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Firearm Printing Steps Closer to Reality

by Calvin Thompson

The modern digital age has led to many advances in individual liberty, especially in terms of the Second Amendment. Wyoming Liberty Group has already shown how the up-and-coming technology of 3D printing has been used to make firearm parts, which makes it more difficult for government to regulate guns.

The effort to print firearms has been spearheaded by Defense Distributed, an organization dedicated to creating the first functional, fully 3D-printed weapon. Their technology and designs have become more sophisticated almost by the week, with printed gun parts far more sophisticated now than even a couple of months ago.

Back in December 2012, Defense Distributed took some criticism for an early test of one of their designs. Some testers printed out the lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle and it fell apart after only six shots, as shown in this hilarious video of the experiment.

Since then, the technology has improved, spurred by recent bureaucratic overkill. With the push for new gun control in several states and on the federal level, Defense Distributed unveiled its printable, high capacity, 30-round magazine that still works after several hundred shots. The creators named it the “Cuomo,” after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed a standard-capacity magazine ban into law last month. Now anyone with a 3D printer can manufacture a high capacity magazine in the privacy of their home or workshop. Whether or not it is legal in the strictest sense, it shows how empty modern attempts at magazine bans really are.

Not resting with this innovation, Defense Distributed has now created a new AR-15 lower receiver, the same piece that shattered after a few shots. The test video, released on Monday, shows that the new design can withstand several hundred rounds with no malfunctions or noticeable wear. In only about three months, the organization has taken a piece of frail, experimental equipment and changed it into an effective part of any arsenal.

More and more, the federal and various state governments have created a demand for alternative weapon technology with their Second Amendment infringements. Fortunately, technology advances in the private sector faster than legislation, and Defense Distributed has shown how easy it is to disregard or nullify infringements on constitutional freedom through technological advance.

Defense Distributed’s mission is still far from complete. The organization continues to work on a fully printable firearm. The technology has not developed for that yet, but still improves. Metal printing, the last frontier of 3D printing, has progressed significantly. Where Defense Distributed will be in a year or two is anyone’s guess.

As for the legislators who think they can restrict the right to bear arms in this digital age: Best of luck.

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Monday, 23 October 2017
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