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3-D Printed Guns Will Soon Be Legal

The US government has settled with a group suing for the right to distribute plans online
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2018 7:30 PM CDT
This product image provided by MakerBot shows the company's Z18 3-D printer.   (AP Photo/MakerBot)

(Newser) – The US government has recently settled a case and it's a win for gun rights advocates who want Americans to be able to print plastic firearms in their own homes. Per CNN, a case filed by a man named Cody Wilson in 2013 sought to secure his right to post plans online for a gun made almost entirely out of plastic that can be created using a home 3-D printing device. Wilson sued after the US State Department told him to take down the plans that year. After back-and-forth dating back to the Obama administration, Wilson was reportedly told recently that the US government has dropped its case and will even pay some of Wilson's legal expenses.

As a result of the decision, the plans Wilson created and posted online for anyone with a 3-D printer to use will be legal for Americans to download starting next month. As the BBC notes, Wilson's company, Defense Distributed, has announced the plans will be back on their site starting promptly August 1. "The age of the downloadable gun formally begins," the announcement reads. Critics say they fear the increasing accessibility of home printers will only make unlicensed gun ownership easier and easier. Wilson, who identifies as a "crypto-anarchist," says the technology hasn't reached that point yet, but welcomes the day when it does. "It's still out of reach for them," he said of most home 3-D printing enthusiasts. "We'll get to watch it all develop." (Read more 3-D printers stories.)

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