Do 3D Printed Guns Require New Laws?

by Moin Uddin Ahmed Tipu

Real guns, printed at home, and it’s totally legal. In this DNews video, Anthony looks at this new twist in the debate over guns.

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“Would a 3D-printed gun really be legal?”

“Defense Distributed, the pro-gun nonprofit working to make 3D-printable gun designs freely available to everyone on the Internet, recently inched one step closer toward achieving that goal.”

“Defense Dist.:Home of the Wiki Weapon Project”

“Defense Distributed is organized to produce and publish information related to the 3D printing of firearms.”

DNews is a show about the science of everyday life. We post two new videos every day of the week.

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yor August 4, 2013 - 4:02 AM

aww yeah printing a minigun

Vacuous Truth August 5, 2013 - 2:10 AM

Um… No. a metal equivalent to a 3D printer is a CNC mill. It's actually what some more well equipped gun smiths use to make hard to get parts. You start with a block of metal, program the machine with the pattern you want, and it carves out the part. It doesn't require high temperatures. It does require a hefty investment (way more than a 3D printer) and a lot of space. Small ones are about the size of a professional tool cabinet. These things have been around since the late 70s.

Vacuous Truth August 5, 2013 - 2:14 AM

You know, they still haven't regulated the sale of springs, nails, pipes, drill bits, and such from hardware stores yet.

92Flying August 12, 2013 - 2:58 AM

lol this is a pistol in 9mm calibre… even pistols from professional weapon manifacture are not very effective at ranges at 50m+. and this piece of plastic wont be effective at 50m… and bows arent quite like that?! i bought a compound bow last year and shot a metal arrow on a beton wall from 30m and i went straight in the fucking beton half in and i wasnt able to get it out.. it is still sticking in there someone cut it off but i see it every week when i drive to work

redsky02 September 18, 2013 - 8:43 AM

actually if you know wath you are doing 400 soon 200

pong lenis September 22, 2013 - 8:03 AM

you can get cheep ones for like 300

ConanTheLibrarian September 27, 2013 - 6:23 AM

You can't print bullets your printed weapon is useless without them in EU you can't buy bullets without permission you can relax now

Silverliege September 28, 2013 - 11:05 PM

Require a gun safety test to be passed before you can buy or print a gun.

Vladimir September 29, 2013 - 6:25 PM

well maybe you can gat a gun that is made compleately out of plastic but how do you fire it if it has no ammo? and sure enough there are some parts in a gan that need to be made out of harder materials than plastic to work properly.

KoolBreeze420 October 5, 2013 - 8:10 PM

I'm with the dude for breathing underwater but along with that you would need a way to stay warm while in the water, I wouldn't want to have to get cold while diving.

Bored Saiyan October 9, 2013 - 5:57 AM

Government laws are not going to do anything, in the same way current laws on pirating music do almost nothing. Also similar to how having gun free zones only prevent people who follow the rules from having guns. If people are concerned, they should focus on how criminals are created. Focus on prevention and not on a futile attempt to restrict guns. Mentally healthy people are not going to kill or harm someone just cause they have the capability to do so.

Snoc October 15, 2013 - 3:20 AM

I agree. there is already a law though which prevents the "manufacturing or possession of any firearm which could can pass through a metal detector".
Something interesting i found on the chart here. It states that 41% of US households have firearms, and that they have 13.47 intentional gun deaths per 100,000. Finland has 50% of homes with guns with only 6.65 deaths
( pbs now politics internatgun. Google)
So its not the number of guns that kill, its the people that choose to.

cam00133 November 9, 2013 - 12:21 PM

Well at least he didn't say "Ammo clips"…

Louis Merrigan November 10, 2013 - 7:36 AM

no the gun laws do NOT have to be modified.

599Robb November 20, 2013 - 3:45 PM

A government can pass all the laws it wants. Problem is, laws regarding effective regulation of this tech without hugely infringing on personal freedoms would be impossible. Besides, It's already legal to make your own firearm anyway. This isn't much different. Just more convenient. Like you said Anthony, we can't even stop people from stealing music. Or enforce the gun laws we already have. 

The Puerto Rican Demon November 29, 2013 - 5:48 AM

it's the carbone man! WhatUp!!

AdurianJ December 2, 2013 - 2:05 AM

.45 cal 1911 pistols have already been printed by state of the art metal 3D printers.

Lockark Dryavoska January 2, 2014 - 1:23 AM

We are fighting hard enought to not have the internet taken away from us due to music theft with SOPA like laws appearing all the time. Now with the arguement of public safty with 3D guns I fear pressure will be even greater to regulate the internet.

Riften Guard January 21, 2014 - 3:23 AM

… That's actually a good point! If we can't stop people from stealing MUSIC. How will we stop them from making guns?!

ALEX GIBSON February 18, 2014 - 7:13 PM

making guns has always been legal who wants one made of plastic?

Zift Ylrhavic Resfear February 19, 2014 - 6:00 PM

People freaking out about gun being available to everyone…

Maybe it would be about time to think about giving a proper education to everyone, and particularly to teach parent how to raise a kid…

JOHN Don February 24, 2014 - 8:53 PM

I would like to have super strength and an Ironman Suit

yumri4 March 3, 2014 - 11:49 PM

regulations should be updated at for 3D printing at least so the 3D print designs do not fire the person trying to fire the gun nor kill them when trying to either.
As it is now almost a year later and metal 3D printing is on the way actual guns are comming to the realm of reality to be able to 3D print which i think will have to be regulated or something as there are mentally ill people out there who might have sick ideas of killing people in a fit of rage then you have straight out crimnals who might do it out of spite, and other people who just should not have access to a firearm for safety reasons. While i do not want to restrict the ability of freelancers to design and test their own weapons i do want to make it illegal for crimals, mentally ill people, and people who just shouldn't have access to a firearm to not be able to have one.
Now how to put that into law i have totally no idea but i hope the law makers are smarter than i am and can.

Alaaniel Davis March 12, 2014 - 5:35 AM

What if the government's response is internet censorship from these kinds of things? What censorship would build off of that? Many questions arise from this.

Disthron April 2, 2014 - 12:18 PM

So, it as my understanding that gun's aren't that hard to make as long as you have a few relatively common tools.

Jerry Strupe May 14, 2014 - 8:48 PM

I'm in favor of this idea, after all its not like its hard for anyone to get guns if they want them, and this, if nothing else, at least gives a way to make temperary replacement parts until a more permanent replacement can be gotten.

Agent Tex13 May 22, 2014 - 6:26 AM

I would like to print my own magazines for my guns so in the long run I'm actually making a profit but how much would that be???

Wonder Bubble September 4, 2014 - 1:22 AM

Personally, I really don't see that much wrong with it.  Easiest solution would be to put the restrictions we have on guns on ammo instead.  Gun's no good if you can't put something in it, and if someone has the know-how to make their own black powder and ball, then they can make their own gun without a 3d printer. 
I mean, I love shooting, but I honestly don't see a reason for regulating firearms over ammo (yes, I do believe that some regulations are needed).

And as for people not knowing how to check something for problems?  That's their own fault.  If you can't take the time to learn how to check it for problems, then you probably shouldn't be doing it, and if you do, you're responsible for you.

Magic Television September 18, 2014 - 3:44 AM

It will be the wild wild west baby. Lets see the government push us around now.

LarsaXL October 14, 2014 - 10:28 PM

How is a 3D printed gun any different from a regular home made one?
So you could legally just manufacture guns yourself as long as you don't sell them?

HellPwnage 666 February 10, 2015 - 5:18 PM

I think any gun control is against the 2nd amendment.

Lordp00m May 2, 2015 - 10:50 PM

There is no way how they can stop people from printing guns or anything else. Just as there is currently no way to stop pedophiles from printing kid pictures from their printer. They can try and stop the spread of the CAD files but there are always ways to get them.

Also if you want a gun bad enough you can still make one the old fashion way..

miraculous gecko July 22, 2015 - 7:00 PM

No because they aren't as concealable as they seem yes the gun alone can't be dettected by airport scanners but the ammunition can't . What criminal who wishes to murder someone is going to spend $800 on a printer for a gun when the can buy 1 illegally of the street for nothing so what's the point in changing the laws?

Ciaban K October 3, 2015 - 5:07 AM

Eventually they'll be able to find a way to allow people to fire the guns more than once. What ever laws that are passed to stop people from developing or manufacturing these guns here, won't apply in other countries, there is no way to stop innovation.

§paethon November 22, 2015 - 11:34 AM

As long as you're not a convicted felon, I 100% stand for this and will vote all the way to allow 3D printing of guns…ESPECIALLY if it is open source!

Jimmy Mcbride November 27, 2015 - 7:22 AM

Can you make me an F-16?

charles198025 March 24, 2016 - 3:25 AM

I'm kinda on the fence on this. On one hand I want a lawful citizen to have access to a gun, but how do you make sure only a lawful citizen gets one? There is also the added problem of defects and lack of training. A gun is only as dangerous as the person firing it. In the hands of a trained user they can be absolutely harmless if the user wants them to be. Defects add another level of problems because they can cause in increase in serious injuries and fatality, especially if the owner of the 3D printer tries to create something without tested plans.

Memesby Wumbis January 26, 2017 - 8:53 AM

it is illegal to create a firearm if you wouldnt be allowed to buy one (have a felony, charged with domestic abuse, etc). left that part out of your uninformed tin foil hat theory…

Jon Holverstott January 29, 2017 - 7:06 AM

limewire, napster and blu ray laser/ tesla gun nuff said gov needs to go back to being gov not parents

Jon Holverstott January 29, 2017 - 7:07 AM

and just because you have a felony doesnt mean your evil your president has raped clearly not seeing you throw a anti gov chat ugh fkn trump supporters

Ron Armstrong March 5, 2018 - 5:22 AM

Gun control "laws" are actually man made policy. Policy requires a contract. Contracts can be ended.

D.A. Risse March 26, 2018 - 10:06 AM

Citizens will have firearms the government knows nothing about? Leftists will pee themselves at the thought ….
Case in point.

fastoldman16 February 24, 2021 - 7:45 AM

You can't stop the signal. The genie is already out of the bottle.

Ryan Rodriguez December 14, 2021 - 7:03 AM

No, all gun laws are an infringement