When a company run by a Texas law student posted blueprints online this week for a 3D-printed gun, it logged more than 100,000 downloads in its first two days. Now, the State Department also has taken notice of the gambit by Cody Wilson at Defense Distributed, reports Forbes. It ordered the blueprints for the "Liberator" taken down, and Wilson is complying. The feds are investigating whether the blueprints violate arms-trafficking laws.
This is a fight Wilson wants, writes Andy Greenberg. "Defense Distributed’s radical libertarian and anarchist founder says he’s been seeking to highlight exactly this issue, that a 3D-printable gun can’t be stopped from spreading around the global Internet no matter what legal measures governments take." Adds Jessica Roy at BetaBeat: "Of course, since this is the Internet, the files are already all over the web, even though Mr. Wilson complied with the takedown." (Click to read one columnist's view that 3D guns are nothing to worry about. Although Chuck Schumer disagrees.)