You’d think in an era where there is so much gun violence that we would want to, at the very least, have fail-safes in place that make it just a tad difficult for civilians to obtain a gun. Furthermore, even most gun enthusiasts would most likely agree that with gun ownership comes great responsibility and that a firearm doesn’t belong in just anyone’s possession.
However, in a shocking move that turns gun control measures on their head, any American will be able to download gun plans for a 3-D printed single-shot handgun known as “The Liberator” come August 1, reports CNN. In a nutshell, this means that everyone will have easier access to obtaining a gun and that traditional methods of controlling guns become inoperable.
Defense Distributed is the non-profit defense firm that made it possible for the blueprints for the 3-D printable gun to be made available for the public to download. The firm’s right to post it online resulted from a settlement obtained after years of duking it out with the federal government.
According to Fox News, the multiyear legal battle started back in 2013 when Defense Distributed director, Cody Wilson, uploaded the online tutorial for 3-D printing firearms and was later told to take it down by the U.S. State Department. He sued them in 2015 and later received a settlement.
The settlement, dated July 29, states that the director and Defense Distributed,
“Can publish plans, files and 3-D drawings in any form and exempts them from the export restrictions. The government also agreed to pay almost $40,000 of Wilson’s legal fees and to refund some registration fees.”
The result elicited strong responses from both sides, with gun control advocates expressing fear and outrage at the settlement. On the other hand, gun-rights advocates applauded the outcome and lauded it as a win for second amendment rights and freedoms.
The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence posted their concerns on social media on July 13.
“We’re extremely concerned about a sudden settlement by the DOJ allowing blueprints for 3-D printed guns to be posted online, and we’re looking forward to learning through our FOIA request exactly how this came to be.”
We're extremely concerned about a sudden settlement by the DOJ allowing blueprints for 3-D printed guns to be posted online, and we're looking forward to learning through our FOIA request exactly how this came to be. From the @nytimes: https://t.co/XuZXzNQIHs— Brady Campaign (@Bradybuzz) July 13, 2018
The DIY handguns are nicknamed “Ghost Guns” for a reason. They don’t have serial numbers and are almost impossible to trace by law enforcement. Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that these handguns have implications.
Gardiner fears that the 3-D printed option will most likely make it easier for dangerous individuals and terrorists that can’t pass criminal background checks to obtain firearms.
Meanwhile, Cody Wilson couldn’t be happier at the outcome, and he told media outlets that the result is “personally satisfying.” Wilson additionally stated that, through the settlement, the gun culture of America has “been guaranteed safe passage into the modern era.”
The downloadable DIY handgun at the center of the controversy is comprised for the most part of ABS plastic, the same material that Lego bricks are made out of. There are a few metal parts in the design such as the firing pin and a metal part that is intended to comply fully with the Undetectable Firearms Act.