No way the ATF was able to 3D-print a Liberator pistol, the Fed made Cody Wilson pull the plans off the intarwebs!
Could this mean that internet technologies can be used to share and spread information despite government regulation? It’s that or they flipped Cody Wilson and now he’s working for the ATF.
Anyhow, the agency is interested in seeing how
crappy effective 3D-printed all-plastic guns are so they decided to evaluate them using the awesome power of science. It turns out that guns made entirely of polymers break easily, and that’s something you have to test yourself, you couldn’t just google it or anything.
What the agency is really worried about is the lack of screening technologies to detect these guns. Although the law currently states that they must be manufactured with some metal parts or a metal insert, it’s clearly up to the builder to include or omit the metal-detectable parts.
“When these 3-D firearms are manufactured, some of the weapons can defeat normal detection such as metal detectors, wands, and it could present a problem to public safety in a venue such as an airport, an arena, a courthouse,” says ATF assistant director Richard Marianos to NPR.
The law forcing guns to be visible to metal detectors is slated to lapse this year, something some legislators oppose.
“You can always say the genie’s out of the bottle, why do we need a new law?”said New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel (D). “Well, I’ll tell you why we need a new law: If it’s easy to make plastic guns, we want to make it harder for them to get past metal detectors and onto our planes.”
“The expiration of this law, combined with advances in 3D printing, make what was once a hypothetical threat into a terrifying reality,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, also of New York. “We are actively exploring all options to pass legislation that will eliminate the problem.”