Ctrl+P = Gun?: Making firearms at home with 3-D printers now a reality

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Want to create a plastic, usable handgun in your own home? Thanks to a Texas law student, all it takes is a 3-D printer.

Cody Wilson, 25, founded Defense Distributed, a nonprofit organization that has worked since August to create the world’s first entirely 3-D printable weapon, according to Forbes. The plan has come to fruition, as he announced the plan to make the blueprint for such a gun available online in the coming days.


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All sixteen pieces of the weapon were made with plastic, except for a single firing pin, Forbes reports. The gun is designed to fire standard handgun rounds, using interchangeable barrels for different calibers of ammunition.

He plans to release the blueprint for “the Liberator” early next week after a few more rounds of testing. From there, anyone can download the design and create the gun with an open-source 3-D printer, which can be bought for less than $1,000.

The ability to obtain a weapon while skirting background checks and other regulations is predictably unnerving to some — which Mr. Wilson said is the point of the project.

“You can print a lethal device,” he told Forbes. “It’s kind of scary, but that’s what we’re aiming to show.”

Rep. Steve Israel, a New York Democrat who has introduced legislation to restrict 3-D printed components, voiced his displeasure Friday after the Forbes article was posted, calling for the ban of such weapons.

“Security checkpoints, background checks, and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” Mr. Israel said in a statement, according to Forbes. “When I started talking about the issue of plastic firearms months ago, I was told the idea of a plastic gun is science-fiction. Now that this technology is proven, we need to act now to extend the ban [on] plastic firearms.”

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