One name that is not short of controversy is Cody Wilson. A 25 year old third year law student at the University of Texas. This is because he has come up with the ingenious idea and actualization of making the first wholly 3D gun in the world. Together with a handful of his friends, they joined hands for the specific purpose of creating a 3D printed gun. This led them to form the group Defense Distributed. a non-profit organization, in line with their manifesto of ordinary citizens being able to make their own guns. The dream envisioned at the onset was to prove that it is actually possible to print a gun.
This quest led Defense Distributed to hold fund raisers to raise money to acquire a 3D printer which can handle the job. This was after formulating working designs using CAD. A few months along the way and the prototype is out. The gun termed as “The Liberator” is still in its genesis stages with composition of sixteen pieces. The whole structure of the gun’s design on CAD has not been made available to the public yet, but will be in the upcoming days. This is because the whole process has not been finalized and since effective testing and analysis has not been done yet. However, Forbes has released pictures of the 3D printed gun.
The prototype gun consists of only plastic materials printed save for one piece of steel. This was incorporated into the design to satisfy regulation regarding firearms having to be detected by metal detectors contained in the Undetectable firearms Act. The gun has been made to support barrels that can be changed depending on the caliber of the bullets.
One thing that has caused a storm with the creation of this gun is its ease of availability and form structure. The fact that it can be printed easily using 3D printers means that anyone with access to such printers can make it. Defense distributed in earlier statements made known their intention of posting all the gun’s blueprints available on the web. This means that anyone with access to a 3D printer can easily copy the files and make their own gun at their own comfort. This has elicited controversy as this would be breaching the laws put in place to control ownership of guns in the country.
The other bone to pick that law makers have with Cody is that the gun is wholly made from plastic. This makes the gun virtually undetectable by sophisticated metal detectors. It may permit unlawful entry of guns into restricted areas without detection. The restrictions have been specially propagated by New York congressman Steve Israel. The congressman aims at repealing the Firearms Act to specifically target use of such 3D constituents in making guns.
It remains to be seen whether the Defense Distributed operations will be halted by tough sanctions or not. The unimaginable pipe dream of making the first 3D handgun in the world seems a reality now more than ever after the release of the prototype of 16 components. With it comes the risk that many people can now have access to guns without regulations which can be undetected. But wait, was it not possible before? The Defense Distributed says that those individuals who want to get a gun can and do have guns, so the ones they are proposing will not change much. It remains to be seen if the project will be given the green light. For now The Liberator is in its early stages but is still the first wholly 3D printed gun in the world.