These Actually Exist: 3D-Printed Guns

Made from plastic, printed guns don't show up on metal detectors

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 21, 2012 12:29 PM CST

(Newser) – Virtual weapons and cyber violence are poised for a massive upgrade into real-world weapons and violence, thanks to the combination of 3D printers and a group called Defense Distributed, which claims to have created downloadable plans anyone can use to "print" working gun parts, reports the AP. A University of Texas law student who is the leader of the group's "Wiki Weapons" project says group members were able to print key parts of a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle last month and test fire it six times before it broke. The goal is to make a fully downloadable weapon.

3D printers were developed for aerospace, automobiles, and other high-tech industries, but prices on the technology are dropping, and they can now be purchased for as little as $1,500—although you'd have to spend at least $10,000 for a model that could "print" a gun. And as the guns are printed using plastics, the weapons would not show up on metal detectors. Rep. Steve Israel is using such guns as an argument for renewing the Undetectable Firearms Act, currently set to expire at the end of 2013. "When the [act] was last renewed in 2003, a gun made by a 3D printer was like a Star Trek episode," he says, "but now we know it's real."

Many gun control advocates worry what will happen as 3D printers grow more sophisticated and people put specs for printing guns online.
Many gun control advocates worry what will happen as 3D printers grow more sophisticated and people put specs for printing guns online.   (CNNMoney)
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The online group "Wiki Weapons" says it has made a gun, using parts from a 3D printer, that actually works.   (FLlJshR6nvg)
A video by Defense Distributed, an online gun rights group, shows a plastic gun made by a 3D printer being fired.   (Xd_8r6okWGE)

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