||

  • Yellow Tony||

    These injustices are more proof why the world isn't flat. God help us all.

  • David Emami||

    The Internet has been a lot less resilient to government coercion than I once thought it would be, and it grates that "the government will allow" is even in the headline at all. What I want is "despite government trying like crazy while everyone watched and almost died laughing."

    But still, this is good news, nonetheless.

  • Yellow Tony||

    At least I don't have to get government permission to shitpost. The US of A is still FREE baby, yeah!

  • Longtobefree||

    You are next.
    The second amendment goes first, then the first.
    Now that we own the SC, your liberal/socialist mutterings will become the hate speech that can get banned.
    Type fast, while you still can

  • Yellow Tony||

    I think he's being sexually provocative.

  • Yellow Tony||

    Before I get v&, I'd like to go on the record and say that I don't "type." I use an apparatus that converts the movements of one's tongue into digital signals. Every post I make is composed of many passionate twists and tongue navigated by my brave licky.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Jeez v&?

    What are you, my age?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Never underestimate the government's ability to regulate or ban something through sheer force of will.

    As long as you have institutions which are responsible for a website or datastore, those institutions can be targeted with regulation and oversight. Even a "decentralized" internet can be controlled and limited. Maybe not as easily, but it can be done.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    The Internet has been a lot less resilient to government coercion than I once thought it would be...

    I would disagree in that I think governments worldwide, including the US, have censored peoples speech, whether by using pseudonyms or more actively on this site, worrying about woodchippers. Or this:The Justice Department Wants to Know if You've Visited an Anti-Trump Resistance Site.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Sorry... I misread, we agree I think.

  • SamHell||

    "Government will allow"

  • Brian||

    "That Wired story is mostly devoted to scaring the reader about what a world in which people are freer to use computer files to make weapons at home might mean."

    I remember back when Wired didn't completely suck.

    Those were the days.

  • David Emami||

    I remember when libertarianism was such a big part of online culture, leftists wrote books about how awful that was:

    https://reason.com/archives/2000/08/01/cybersilly

  • Brian||

    Yep.

    Now Wired is just a bunch of luddites, wringing their hands over the demise of net neutrality, taxi cabs, and physical album cover art.

  • perlchpr||

    Yeah. I still remember buying the issue featuring the dude with the RSA-in-3-lines tattoo on the cover, and them being all proud of how he was breaking the export law.

  • Pat001||

    This printed handgun debate sounds like the "plastic pistol" crisis during the 1980s when Glock polymer pistols were new to the market. Glocks were wrongly believed to be undetectable by airport scanners. Glock pistols always contained enough metal to be readily detectable but that didn't stop Congress from passing the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988, and reinstating it again in 2003 - thus solving a problem that never existed in the first place.

    The video misleadingly conflates 3D printed plastic gun parts with unfinished AR-type metal gun receivers that require milling/removal of metal before it can be assembled to make a functioning gun.

    According to the BATF web site it is not illegal to make a gun for personal use. You need a license to manufacture guns for sale or distribution.

  • russnelson@gmail.com||

    You're confused, Pat001. A CNC milling machine can make a complete lower. You're thinking of the people who sell a lower which needs some work with a file and a drill. Different thing entirely.

  • ||

    Great more guns will solve it. Just like the death penalty reduces the killings and rapes happening in society,free guns will mean more self defense cases instead of murder and rape cases. And more assholes death. And that is something all people should cheer for. No one can argue with a bullet. Serves you right when you are a murderer or rapist. And if the one doing the killing is the asshole then more guns on any guys that happen by will help increase chances of justice.

  • russnelson@gmail.com||

    Phil Karn had a similar "victory" in distributing the source of PGP encryption software. http://enwp.org/Phil_Karn#Crypto_export_lawsuit

    ITAR ruled that encryption was a weapon and was export-controlled. The software was already widely available book form in public libraries. Phil wanted to distribute it electronically, was told he couldn't, and made a federal case about it.

    Rather than letting him win (which he obviously would), the Clinton administration changed the export controls, and the judge mooted the case. No victory, no precedent set.

    By the way, Phil hates guns and wants no citizen to have one.

  • Unemployed Armenian Tranny||

    An STL file is NOT "Gun-making Software".

  • XM||

    I thought there was some sort of a typo in the headline.

  • Joe Bright||

    I always love the word "allow" when applied to whether or not rights may be exercised.

    Liberty has nothing to do with permission. And when permission is required to exercise rights you know you have none.

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