- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The founder of a Texas nonprofit dedicated to protecting Second Amendment rights says the DIY gunmaker industry is booming as lawmakers try to use the Orlando massacre to push for new regulations.

Defense Distributed’s “Ghost Gunner” CNC milling machine allows anyone to carve out polymers, woods and metals in three dimensions — such as an AR-15 lower receiver. Given that, founder Cody Wilson has a warning for politicians: Threats to infringe on U.S. constitutional rights only create a strong subculture that cannot be controlled.

Mr. Wilson says Americans are using emerging technology and existing tools to make untraceable weapons.

SEE ALSO: ‘Ghost Gunner’ creates AR-15 frames without serial numbers: ‘People want this’

“People are hopping off the mainstream train and accepting an underground dissident mentality when it comes to guns,” Mr. Wilson told Wired on Wednesday from Austin. “They’re making the connection: If [an AR-15 ban] is enacted, I can get this machine and make one anyway.”

Defense Distributed has sold 3,000 of its Ghost Gunner milling machines since 2014. Mr. Wilson says sales spiked since terrorist Omar Mateen killed 49 and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub on June 12, and then again when Democrats pushed for gun control legislation on Monday.

Profits at Defense Distributed have jumped from $30,000 per week to $50,000 per week, the gun rights advocate said.

Wired reported that a similar organization, California-based Percent Arms, had a five-fold jump in sales.

“When Obama gets on the air talking about gun control, that kicks off a buying frenzy. Everyone flips out,” president Tilden Smith said. “They’re incentivized to get all the 80-percent stuff they can now, because they don’t think they’ll be able to get it next year.”

Ladd Everitt, the communications director for the gun control group Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told Wired that DIY gun enthusiasts’ actions are the equivalent of a “tantrum.”

“I don’t see what this is going to accomplish, but it’s a rebellion,” Mr. Smith said. “It’s just a political statement at a time when gun regulation is at the door.”

Defense Distributed says it exists to “defend the human and civil right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court; to collaboratively produce, publish, and distribute to the public without charge information and knowledge related to the digital manufacture of arms.”

The group is funded by individual donors.

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