Ghost Guns: A Year in Review

The Kommando Blog – by Gaussifer

The Death of Gun Control?

One year ago, the folks of Defense Distributed reached a landmark settlement with the US Department of State, allowing the group to freely publish files pertaining to arms manufacture without violating ITAR. The age of the downloadable gun had formally begun, but dark figures loomed over the horizon. Within a week of DefDist publishing their files under license from the Department of State, DefDist was sued by over 20 states, and a federal judge from the Western District of Washington forced the company to pull their files from their online repository DEFCAD. Within a few months, the New Jersey Legislature passed SB 2465 which criminalized online speech related to the manufacture of firearms, but the biggest hit to DefDist was the arrest and subsequent resignation of Cody Wilson, their founder and public face. Although his arrest was a heavy blow to the company, there was still much work to be done. How far have we gone since then?

With Cody gone, Paloma Heindorff was next in line to head Defense Distributed. Until this point, she was almost unheard of by the public at large. Given her much lower profile, her British origins, and that she hadn’t even fired a gun until joining DefDist, many were worried that she would either stray from the company’s original vision, alter it completely, or bring DefDist down altogether. But it’s safe to say that she hasn’t done any of those things. Although public interviews are now few and far between, DefDist is still hard at work on the Ghost Gunner 2, and is busy fighting the state of New Jersey in court to this day. You can contribute to their court battle by buying merchandise like the GG2, donating to the Second Amendment Foundation, or through membership to DD LEGIO, their association which raises funds for both their legal fees and R&D.

The Ghost Gunner 2, a machine that I’ve reviewed in the past, has expanded its capabilities thanks to both DefDist and a community willing to test the limits of the open-source machine. First from DefDist was the release of Polymer80 milling code. While a GG2 is completely unnecessary and serious overkill for the completion of a Polymer80 frame, this only increases the versatility of the machine and furthers the materials it can be programmed to mill. For fans of the classics, the team at DefDist released new milling code allowing the GG2 to mill 1911s of alternate calibers including 9mm, .38 Super, .40 S&W, and 10mm. DefDist also made strides in GG2 availability, setting up a network of authorized dealers and shortening lead times from a couple months like my machine to within a week of ordering. From the GG2 user group on Facebook we’ve received optimized milling code for AR-15 and AR-10 lowers, new code and fixtures for pistol-caliber carbine lowers (AR-9/40/45 etc.), and GhostWriter, a 3rd-party custom engraving service where user-uploaded photos are converted to gcode for use with 3D-printable jigs and an engraving bit. But enough about the Ghost Gunner, let’s see what others have been up to!

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