The files you need to make your own gun can now be legally shared online

Technology Review

A decision from the US Department of Justice allows the online distribution of computer-designed gun models.

Looking back: Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, created and fired the first fully 3-D printed gun in 2013. The gun’s design files, which he uploaded on his website, were downloaded hundreds of thousands of times in a few days. 

The legal battle: The State Department said he had to take the files down. If he didn’t, he would face penalties equivalent to the punishment for exporting weapons without a license, because his files had been downloaded overseas.

The news: In 2015, Wilson and his lawyers filed a lawsuit which claimed that by stopping him from uploading his 3-D-printable model, the State Department violated his right to bear arms and to freely share information. Two months ago, the Department of Justice quietly offered a settlement to Wilson, essentially agreeing with his argument. Somewhere in between then and now, Wilson evidently accepted.

What it means: Digital weapons files can now be distributed on the web without regulation. Wilson is relaunching on August 1. The website will host the original 3-D-printable gun model, and new designs that require machining by programmable manufacturing machines, like CNCs, to produce. Users will be able to contribute their own models as well. “What’s about to happen is a Cambrian explosion of the digital content related to firearms,” Wilson told Wired.

But… Makers will need to have a working knowledge of gun mechanics, 3-D printing, and manufacturing technologies like CNCs to construct a weapon from these files. While Wilson has lowered some of the barriers to create undocumented weapons in your garage, home-based setups will have to advance mightily before your neighbor will be able to make their own  AR-15.

2 thoughts on “The files you need to make your own gun can now be legally shared online

  1. I’ll bet that Americans are manufacturing their own guns faster than the “government” could ever confiscate them.

    We’ll need everyone of them, because the bankers are going to unleash one attack after another on us to achieve their “New World Order”, and it’s not easy to disarm / subjugate 300 million armed, indigenous people.

    We’re going to fight the wetbacks, the Chinks, the U.N. troops, and every other army they can throw at us, and we’ll be able to kill every last one of them with ease if everyone is stocked up on ammo.

    We have plenty of guns, but we’re going to need more ammo than you can imagine, and a shortage of ammo has been the biggest reason for the failures of revolutions in the past.

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