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Schumer: 'Sounding an Alarm' on 'Scary,' 'Dangerous' 3D Guns

The New York senator is scared that people will build semi-automatic weapons from the comfort of their homes.

Steve Ferdman/Steven Ferdman/Sipa USA/NewscomSteve Ferdman/Steven Ferdman/Sipa USA/NewscomSenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) is "sounding an alarm" about the proliferation of blueprints for 3D-printed ghost guns, declaring that America is going to "get a lot less safe."

Schumer's comments came almost two weeks after news broke that the Justice Department had reached a settlement with Cody Wilson, a guns rights activist who created of the first ever 3D-printed gun. As Reason's Brian Doherty notes, the settlement allows Americans to "access, discuss, use, reproduce or otherwise benefit from the technical data" that the government had previously ordered Wilson's company, Defense Distributed, to stop distributing. The settlement takes effect on August 1.

Schumer is worried this will allow people with 3D printers to create weapons from the comfort of their own homes. (If you're interested in homemade weapons, here's a Reason video showing you how to make them.) "This online site shows you how at your home, with a simple 3D printer, you can make a plastic AR-15, an AR-10," the senator said at a press conference yesterday, adding that these "very dangerous semi-automatic assault-style weapons" can be constructed "in your own basement."

The New York Democrat also worries that 3D weapons will put Americans in harm's way. "I am sounding an alarm that come August 1, America is going to get a lot less safe when it comes to the gut-wrenching epidemic of gun violence," he said. "Ghost guns are not only scary, they're outright dangerous in the way they can mimic the look and the capacity of a hardened, fully semi-automatic weapon."

Many 3D plastic guns are relatively easy to make if you have a big enough 3D printer and the right blueprints. Often, they're also unregistered and untraceable.

Prior to settling with Wilson, the federal government had argued that his company's gun-making files violated the International Trade in Arms munitions export regulations. Defense Distributed responded by suing. As Doherty writes,

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.)

Thanks to the settlement, Wilson and others will soon be free to post blueprints for 3D guns. But Schumer intends to fight the feds' decision. "This decision to allow ghost gun blueprints to go unchecked across the internet will come back to haunt the feds and cost lives," he said. "That is why Congress must take aim at stopping these websites before the damage is done." A Schumer spokesperson tells the New York Post that the senator plans to announce a bill to do just that before the week is up.

Here's a ReasonTV interview with Wilson from February:

Photo Credit: Steve Ferdman/Steven Ferdman/Sipa USA/Newscom

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  • John||

    I will hear what Chuck has to say about responsible gun control right after he gets some responsible moob control. Jesus Chuck, do something about those things.

  • juris imprudent||

    The more his hairline recedes the more the moobs grow.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Admit it, John. Chuckie got you half-chubbed, didn't he?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Chuck Schumer:boobs::Amy Schumer:humor

  • Adans smith||

    Attacking the first and second amendment in one fell swoop. What an ass.

  • juris imprudent||

    You don't usually see such efficiency in govt.

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    I've tried 2D guns but for some reason they don't work as well as 3D guns. Maybe one day I'll get to try a 4D gun.

  • John||

    Flatland always recognized the right to keep and bear arms.

  • Don't look at me.||

    4d bullets cost a fortune..

  • John||

    And they are impossible to find. Not only do you have to be in the right place that sells them, you have to be there at the right time or they are gone.

  • Agammamon||

    Like Steam sales.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    +1

  • Rich||

    "they can mimic the look and the capacity of a hardened, fully semi-automatic weapon"

    Oh, FFS!

    Not to mention the damage they can do to a soft, whole beef-half.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I bet they have "the shoulder thing that goes up" too. /sarc

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    A true genius, that Chuck Schumer. Making it look like a semi-auto weapon makes it dangerous.

    If I were ever inclined to make my own gun, I'd make it look like anything but.

  • Curt||

    It's like the Brown Note from South Park. He's just gonna keep saying words until people shit themselves.

    Wait until he finds out that people could make all kinds of shit. Like 3d printed bayonet lugs for their 3d printed AR. Or (God save us all), a 3d printed M203 to put under your AR.

    Just wait until they start 3d printing 3d printed gunpowder and 3printed bullets to make 3d printed ammo. There will be 3d printed shit in my 3dprinted pants.

  • perlchpr||

    It's true, really. If Chuck is going to shit himself over the idea of my 3d printing a rifle, he should be shitting himself over the fact that it's just as easy to 3d print an M4 lower as an AR15 lower.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I want a 3D printed plasma rifle, in the forty watt range.

  • Agammamon||

    . . . can be constructed "in your own basement."

    These people never realize how stupid they sound. Nobody builds shit in the basement, they build it in the garage. He wouldn't know though - his garage is probably actually used to house the car and only his chauffeur and mechanic go in there anyway.

  • Juice||

    I don't have a garage, but I do have a basement.

  • H. Farnham||

    Well... like most of us commenters here, it's actually your mom's basement. But we do pay half the cable bill; so it's more of a roommate situation.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I thought all real libertarians were cord cutters, because we don't support government-propped monopolies.

  • H. Farnham||

    I tried explaining that to mother, but she just got that glazed over look and reached for the cooking sherry. Then dad busts in telling me to get a job; he just doesn't understand bitcoin mining.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It's his. Where else is he going to keep those whores he kidnaps on ice, until he's ready to skin them alive?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Only some backwoods bumpkin would park a car in a garage. I'm sure chuck has a carriage house for such things.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    You're posing. Trying to come off as one of the guys, but still calling it a "garage" instead of a car hole like all us folk.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    A car hole is something else entirely, BUCS.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Only half right: I used to build stuff in my half-basement before I moved. Now I wish I had a basement. Blasted slab floor...

  • Naaman Brown||

    Since the much ballyhooed 1996 Australian "buy back" of registered guns, Aussie bikies (outlaw motorcycle clubs) are routinely caught making MAC10 submachine guns in their workshops using the workshop equipment to make/repair motorcycle parts.

    Google do-it-yourself guns, Swedish "rattlers", Hamas "Carlos", Indian "AK22". A patient Pakistani with a vise, file, hand drill can take a chunk of steel and replicate a Webley revolver, Enfield rifle, AK47. The famous STEN gun starts with a section of common 1.5" steel pipe (Canadian builders used fence posts).

    Making "ghost guns" in your basement (or garage) has never required 3D printers or computer files.

    A car jack can be used to form sheet metal into an AK47 or Mac10 receiever. Google Weapons of the American Underground.

    Schumer is going gaga over nada,

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    Schumer shouls download a copy of Philip Luty's "Expedient Home Gunsmithing" in which the author shows how to build a 9mm submachine gin (that's full auto) from commonly available hardware components. The author, a UK resident was charged under British "anti-terrorism" laws for even publishing the book. No First Amendment in Blighty, and maybe not here if Chucky Schumer gets his way.

  • PeteRR||

    Keep in mind he's also not a big fan of powdered alcohol and Four Loko. He's a prohibitionist first and foremost.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    He lives from day to day in the dreadful fear that somebody, somewhere, is partaking of unapproved and untaxed naughtiness.

    Please, please, please let me live to see the Republicans ram universal reciprocity up his flabby backside.

  • perlchpr||

    I keep proposing a compromise.

    You can get an abortion at any time, up to the 9 month mark, as soon as you show your locally issued concealed carry permit.

    So, in order to get an abortion, as a CA citizen, in CA, you only have to show your CA issued CCW.

    So, in order to get an abortion, as a NY citizen, in NY, you only have to show your NY issued CCW. (Sorry, I just had a laughing fit at the idea of "NY carry permit". *snerk* "MA carry permit"!)

  • Agammamon||

    What if your state doesn't issue concealed carry permits because they don't regulate concealed carrying of firearms?

  • perlchpr||

    Those states (as far as I'm aware) all issue "permits" to any citizen who asks for purposes of reciprocity in other states.

    But, obviously, to be logical, if they don't require a permit to carry, there's no reason to require a permit to get an abortion. I'm willing to be fair, here.

  • adampeart||

    That was hilarious! "Alcohol mixed with caffeine? We must ban it!... Now make me a whiskey & Coke will ya?"

  • lafe.long||

    "This decision to allow ghost gun blueprints to go unchecked across the internet will come back to haunt the feds and cost lives," he said. "That is why Congress must take aim at stopping these websites before the damage is done."

    lol. These people honestly have no clue about what the internet is, or how it works.

  • Rich||

    Chuck should know the NSA allows *nothing* to go unchecked across the internet.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's a series of tubes, right?

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    If I were of his sort I'd worry less about rifle-sized weapons and much more about single or double shot micro-derringer type guns that can fit easily into the palm of a hand or secreted just about anywhere on a person and would therefore be really hard to detect.

  • Agammamon||

    That would require some actual knowledge of firearms and maybe even a little knowledge of our own government's past actions.

    Not something you're going to find in a senior politician.

  • Live Free Or Diet||

    I rather believe he knows and approves of his government's past actions.

  • PeteRR||

    You can just go and buy a derringer. And the plastic version won't really be an harder to detect as the barrel still needs to be made of steel.

  • perlchpr||

    Hrm. I'd want to run the actual engineering numbers, of course, and probably test fire the first couple of them remotely, but as a gut feeling sort of thing as a machinist, I'm not entirely certain that I wouldn't trust a .22LR or possibly even a .25 to a UHMW barrel, at least once.

    And if your entire goal was "single use firearm that absolutely must evade metal detection", you could make a .22LR round that had a plastic casing, with only the lead projectile as the metal component.

  • DaveSs||

    A couple tight wraps around the printed barrel of something with high tensile strength like kevlar or carbon fiber mesh assuming there is a resin that will cure at temps that won't melt the plastic.

    That ought to safely contain .22LR

    Of course you still wouldn't get many shots as the barrel would quickly wear/melt.

  • Rebel Scum||

    The New York senator is scared that people will build semi-automatic weapons from the comfort of their homes.

    You can already do this.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    He's worried people will find out HOW to build semi-automatic weapons in the comfort of their own homes.

    This regulation wasn't just about 3d printed guns, they were going to treat all sorts of firearms instructional information as "munitions". You couldn't have published on line a book of blueprints for a 1911 handgun, or gunsmithing instructional videos, either.

  • Rich||

    "This online site shows you how at your home, with a simple 3D printer, you can make a plastic AR-15, an AR-10," the senator said at a press conference

    Sheesh, Chuck -- now *you're* complicit!

  • Curt||

    I wanna see the plastic gun that survives firing a .308 round. Then I want to see it survive a twenty round magazine.

    If it does, sign me up!

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Composite matrix might. Prolly have to give up on rifling through. And everyone has an autoclave for curing, right?

  • IceTrey||

    For an AR the Lower is "the gun" and plastic ones already exist. Some you can buy and finish at home with hand tools to have yourself a nice little ghost gun.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Now it would be great if when you went to that site, there was a Chuck Schumer political ad.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "I am sounding an alarm that come August 1, America is going to get a lot less safe when it comes to the gut-wrenching epidemic of gun violence," he said. "Ghost guns are not only scary, they're outright dangerous in the way they can mimic the look and the capacity of a hardened, fully semi-automatic weapon."

    ...and then the Senator proceeded to shit his pants in abject fear of the prospect of free people making things at their own home that anyone with access to a milling machine has been able to produce for decades.

  • Longtobefree||

    But Chuckles, they only kill ghosts - - - - - - - -

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    When seconds count, the Ghostbusters are only minutes away.

  • perlchpr||

    We are well past "decades", actually, and firmly into the realm of "over a century". :D

  • Bronze Khopesh||

    Upon refreshing the this page I see that the Democratic Governors Association wants me to help protect Robert Mueller.

    From what? The ad doesn't say. Hypertension? Muggles? Ineptly placed flagstones?

  • Longtobefree||

    From the consequences of squandering a gazillion dollars, and three gazillion man-hours of federal time. Which could have been used to catch actual bad guys.

  • Aloysious||

    You mock and laugh and make light of, but ineptly placed flagstones are a danger to Western Civilization.

    If only we could pass some common sense legislation.

  • Rebel Scum||

    "Ghost guns are not only scary, they're outright dangerous in the way they can mimic the look and the capacity of a hardened, fully semi-automatic weapon."

    I...um...wut?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I'll show him! I'm making a softened, semi fully-automatic weapon in my garage that mimics the look of a fully-hardened automatic semi-weapon.

  • perlchpr||

    a fully-hardened automatic semi-weapon

    One night, there was a girl, and a giant bottle of Jack daniels, and... y'know what, I'm not going to tell that story.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Last time Schumer elbowed his way in front of a camera to complain about a bee in his bonnet, Ross Ulbricht was targeted by totally non-corrupt federal employees for prosecution.

  • croaker||

    Fast and Furious did more damage than 3D gun plans ever will.

  • perlchpr||

    That wasn't the greatest movie franchise ever, but... Oh. Nevermind.

  • ||

    The most dangerous place in America is between Schumer and a TV camera.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Sorry, Chuck, the toothpaste is already out of the tube. Shit, by the time you get a handle on this the damn things will have been abandoned as obsolete. But sure, keep telling yourself that the government can keep up where technology is concerned if that makes you feel better.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "We asked for the Moon and we figured the government would reject it, but they didn't want to go to trial," said Alan M. Gottlieb with the Second Amendment Foundation, which helped in the case. "The government fought us all the way and then all of the sudden folded their tent."

    Trump's America.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Russians gonna hack their way to a #BlueWave and fix this.

  • TJM||

    So Captain Nanny's "solution" is to file unconstitutional legislation? Perfect.

  • DiegoF||

    I just hope there are no recipes available online for homemade Four Loko.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    From the ACLU: A Pro-Liberty Case for Gun Restrictions

    The author makes a compelling argument. As long as guns are widely available, mass shootings are inevitable. The government is obviously going to do something. And if the gun fetishists won't agree to common sense gun safety legislation, that "something" is likely to be far more damaging to the cause of liberty. For instance, the surveillance state's authority might be increased, or the militarization of the police might be accelerated. Better to oppose such anti-freedom measures, and demand the government respond to our epidemic of violence by addressing the root cause — our insane gun laws.

    #LibertariansForGunSense

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    How does this get Hillary back in the Whitehouse, on the iron throne, where she belongs?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    It's possible to have multiple generally related goals, without believing that succeeding at one will immediately make the others happen. For example, I want to #StopKavanaugh from joining the Supreme Court, but I realize doing so wouldn't make Hillary President either.

    Hillary will become President if she wins the 2020 Democratic nomination, or possibly before then if Mueller can prove what we already know is true: the 2016 election was illegitimate because of Russian hacking.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's ok, the #bluewave will be 100% legit.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The election was certified. There is no provision for referring the result now. It makes for good progressive fan fiction I suppose. Something for you dummies to masturbate to.

  • DiegoF||

    The ACLU has been an officially pro-gun control organization for a very long time (as they are of course an anti-free association one); they existed for decades in the sort of selective-liberty no-man's land that pissed off ex-board member Wendy Kaminer (a libertarian only to those who think Christina Hoff Sommers is one) in 2003.

    But it was actually in light of this position that I had extra respect for them taking a position on No Fly No Buy to the "right" of nearly the entire American public, every Republican on Capitol Hill (except Massie, Paul, etc.), and the NRA. (Trump took the extreme "left" position.) They also, of course, are a fanatically pro-abortion and pro-gay organization that sided against Planned Parenthood and for the Westboro Baptist Church on the free-speech issue (which, next to publicly funded abortions and the death penalty for sodomy, are the most important issues for those two organizations).

    Just two short years later, it seems extremely unlikely that they will show such principle the next time these issues come to the fore. The rot has advanced more in this period than in the previous forty. I wouldn't give a dime to these assholes, or to Amnesty International, if they climbed in a time machine and threatened to abort me.

  • IceTrey||

    If mass shootings are inevitable that means people need easy access to guns and the right to carry in order to defend themselves. When seconds count the cops are only minutes away at the donut shop.

  • perlchpr||

    The ACLU, given their position on 2A, is not entitled to any respect from me for their opinion on the subject.

    I'm pretty sure most libertarians feel that way.

    So I think this might be a little too lefty for the "OBL schtick".

    7/10. Still better than Kirkland's average.

  • Naaman Brown||

    The root cause for gun violence is violent people.

    Our insane gun laws are based on the premise that requiring the law abiding to comply with increasing restrictions on legal guns, that will magically impact bad behavior by bad people.The insane gun laws are voodoo criminology. Repeal them all, and devote the freed up resources and manpower to going after violent people.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    I dream of Chuckie.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    I would like to see a list of all the things Chuck has wet his pants about over the decades. He must reek of ammonia and fear.

  • perlchpr||

    That sounds like a very long list. Fortunately, 4TB hard drives are pretty common these days.

  • BYODB||


    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) is "sounding an alarm" about the proliferation of blueprints for 3D-printed ghost guns, declaring that America is going to "get a lot less safe."


    Amusingly, he's correct but these are only really dangerous to the person who tries to fire them. Whoever that person is aiming at is probably safe.

  • DiegoF||

    Ghost guns are perfectly safe as long as you do not cross the streams.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So Kristallnacht legislators can still rest easy?

  • DiegoF||

    Man did Schumer choose the wrong alarm. Priorities, man.

  • perlchpr||

    Wow. Referring to AR-15s and AR-10s as "semi-automatic assault-style weapons" is possibly the most correct I've ever heard Schumer on the subject of guns. Maybe he decided that he'd get a little more traction if he didn't sound like a complete moron on the topic.

  • Peacedog||

    For those interested, you can find used ghost gunner systems at places like armslist for about $1000.

    Financially, it doesn't really work out over simply buying a lower receiver through an FFL.

    Emotionally, it makes you feel like a fucking rockstar to pump out half a dozen un-numbered receivers over a weekend.

    For an investment of $1500, in addition to the ghost gunner box itself, you can set yourself up with several AR-15/308/Glock lower receivers that will be good for whatever builds you care to engage in over the next 5-10 years.

  • Salero21||

    The problema man is that Chucky Schumer is a COMMIE like Bernie. And COMMIES are Despicable, Detestable and Disgusting people who are ALWAYS looking for means and ways to STEAL and rob people thru TAXATION, or just plain Confiscation of any and all of their Properties.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Did someone say "in the comfort of their own castles"?

  • LiborCon||

    They're not 3D printed guns, they're milling machines that machine 80% [unfinished] receivers and frames. Which is legal for non-prohibited persons.

    To make a "Ghost Gun" you need to machine your 80% correctly, buy all the parts necessary to make a functioning firearm, assemble them and test fire. Why would criminals or terrorists bother with all that when they can acquire guns by other means?

    Schumer's been fighting against private ownership of guns for decades, and there are 400,000,000 to 600,000,000 guns in the US. So now he's reduced to whining about "Ghost Guns."

    He knows his relevance is fading and he's desperate for attention. I almost feel sorry for him, he's gonna die knowing that our gun rights are stronger than ever.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    A good stroke could do wonders for his rhetoric.

  • qoheleth||

    The key to understanding Senator Schumer and his like (on both sides of the Senate aisle) is to understand that they simply don't believe people are responsible. Thus, owning a "scary" gun means that you will inevitably use said in some way to do harm. Among other things, it shows a clear lack of understanding of statistics. If that premise were even remotely true, people would be shot at such a rate that our population would be reduced to that of Easter Island.
    Even taking just AR-15s, of which there are about 16 million here in the States, three of which have been used in mass shootings since 2001, should show that the vast majority of "scary" gun owners are harmless to their fellow human beings.

  • Peter||

    Chuckie left out the ghost gun/climate change connection.
    I'm sure there is one, if he looks hard enough he can probably winkle it out.

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