back to article Judge shoots down Trump admin's efforts to allow folks to post shoddy 3D printer gun blueprints online

A federal judge in the US state of Washington has struck down a settlement that would allow people to post blueprints and instructions to 3D-print guns, claiming it was unlawful. Judge Robert Lasnik said Uncle Sam's State Department had “simply abandoned” a ban on posting the gun CAD files online without giving an explanation …

  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    "Less good was his decision in 2018 to, allegedly, pay $500 to have sex with a 16-year-old girl he met through the website SugarDaddyMeet.com."

    Amusingly, in the US it's legal to own a gun, but illegal to have sex at age 16 (I know, not in all states, before you start). In the UK, it's the other way round.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      She advertised herself as older on the site.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Depends on the state. Most limit it to 18 if not 21 (some split the difference, allowing hunting guns at 18 but handguns at 21).

      As for sex, the general rule is that only adults can consent to sex (that means 18). Any younger and the legal guardians get involved, which means sex trafficking laws can get invoked and things get complicated.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In the UK, it's the other way around

      If money changes hands then even in the UK the minimum legal age for sex is 18, not 16.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        "If money changes hands then even in the UK the minimum legal age for sex is 18, not 16."

        If money changes hands then it's not legal, at least for the payer, of course. Sex is the only service that it's legal to sell but illegal to buy in UK law. I understand the reason for this, but it still offends my sense of logic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If money changes hands then it's not legal, at least for the payer, of course. Sex is the only service that it's legal to sell but illegal to buy in UK law. I understand the reason for this, but it still offends my sense of logic.

          Not quite. It's perfectly legal to pay for sex with an adult (and to receive money for such).

          Related activities like kerb crawling or soliciting in a public place are illegal - the offence is committed before and irrespective of money changing hands. But paying for services you find online, in the back of a specialist publication or from a card in a phone box is entirely legal if that's your thing.

          It's also illegal to pay for sex with someone "subject to force" (i.e. trafficked) and that is a strict liability offence even if the payer thought they were engaging a consenting/free-will sex worker.

          It's also illegal to run a brothel (anywhere with more than 1 sex worker), although in this case the "madam" commits the offence, not the worker or the customer.

          1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

            "Related activities like kerb crawling or soliciting in a public place are illegal" - Unless you live in Leeds

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I think in Blighty there's legal precedent that creates a loophole around this sort of transaction.

          Something to do with pick your own fruit and veg.

          I can't remember the case (and the restriction that did exist no longer applies).

          Anyway, the TL;DR is that for some reason you weren't allowed to sell fruit and veg in certain circumstances, so get round the circumstance people sold punnets instead and let the customer pick veg for "free"...

          Memory is fuzzy because I first heard of this back when I studied law about 20 years ago at college.

          Anyway the point I'm making is that in the UK there's nothing stopping you selling something arbitrary and tacking on a "freebie".

          E.g. a massage, fruit punnets etc.

          I think the main argument was around taxes though, but the principle still applies.

          1. dfsmith

            I vaguely remember a news story from maybe 30 years ago, about some shop selling an orange* for UKP50 or so, which came with a free electric drill. I seem to recall that the powers that be were not impressed.

            * Fruit and most food was exempt from sales tax.

          2. stevebp

            Freebies

            his reminds me how we used to get around Sunday Licensing Laws in the 1980's - basically, between (I think) 2-6pm pubs were not allowed to sell alcohol but were allowed to sell food and give away a pint with it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > In the UK, it's the other way round.

      So the gun has to be older than 16?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ah, the standard government tactic of getting someone they don't like, and can't attack any other way, as a child molester, sex offender, etc. Alltogether too convenient an excuse.

      And besides, don't need the 3d printer to make all the parts, a stamping mill, metal lathe, etc do quite fine. They just need to be like the WWII "Liberator" pistols air-dropped over occupied France. A few rounds built into the gun, enough to take out some wayward SS officer so you can take HIS gun.

      Or perhaps just forego the idea of a firearm, and make a rifle-sized railgun that fires standard nails you could pick up at any hardware store.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Why a 3D printed gun?

    It doesn't shoot straight, or far, and will probably blow up in the shooter's face. It's more of a danger to the shooter and anyone nearby. For crying out loud, if you feel you need a gun for protection, buy a good one and not one that's some guy's idea of a proper firearm. Then take the time and spend some money and learn how to properly and safely use it as well as properly store it.

    Disclaimer: I don't own a gun (but have in the past) and for the foreseeable future, won't own one either. But I understand some folks feel the need for self protection.

    1. IGotOut

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      Maybe something to do with those not allowed to purchase a gun? I know it's a small minority in some states, but there you go.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      Note, the article focuses on the dancing monkey (Wilson, a self aggrandizing asshat) and the Liberator(A publicity stunt) instead of the company and it's real "buisness model" which is selling cnc milled blanks that are 95% complete and a jig to drill press the remaining couple of holes.

      Both DD and their opponents are glad to talk up the plastic popgun, and neither of them want people looking for something "anyone" can build that might actually work. Kind of like the old Asshats Cookbook back in the day, they keep peoples attention on bad sources that will just make for an easy arrest when defective instructions yield defective weapons.

      All the 3d printer crap is hype, people were building zip guns as soon as we implemented gun control, and something built with tools and parts from home depot would be more effective than a "Liberator". CNC mills and lathes are another issue, but if someone is a machinist and a gunsmith they are going to make what they please.

      DD's real business model is to capitalize on loopholes in enforcement on so called Ghost Gun parts sales. The solution would probably be to just treat partially machined parts the same as the things they build, and require the necessary paper trail etc. which would pretty much eliminate the market overnight. That said people would still break the law, they just would break it by selling completed parts.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        "The solution would probably be to just treat partially machined parts the same as the things they build,"

        Question becomes, where do you draw the line, and how do you keep people from simply toeing the line like they're doing now?

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          It only takes a badly written law to turn a screw into a potential weapon...

          1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            Such as considering hand grenades to be "Weapons of Mass Destruction" as seems to be the case in the US.

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

              I could see this being an issue here in Blighty, with how the Nanny state is progressing...

              "Why do you have a bag of screws?"

              "They came with this IKEA furniture."

              "HE'S BUILDING A BOMB! ALL UNITS! REQUESTING BACKUP!"

          2. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            >>>turn a screw into a potential weapon<<<

            TBF, it only needs the screw almost anything to have a non trivial momentum.

            For those with gun making intent, banning blueprints will only thin out the 3D printer owners without the mental ability to design something roughly akin to a 14thC. hand cannon.

            The question 'what constitutes a blueprint?', I think it's reasonable to say a blueprint is anything you can look at and use to make a reasonable copy, wikipedia is stuffed full of these drawings.

          3. ab-gam
            WTF?

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            A shoelace has officially been declared to be a machinegun, so your concert is not just theoretical.

            https://www.everydaynodaysoff.com/2010/01/25/shoestring-machine-gun/

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

              Your own link shows that was overruled... however modifications to, no matter how much of a shoe string budget, can reclassify an firearm.

              1. Is It Me Bronze badge

                Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

                I think the point being made was that it shows how the powers that be can handle things in such a way that some thing innocuous (in this case 14" string with loops on) can be classed as weapon and thus made illegal to own

    3. spold Silver badge

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      Putting economics before any ethics etc.... that I don't want to get into, so please ignore those in my comment... or your votes.

      In the US....

      A Dell Makerbot costs around 10,500 USD

      A Smith and Wesson MP2 9mm pistol costs around 400-450USD

      I can buy 23+ S&W MP2 pistols for the cost of the Makerbot.

      So printing it... I can only guess it looks like a remarkable weapon, vicar.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        If you were stupid enough to buy a Makerbot, that is...

        The much better Prusa i3 Mk3 is about US$1,000.

        1. Natasha Live

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          You could get a creality Cr-10 for $300... Hows those numbers working now?

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        An adequate 3D printer in kit form can be had for just over £100, and something more robust for around £300. I bought a £100 printer kit, and if adjusted correctly it prints very well. Just search for "A8 printer" on Amazon.

    4. Suricou Raven Silver badge

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      Because if you feel you need a gun, a crap gun is better than no gun. The liberator is not aimed at people who can go out and buy a gun legitimately - it's for people who either live in countries with strict gun control, or who are prevented from buying a gun legally and lack the underground connections to obtain one illegally. It's a libertarian project, thus the name - the idea is to render it impossible for the any government to decide who is and isn't allowed to carry lethal force. If any idiot can print a gun, then everyone has access to guns, and it doesn't matter what the law says if it cannot be enforced.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        "If any idiot can print a gun, then everyone has access to guns, and it doesn't matter what the law says if it cannot be enforced."

        I suspect the ten years in jail (UK law) if caught with it probably would have a deterrent effect though.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          I suspect the ten years in jail (UK law) if caught with it probably would have a deterrent effect though.

          And yet it doesn't. People still get shot in London all the time (24 last year), by proper guns and converted blank firers or historic weapons too. I can't really see why if the threat of jail time doesn't deter folk from that that it would with a plastic gun. Maybe not carried every day, but collected and deployed when intended to be used.

          1. General Purpose

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            People still get shot in London all the time (24 last year)

            People hardly ever get shot in London (only 24 last year, in a city of 8.9 million people)

            FTFY

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

              People hardly ever get shot in London (only 24 last year, in a city of 8.9 million people)

              For those who cannot count that's one every other week with a short holiday at xmas. In what objective world is "hardly ever" once every other week?

              I hardly ever sleep with a super model.

              I hardly ever win the lottery.

              FFS.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            @LucreLout

            Not just london. In the north west (not gonna be more specific) 10 minutes drive from where I used to live people were shooting into houses in daylight.

            1. Amentheist
              Joke

              Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

              To be fair you can see better in daylight so it makes sense!

            2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

              people were shooting into houses in daylight

              Happens all the time here in the US. We even have a term for those people: "police".

          3. Adelio

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            IF I recall correctly the TOTAL Guns deaths in the WHOLE of the UK in 2017 or 2018 was under 70. Remind me again how many gun deaths in the U.S.A. Please in 2018. (40,000) And that is ANY death, accidental, suicode or Other!

            1. Cxwf

              Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

              Now now, let’s not exaggerate to make a point. If you put suicides in a different category from gun violence, the US number is only 14,600. If you adjust for the population difference from US to UK, the equivalent US number would only be 2,970.

              There! 2,970 vs 70. Both numbers have a “70” in them so clearly there’s no problem here. ( /s )

          4. vtcodger Silver badge

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            People still get shot in London all the time (24 last year)

            24 shooting victims is a slow Saturday afternoon in Chicago. Total this year as of November 9 = 2394. Difficult as it may be to believe, that's fewer than last year.

            see https://www.chicagotribune.com/data/ct-shooting-victims-map-charts-htmlstory.html

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        " the idea is to render it impossible for the any government to decide who is and isn't allowed to carry lethal force."

        Personally speaking, even with the people we seem to insist on putting in charge of the UK, I'd rather have government controlling who can carry weapons than letting people decide for themselves.

        Additionally, speaking as someone who owns a decent quality 3D printer, you'd have to be mad to build a gun using one. I can't see the various metal laser sintering processes making it into a piece of kit for the hobbyist any time soon either, and banning CNC machines would just result in a bunch of angry large scale model railway enthusiasts... assuming they can stop counting rivets long enough to notice ;-)

        1. naive

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          3-D printing makes it easier to access firearms. If one can buy the metal parts for an AR-15 pattern rifle, being able to create the polymer frame can be of an advantage.

          During firing the the 5.56 *(.223) Nato round is rated at a pressure of 62,366 PSI. No idea if the receiver and bolt carrier can be 3-D printed to safely withstand this pressure, since these parts are made out of special steel which needs to have a certain grade of elasticity to cope with these pressure spikes.

          Since gun parts are easily accessible in the US, 3-D printing may increase the number of unregistered firearms.

      3. phuzz Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        The thing about a 3d printed gun, or indeed any sort of gun, is that it's useless without ammunition.

        In the UK (for example) you need a firearms license in order to buy ammunition (or smokeless powder), so it doesn't matter if you've got a 3d printed gun, or a fully working Glock. It's only of use as a blunt instrument without ammo (although the police will still be very, very, annoyed with you either way).

        And yes, making old style gun powder is possible at home, but it doesn't actually make a very good propellant. Oh yeah, and good luck printing primers.

        (Finally, if you have the level of technical knowhow to print a working gun, then you could equally build a metal 'zip gun' from plumbing supplies, which would probably work better.)

        1. M. Poolman

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          Have an upvote for beating me to it!

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          The thing about a 3d printed gun, or indeed any sort of gun, is that it's useless without ammunition.

          Nonsense. You can wave it around threateningly, or throw it like they do in the movies, or plant it on someone to get them in trouble, trade it for a sandwich, use it to tenderize meat... The possibilities are endless.

          Really, it's loading a gun that reduces the things it can safely be used for. I don't recommend it.

      4. M. Poolman

        Countries with strict gun control

        tend to be equally strict about control of sale of ammunition. Perhaps that could be 3D printed too.

        Probably safer all round.

      5. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        Can any idiot print the ammo as well, or is that freely available over the counter in most repressive states?

      6. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        it's for people who either live in countries with strict gun control, or who are prevented from buying a gun legally and lack the underground connections to obtain one illegally.

        Mmm. I take it that you don't realise that while you can buy ammunition over the counter with your groceries in wallmart in the good ol USA this is possibly the only country in the world with such lax laws on owning weapons or ammunition?

        If I want to buy ammunition in the UK then I have to produce my license (which says how much ammunition I am allowed to buy) and the fact that you have bought ammunition is logged. Since pistols have been restricted to law enforcement use only for over 20 years since the sort of nut like your trying to arm decided to massacre a bunch of school kids, nobody can buy 9mm ammunition in the UK since the only 9mm weapons are owned by the police and armed forces, who have their own supply chains. Firearms dealers therefore simply don't stock 9mm ammo; there's no reason to possess it. Your 3D printed gun is therefore utterly useless since you can't 3D print the ammunition.

        Ignoring the fact it's utterly useless, let's assume that it did work, just for the sake of argument. In the US, it's legal to carry weaponry openly in some places, and concealed in others. This is not the situation elseware on the planet.

        Carrying a firearm in a public place in the UK would lead to extremely severe consequences since the only people carrying weapons in any manner are doing so illegally. If somebody spots you with it then they simply don't mention so, phone the police and report it. The police then simply deploy reasonable force against the hapless idiot, which is an armed response unit. Because our police don't need to be armed normally, given that nobody is. That means that basically any armed threat gets dealt with by what you'd probably consider a couple of SWAT units, armored and carrying at least SMG's if not assault rifles and a helicopter to provide top cover to prevent an armed nut escaping with weapons in public.

        This "liberator" stands zero possibility of penetrating the police armour, and so is pointless unless the plan is to art terrorists and people wanting to randomly shoot up crowds. Don't kid yourself; this is an American absurdity designed for the home market. It makes no sense anywhere else.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          "the only people carrying weapons in any manner are doing so illegally."

          You can walk down the road with your perfectly legal shotgun in a carry-bag on your back (I wouldn't be surprised if you had to have a trigger lock or something fitted though). It's not technically visible, but it's really obvious that it's a firearm.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          There are 9mm firearms in UK civilian hands, most are straight pull or level release rifles, for example http://www.southern-gun.co.uk/example-gun-build/#9mmlr

          There are also classes of firearms certificate that allow firearms with special historic significance that would otherwise be illegal to be purchased and this includes 9mm pistols. That said they have to be kept in designated facilities and only shot under tightly controlled conditions.

          But the ammunition is available from standard firearms dealers.

          This is still only possible to purchase with a Firearms certificate that has a specific slot of 9mm ammunition and limits on the amount that can be owned.

          http://www.dauntseyguns.co.uk/products.php?cat=14300

      7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        "it's for people who either live in countries with strict gun control, or who are prevented from buying a gun legally and lack the underground connections to obtain one illegally."

        I wonder what the stats are for criminal murder by gun in the UK is per head of population where gun control is strict?

        I wonder what the accidental death by gun rate is the USA per head of population?

        Those numbers could point towards whether gun control works or not, at least in a broad sense.

      8. Dog11

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        In the US, if you can't buy a gun legitimately...

        You can buy an "80% lower" (the lower receiver is what is deemed to be "the gun", and 80% completed counts only as a chunk of metal) that will require a bit more do-it-yourself machining to complete. There is no restriction on purchasing that, or any of the rest of the parts. You might not be able to legally possess the finished product, but who's to know? Or, you can buy a black powder gun (think reproductions of 19th century revolvers), which doesn't count as a gun either. But in all honesty, it likely wouldn't be difficult to find a proper factory-made gun, perhaps purchased from a private party who doesn't ask too many questions.

        In a lot of other countries those angles may not work, though..

    5. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      It doesn't shoot straight, or far, and will probably blow up in the shooter's face. It's more of a danger to the shooter and anyone nearby. For crying out loud, if you feel you need a gun for protection, buy a good one and not one that's some guy's idea of a proper firearm.

      I don't own a gun and never have, but I do like shooting them at ranges.

      I expect the reasoning breaks down into freedom from State interference because they have no means to restrict manufacture and no means to identify ownership.

      Whether those are good things or not (I think they are) would depend on your point of view.

    6. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      It's also probably cheaper to buy a gun, than a 3D printer and internet anyway in most states...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        This is a "wedge" issue - the thing being litigated is not meant to be a reasonable thing or a useful thing or even a possible thing, it is a wedge used to pry apart and destroy a body of law that the persons involved want destroyed. It is being used on all fronts by people who want to push agendas only loosely related to the matter being litigated, and as test cases to see how far courts and laws can be pushed.

        If I want to, say, ban abortion I will not start by banning abortion outright, I will pass laws against "partial birth abortion" a thing that does not exist. Then, I will use that to tighten the time frame during which abortions are legal until abortion is banned effectively at the moment of conception.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: AC

          So, that would be the slippery slope argument come true?

          1. Keven E

            Re: AC

            “Giving people this power that can be used for criminality ends up with a force for good,” he argued. “More guns in the hands of more people leads to a lower crime rate. I'm interested in the challenge, not the ethics. What we are doing is traditionally sound … maybe I'll go to Hell for this, but I think it's a good thing.”

            This is more of an "argument" he's having with *his self.

            1. tfewster Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: AC

              And he's arguing with an idiot. None of the individual sentences hold up, even in the US.

            2. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: AC

              More guns in the hands of more people leads to a lower crime rate.

              Is this true? I've seen arguments regarding US states where some form of gun control has been introduced having higher rates of gun crime than US states where people wander the aisles of Walmart with assault rifles over their shoulder (often using carefully cherry picked statistics), but these all relate to a country with a history of widespread gun ownership and where there are, apparently, many more handguns in circulation than there are citizens.

              Are there any studies showing that gun crime actually went massively down when a previously unarmed populace were given AK-47s and assault helicopters?

    7. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      Anyone printing and attempting to use these is vying for a place in The Darwin Awards

    8. Adelio

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      "Protection" Stranger thing that.

      If possessing a "legal" gun helps protect people they why is the death by guns figures so high in the ol' U.S of A

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        ... and why is the number of housholders killed by their own weapons by intruders so high? Kind of goes against the whole "protection" thing there.

        1. james_smith Bronze badge

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          Handguns are wildly inaccurate outside of the controlled environment of a gun club, and rifles are impractical for the kind of self defence that some gun nuts claim they are.

          As for semi-automatic rifles, on a cultural exchange trip to Finland - which has relatively lax gun ownership controls by European standards, and a relatively high incidence of criminal shootings - I was allowed to fire one. I had previously fired bolt action rifles as an army cadet, and I was shocked at how uncontrollable a semi-auto was.

          The instructor explained that they're not designed for accuracy, but for a "spray and pray" approach. The same is true of even the comparatively limited AR-15 that's popular amongst US spree shooters.

          1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            "I was shocked at how uncontrollable a semi-auto was.

            The instructor explained that they're not designed for accuracy, but for a "spray and pray" approach."

            Are you certain you know what a semi-auto even is. You can't 'spray and pray' with one. It's one round fired per trigger pull.

            1. james_smith Bronze badge

              Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

              It was actually fully auto - an old "Suomi" machine gun that were still used for basic training in the Finnish army back in the early 1990s. I wrote semi-automatic as that's what are available in the US, but are effectively fully auto with the addition of "bump stocks".

          2. sillyfudder

            Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

            PISNIG - problem in shooter, not in gun.

            Only an idiot would expect to shoot a fully automatic gun accurately "from the hip", but from prone position, with bipod/tripod, they can be accurate.

    9. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      I don't own a gun (but have in the past) and for the foreseeable future, won't own one either. But I understand some folks feel the need for self protection.

      I don't currently own any guns myself, but my wife and I have been discussing getting a shotgun. At the Mountain Fastness, rabid skunks, feral dogs, and some other undesirable animals are all occasionally found in the area, and not long ago someone in the neighborhood had a bear rooting though their garbage.

      Calling Animal Control is an option, of course; but they could take several hours to respond. A bear rooting through your trashcans may just mean a mess to clean up and some new trashcans. But if the bear decides there's food in your car - well, that doesn't turn out well for you. And sometimes bears break into houses. Happened a couple of years ago to a woman who lived in a cabin on the other side of the mountain. She happened to have a rifle to hand, and shot it dead in her front room. I doubt I'd be so successful, but in an emergency I might be able to discourage a bear with a couple of loads of shot.

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

        It was only a couple of hours ago where I was bemoaning my lack of a gun to shoot my brains out, but the painkillers eventually kicked in and I'll be seeing my dentist within a few hours.

        Perhaps a can of pepper spray would be more practical to have about the place?

        In your neck of the woods that is, as that too is banned in the UK.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

          In the UK you are allowed to own shotguns, long rifles, some classes of field artillery and ammunition, and you can hold explosives with a good reason.

          What your not allowed can mostly be quickly summed up as pistols, automatic weapons and bolt action rifles in .50 caliber. And any of those without a good lawful reason for owning them such as being a member of a club that shoots them.

    10. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

      Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

      I happen to like the M45A1 Marine Pistol from Colt.

      https://www.colt.com/detail-page/colt-cmc-marine-pistol-45-acp-brown-5-ns-rail-g10-grips-night-sights

      It's a .45 Calibre so its has a pretty big KICK but at least its ammo won't bounce off walls or windshields like many a 9mm sometimes do!

      With this one you can also mount a SMALL/LIGHTWEIGHT combined laser sight/nightvision scope to its Picatinny rail. Again, if you're protecting yourself, try to shoot for Centre-of-Mass. And very much like what the movies say, at least do a Double-Tap to make sure your assailant STAYS DOWN !!!

      Once you discharge your weapon, ALWAYS MOVE OUT of the way and out of your assailant's immediate sight just in case they are carrying a second weapon to whack you while you're standing and grinning silly-stupid over them. Even .45 bullets don't always take down an assailant! Some people are just born tough and can take even the full output from a 15-Mag! (As an aside, ALWAYS carry a second or even 3rd magazine with you for fast reload!)

      Keep your weapon trained/aimed on the downed assailant and voice dial your lawyer FIRST before you call 911 and after that SAY NOTHING to ANYONE (even the police!) invoking your 5th Amendment rights that you will NOT SAY ANYTHING until your lawyer gets to your house to guide your answers to any questions from media and/or law-enforcement! AGAIN! Keep your mouth SHUT until your lawyer is with you -- NO SMALL talk with immediate or later attending police, medical personnel or family -- Speak Freely with YOUR LAWYER ONLY!)

      .

  3. GrumpyKiwi

    Judge Canut was it?

    Issues order that the tides may not come in - aka that things posted on the internet must vanish.

    The LIberator is a piece of plastic crap. I am however aware of people using metal sintering 3D printers to produce far stronger and more useful components - something the NZ government has decided to acknowledge by putting it's fingers in it's ears and chanting "la la la la, I can't hear you, our arms confiscation program is 100% successful".

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Judge Canut was it?

      "Judge Canut was it?"

      No. It was Cnut.

      "Issues order that the tides may not come in - aka that things posted on the internet must vanish."

      This is one of those annoying memes (using the original Dawkins definition), a viral idea that reproduces and gets stuck in people. Cnut forbade the tide from coming in to demonstrate that his power to decree was clearly limited.

      1. Cxwf

        Re: Judge Canut was it?

        And his demonstration is still of use hundreds of years later! If the only thing in dispute is whether he was in on his own joke, I’d say he did a pretty good job.

      2. David 18
        Pint

        Re: Judge Canut was it?

        "Cnut forbade the tide from coming in to demonstrate that his power to decree was clearly limited."

        Glad there are still a few of us left who know the real story, have a beer and an upvote.

    2. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

      Re: Judge Canut was it?

      On a realistic basis, a 3D printed gun coming out of the typical sub-$1000 US 3D printer is pretty USELESS and UNSAFE !!!! The amount of PRECISION needed to properly print a fully plastic, much less metal pistol is on the order of AT LEAST 1/1000th of an inch in terms of tolerances (about 25 microns or so) in order to get a SAFE firearm that will NOT blow up in your face!

      For that sort of precision, you need to spend around $15,000 MINIMUM on a 3D printer. For that price, I could buy 8 top-end Colt .45 pistols instead. AND have enough left over for a good $1400 AR-15 rifle.

      ---

      This 3D printing design law is axiomatic anyways, since you can download them from offshore for a FULLY completed set of 3D printable designs of AR-15, AK-47, Colt .45's and Glock 19's or even a 17th Century French MUSKET if you're into that sort of thing! The horse has already left the barn!

      .

      Anyways, gunpowder-based weapons are SO PASSE when electromagnetically accelerated portable rail guns (i.e. pulsed EM coils) shooting steel nails at 5000 MPH (8000 kph) powered from a bank of multi-kilowatt pulsed, fast-discharge Super-Capacitors IS THE WAY OF THE FUTURE !!!

      No bullets needed! Just any ferro-magnetic material will do as ammunition! (i.e. from steel nails to tungsten coated magnetic polymer darts) and these portable rail guns will fire at velocities MUCH EXCEEDING ANY gunpowder-based firearm!

      .

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Judge Canut was it?

        HOW portable are we talking? Are we talking small enough to be held in one hand and in actual production right now? Because last I read, most development into rail gun technology has tended more toward use in artillery rather than man-portable firearms.

        1. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

          Re: Judge Canut was it?

          It depends upon the size of the capacitors and final velocity. If you can live with 1500 MPH (1900 KMH) velocity rounds and maybe 100 rounds worth of capacitor life, then you can get an all-decked-out AR-15 sized armament.

          If you need 500+ capacitor discharges at 2500 to 5000 MPH velocities then you are looking at about 45 KG (100 lbs) worth of rifle using VERY EXPENSIVE Super-Capacitors. If I had a Steadicam Vest, then YES I could put my EM coilgun on that for a decent amount of time without feeling really tired carrying around 45+ KG !

          Now that we can get SUPER-FAST DISCHARGE, HIGH CURRENT super-capacitors at decent prices, I can within a barrel length of about 4 to 5 feet (1.5 metres), use a series of linear induction coils to accelerate a small magnetic steel dart to as fast as 5000 MPH (8000 kmh). Shorter barrel lengths (i.e. a lesser number of accelerative induction coils) reduces final velocity to around 1500 to 2000 MPH (1900 to 3200 kmh) !!!

          Unfortunately, the number of rounds fired before recharging is required is limited. The math is pretty basic in terms of number of Joules required to be imparted into the EM coil-based acceleration of a small dart BUT the real world has a number of ways to get around some discharge limits using common techniques such as EM pulse interleave, capacitor cycling, carrying pre-charged capacitor banks, etc.

          You can build one yourself --- Look on youtube for DIY Rail Gun Rifles

          See:

          https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a17823/diy-portable-railgun-reddit/

          It's low-powered delivering rounds at 250 metres per second (900 KMH or 600 mph) but it's not bad for a home-built model !!!

          I'm, of course, talking about EM Coil Rifles that are INDUSTRIAL-LEVEL versions using EXPENSIVE fast-pulse discharge super-capacitors which means we would be on the order of $150,000 to $250,000 U.S. worth of materials to build such a high end PORTABLE rail gun.

          .

      2. Rol Silver badge

        Re: Judge Canut was it?

        I remember working on a building site many years ago where they hired a cap firing nail gun, which no one except me was willing to use.

        After firing the first nail through a steel girder and shattering the brick behind it, I realised why everyone else had refused to work with it.

        Funny enough a couple of years later I was working in A&E and a guy turned up with a bent nail protruding from his chin - he'd been using the same type of gun, but had overridden the press down safety to speed the job along and the nail had bounced back.

        Effectively he had made a weapon that was far and away more lethal than the 3D effort, and his setup meant he could fire six or maybe ten rounds in as many seconds (can't remember how many caps there were to a strip) and was readily available in the UK and I guess worldwide.

  4. JoMe

    More guns = safer for everyone

    Can't argue with statistics. The top ten most safe states - New Hampshire being often in top two slots - are all low to no gun control states, some even allowing conceal carry without permit by law. Conversely, the least safe states and cities - such as Chicago - have extremely strict gun laws.

    There's a town in Georgia, Kennesaw to be exact; and it had a problem. Homeowners were being murdered in their beds, crime was rampant, and generally the town was a hive of crime. A law was implemented requiring every homeowner to possess a firearm. Tracing back to that enactment, crime is extremely low, not only that but violent crime is almost non existent.

    Guns are here. Whatever view you take on the second amendment, the right to not only own a firearm, but to use it in defense whether it be for your home or from a tyrannical government, guns are by definition going to be part of culture here. And moreover, there are so many in circulation, that making it harder for law-abiding citizens to own a firearm is dangerously irresponsible. Moreover, it's been shown time and again that a well armed population is not only a polite population, but a far safer population.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: More guns = safer for everyone

      https://newsthump.com/2019/08/04/nation-with-strict-gun-control-laws-somehow-manages-ninth-successive-year-with-no-mass-shootings/

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: More guns = safer for everyone

      2/3 of gun deaths are suicides and even higher percentage if include accidents. A large portion of the gun homicides are committed by people who live in the same house (significant others, etc). I am not a fan of gun control in general but this lie that keeping a gun in the house makes you safer is total horse shit. Best way to make sure you will never die of a gunshot wound is wait for it don't own a gun. Less into to telling others they can't own one but all for when they f**k up with one, them spending a large portion of the rest of their lives in jail.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: More guns = safer for everyone

        Being a bit more serious - you are perfectly right as the number of folk killed by their own* gins is very high (over 50%).

        [*] as in guns in their home, not necessarily their personal weapon. Death by accident, suicide, and robbers using the gun they found in the bed-side drawer, etc, are no laughing matter.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          Re: More guns = safer for everyone

          In the developed world assuming you are not a peace officer or soldier, if having a gun makes you statistically safer you my friend have made some bad life choices along the way. If people want guns for other reasons fine (hunting, enjoy shooting, etc) but but safety should not be one else you lying to yourself and covering for irrational fear or a tiny pecker.

          1. Blank Reg

            Re: More guns = safer for everyone

            If you need a gun to feel safe then either you're paranoid or you're living in one of those "shithole countries" that trump talks about.

            1. GrumpyKiwi

              Re: More guns = safer for everyone

              Or a place where local youfs favourite activity is playing "stab the stranger". Or places where the penalty for being an infidel is to have your concerts exploded or shot up. Or a place where "rape the westerner, they're all asking for it" is a common weekend activity. And so forth.

              Or for that matter, living in a place where the local cops are a lot better at shooting themselves in the foot or bum, or shooting the police station or their own car than they are at hitting an actual threat (which I do).

              1. veti Silver badge

                Re: More guns = safer for everyone

                Uh huh. How 'bout linking to some reports about all these police mishaps?

                1. GrumpyKiwi

                  Re: More guns = safer for everyone

                  Here's a nice 3 seconds of googling from 2017.

                  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11798314

                  Here's the muppet shooting his own police station.

                  https://www.ipca.govt.nz/Site/Outcomes/2018-19-summaries-of-police-investigations/2019-mar-18-accidental-discharge-of-firearm.aspx

                  Local police firearms training consists of 35 shots a year from their Glock's and a single magazine from their AR's at targets "as far away" as 35 meters.

                  Of course when you shoot yourself in the bum, that's a sign of competency, not that you should be charged with a crime.

                  https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/09/police-officer-accidentally-shoots-himself-in-the-buttock.html

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: More guns = safer for everyone

                    @GrumpyKiwi

                    "Of course when you shoot yourself in the bum, that's a sign of competency, not that you should be charged with a crime."

                    I wonder if he is now considered the pain in the ass cop. The US cop demonstrating weapons in the school classroom and shot himself in the leg was probably one of the most effective 'be careful with these things!' lesson I have seen.

        2. James Wilson

          Re: More guns = safer for everyone

          "the number of folk killed by their own* gins is very high"

          Distilling is a tricky art, but I didn't realise so many people were making literally lethal booze.

          Sorry, I know it's just a typo and we all make them, this one was just particularly good :-).

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: More guns = safer for everyone

            Get the distilling temperatures wrong and it can be lethal - as frequently happens with bootleg spirits in India and Easter Euroe (as well as less frequently when they are imported to the west).

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: More guns = safer for everyone

              "Easter Euroe"

              What about the rest of the year?

              (Sorry, but this sub-thread WAS started by a typo!)

        3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: More guns = safer for everyone

          "robbers using the gun they found in the bed-side drawer"

          That wouldn't work in the UK then. The robber would have to settle for bludgeoning the homeowner to death with whatever dildo they find in the top drawer.

          Do American's really use their sex drawer for storing guns? How bizarre...

        4. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: More guns = safer for everyone

          number of folk killed by their own* gins is very high

          I very nearly got killed by my own gin once, so these days I only drink it in halves.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More guns = safer for everyone

        'this lie that keeping a gun in the house makes you safer is total horse shit. Best way to make sure you will never die of a gunshot wound is wait for it don't own a gun'

        1 - The lie is the assumptions made and confounding factors ignored in order to create this statistic. I will have to dig up the detailed analysis of the 'methodology' used in this case. Note, for example, that these 'analyses' very often do not compare the probability of death by a gun kept in the house, versus a gun brought into the house. Nor do most of these statistics differentiate between being killed in the house and being killed at a significant difference from the house... which may well suggest that the two types of deaths occur at different rates and may well have different causes.

        2 - This 'fact' is rather like the statistical proof that quitting smoking makes you more likely to die. If you look at smokers who quit and those who do not, you will indeed find that in the two years after quitting more quitters die than continuing smokers. The trick is that the statistics don't look at the state of health of the smokers and the reason for quitting. It turns out that a fair number of smokers quit when diagnosed with a serious disease, which is often several years too late.

        Consider the person likely to feel the need of a gun in the home? Someone in a safe neighbourhood with a low crime rate working at a normal job, or someone living in a dangerous neighbourhood or engaged in a high risk occupation like 'drug dealer'? Someone well liked, or someone who has been getting death threats? I expect you can see how that will skew the numbers. Blindly adding in suicides, who will generally find a method to kill themselves if they want to, even if they don't have a gun, has the advantage (for gun control advocates) of tripling the death rate even if the absence of a gun would likely not have prevented the death.

        There is more, but I'm out of time. Do take a moment to think before you accept the widely repeated spin on the numbers.

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: More guns = safer for everyone

          Blindly adding in suicides, who will generally find a method to kill themselves if they want to, even if they don't have a gun

          Suicidal thoughts are often situational and transient, so having a simple palatable method on-hand such as a firearm might increase suicide rates in a may that, say, having a chainsaw or needing to stockpile controlled meds over a period of time might not.

          As for the original claim, we all know correlation!=causation. There could be some but it is plausible that gun control/crime rate crime rate causal links could work in either direction if it is there at all.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: More guns = safer for everyone

            "Suicidal thoughts are often situational and transient, so having a simple palatable method on-hand such as a firearm might increase suicide rates in a may that, say, having a chainsaw or needing to stockpile controlled meds over a period of time might not."

            There are two minds about this. Some are flash thoughts, yes, but these often can pass as quickly as crossing the room. A lot of suicides (especially in places where suicides are high like Japan and South Korea) are slow burns: the result of societal pressures causing people to break.

            1. asdf Silver badge

              Re: More guns = safer for everyone

              Virtually no other suicide method is as effective the first time as firearms and other methods generally give more warning for intervention. Will agree getting rid of guns won't get rid of suicides. Still seems like everyone is a good guy with a gun until them or a family member aren't or are dead. Grew up hunting in a very rural area so I have seen both sides on the issue so not big on taking people's guns or rights. That said I know first hand how a gun can make life disappear in an instant so zero desire to own one since I became parent here in a large city. Actually should get off my butt and get my 8yo to take a gun safety class just in case. Hunting with my dad was the source of some very positive memories but those days are gone (wildlife on the decline) and not a risk I would take with my own son. Live in a different world.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: More guns = safer for everyone

                Not even self-defenestration or vehicle impact (the methods of choice in the Far East)?

      3. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: More guns = safer for everyone

        > 2/3 of gun deaths are suicides

        Well, I bought my gun only for the moment I realize I have Alzheimer's or something similar.

        1. sbt Silver badge
          Trollface

          But then you'll forget why you bought it

          But seriously, there are better alternatives for voluntary euthansia, which are more certain and kinder on the clean-up crew.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But then you'll forget why you bought it

            Are you sure about that? Most of the other methods known can be pretty hit-or-miss. Even long falls and poison are not a certain thing (there have been survivors in each method).

            1. sbt Silver badge
              Alert

              Hit-or-miss

              No pun intended, I'm sure.

              Disclaimer: While I support voluntary euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses or other unacceptable quality-of-life situations, please don't take these posts as a suggestion to end your life. You only get one, and there's nothing after. It may seem bad at times, but unless you've just been handed a terminal diagnosis with the prospect of a painful and/or undignified death, your continuing to live is important, not just to you but to the rest of your family and community. If you are feeling suicidal, please talk to a suitable counselling service in your area.

              Yes, there are more certain methods, but it is like anything else; there is a big difference between the amateur and the professional. Suicide attempts are overwhelmingly amateur. According to a harvard study of suicide method lethality, almost 18% of suicide attempts by firearm fail. While deliberate overdoses are less likely now due to the withdrawal of riskier medications from general use (e.g. Nembutal), there's a simple protocol used by Dignitas, for example, that works reliably. People still think an overdose of sleeping pills will kill them, but the medications out there now don't work like the old ones. Also many overdose attempts fail since the body naturally rejects a lot of the drugs used and other regimens must be used.

              Long falls are a risky proposition if you want an instant, painless end; there's always a chance of a distressing or painful expiration after landing, even if you jump from a plane. The same study says that 65% of jumps fail. And like the gunshot, there's a lot of unpleasant stress beforehand in preparing to embark on acts of violence against one's self; aside from using the right drugs, the other options are pretty unpleasant to experience, or at least anticipate.

              I have a theory that one reason why certain professions are over-represented in suicide statistics (e.g. dentists and psychiatrists) is the professional factor; their access to the right drugs and the knowledge to use them effectively.

            2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: But then you'll forget why you bought it

              "Are you sure about that? Most of the other methods known can be pretty hit-or-miss. Even long falls and poison are not a certain thing (there have been survivors in each method"

              People have also survived being shot in the head. Just saying.

              1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

                Re: But then you'll forget why you bought it

                Not very often.

                The OP's point is there are different way to end oneself, but guns are a very, VERY, effective first attempt...

              2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: But then you'll forget why you bought it

                Does the study take into consideration people who "slip" at the last instant, resulting in the failed attempt.

                I'm looking at people who attempted suicide, went completely through with it, and still survived. Something like shooting oneself through the brain or falling tens of stories and landing flat or head-first...and living.

      4. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: More guns = safer for everyone

        We had our first school massacre in Scotland in 1996, and then we tightened gun control laws in the UK and since then we haven't had another.

        Imagine being able to send your children to school and expect them to come home safely.

        CNN is praising US schools for teaching how to survive a gun massacre. Apparently the US is a world leader in that, congratulations. None of our children learn that, we focus on English and Geography and History and Maths and Physics.

        If you stop shooting your school children then they'll have more time to study other things.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: More guns = safer for everyone

      Kennesaw, Georgia: violent crimes 2016: 66.

      Let's just compare that with some other cities of a similar size (~30,000 population).

      Southgate, Michigan: 78

      Marion, Indiana: 115

      Garfield Heights, Ohio: 108

      Martinez, California: 51

      Lewiston, Idaho: 46

      (All figures from www.cityrating.com.) So, not bad, but hardly the placid paradise you seem to be suggesting.

      It takes a very special set of blinkers to see "not enough guns" as a principle cause of Chicago's problems. Violent crime in Chicago rose by about 40% during the 1960s and a whopping 60% during the 70s; it was as a response to this that the city effectively banned handguns in 1982, following which the rate of increase declined to less than 10% in the 80s, and crime actually went down in the 90s. Since the ban was lifted in 2010, and concealed-carry permitted in 2013, violent crime rates have increased again.

      "More guns = less crime" may be true in some times and places, but at other times the opposite is true. You're not doing any favours, except maybe to the NRA, by pretending that this is a simple and universal law.

    4. AIBailey Silver badge

      Re: More guns = safer for everyone

      So by your argument, a safe state is one that allows you to carry a concealed weapon?

      Taking that thought further, if you can assume that everyone has a concealed weapon, and nobody starts any trouble* then surely NOBODY needs to actually own a gun?

      Just the thought that someone might own a gun is enough.

      * - it depends on what your initial definition of "safe" truly means. Low crime overall, low number of gun related crimes, low homicide rate?

    5. Robert 22

      Re: More guns = safer for everyone

      There is the further issue that the police end up assuming that everyone is armed and automatically use their weapons in situations that should not really call for deadly force.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More guns = safer for everyone

      "Can't argue with statistics. The top ten most safe states - New Hampshire being often in top two slots - are all low to no gun control states, some even allowing conceal carry without permit by law. Conversely, the least safe states and cities - such as Chicago - have extremely strict gun laws.'

      But we can argue with idiots parroting incorrect statistics. (I know, futile, but I'll try) The top ten safe states are so scarcely populated that you might empty an Uzi at random directions without endangering a single person. And having lived in Chicago for over thirty years, stay the f out of two soutthside neighborhoods Riverdale and Englewood, a long way away from the Loop (downtown Chicago), and you are safe as houses. Also, the biggest supply of guns to Chicago is the gun-happy state of Indiana, as close or closer to the Loop as the aforementioned neighborhoods.

    7. David 18

      Re: More guns = safer for everyone

      "Conversely, the least safe states and cities - such as Chicago - have extremely strict gun laws."

      You very much can argue with cherry picked statistics. Correlation <> Causation

      I would imagine that in genteel old New Hampshire, there was little gun crime anyway, compared to the mean streets of Chicago. I suspect they have tried to tighten gun control to cut the pre-existing problem.

      Disclaimer: I am not a USAian, so not personally familiar with either place. Maybe outside popular TV and movies New Hampshire is really a hot bed of gang activity and Chicago is really a peaceful garden city populated entirely by retired lawyers tending their rose gardens.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: More guns = safer for everyone

        "New Hampshire is really a hot bed of gang activity"

        Doesn't Jessica Fletcher live in that vicinity?

        The trench-coat with the dark glasses in the pocket and the fedora.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: More guns = safer for everyone

          I believe Murder, She Wrote was set in Maine.

    8. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: More guns = safer for everyone

      So following that logic, we could make the World a lot safer for everyone by allowing every country to have nuclear ICBMs.

      In fact, thinking about it, that's probably true. Western countries would think twice about making a pretext for war in order to steal oil if the people being attacked had access to a big red button ...

      The only countries that would actually use the nuclear option would be those that are so destitute that they have nothing to lose. Thus giving an incentive for the wealthy nations to ensure that no country ever gets that poor ...

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: More guns = safer for everyone

        Yep, that's the logic.

        If anyone thinks that more guns makes for a safer society, but doesn't think that Iran and North Korea should be actively encouraged to develop nukes, then they haven't thought it through.

        One thing I've gotta hand to Donald Trump: at least he's not that kind of hypocrite. He has actively encouraged the nuclear programs of NK and Iran.

  5. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Do you reckon Defense Distributed/Wilson heard of the revolutionary (at the time) plastic pistol (Glock 17 - even though the important parts, barrel etc., were made with metal) and thought they could do one better?

    1. GrumpyKiwi

      The Glock 17 was the Liberator of its time. "Undetectable" even though it had large amounts of metal.

      "That punk pulled a Glock 9 on me. You know what that is? It's a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn't show up on your airport X-ray machines here and it costs more than what you make in a month!"

      Which is at least 4 lies for the price of one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        -The Glock 17 was the Liberator of its time. "Undetectable" even though it had large amounts of metal.-

        Quite the stupid statement. I own a 17. It isn't the "Liberator of it's time" and is far from "undetectable". Now, the rest of your post is spot-on.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'd let them keep posting the plans so long as the gun required a charge large enough to guarantee a Darwin award when fired. Losing a hand wouldn't be enough; I once had a murder case where the weapons included an artificial hand, The guy had the artificial hand because he tried throwing some sort of bomb without letting go.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      I'd let them keep posting the plans so long as the gun required a charge large enough to guarantee a Darwin award when fired.

      A bit harsh, but then there's already a bit of a 3-strikes system. Or at least a 3rd law. Every action has an equal and opposite chance to fly off the slide stop and perform a field expedient frontal lobotomy. Or various bits might rupture, splinter and limit the future prospects for doing any fine motor work. Wonder if the OK Boomers had the same fear of pesky metal workers making their own Sten guns?

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Well...

    Well, to be honest, I think this guy's a jackass. And i can't see any actual good in having blueprints for a crooked-shooting, hand-exploding gun available. But strictly from a legal standpoint...

    I do think it's true that banning a blueprint is pretty likely a violation of the first ammendment, and I do question using export regulations to ban a blueprint for a low-quality gun given the quantity of properly lethal, able to shoot straight, actual guns the US exports. Probably should have considered the Streisand effect too -- if they hadn't troubled this guy, probably very few would have even heard of the blueprint, or (given how poorly suited the materials a 3D printer can print are for a gun) even considered it a possibility.

    I'm no Trump fan, but I do also have to question the assertion that a department within the executive branch has to consult Congress (legislative branch) before making policy changes. The legislative branch can pass additional laws on the matter, and judicial take 'em to court over it (which they are; I'm just not sure they'll be successful if "you didn't consult Congress" is their only legal argument.)

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Well...

      Sure the US exports guns, but that export is strictly regulated. There's nothing incongruous about using export regulations against someone who exports guns without jumping through the hoops. That's what the regs are for.

      The questionable bit is where it characterises "posting blueprints online" as equivalent to "export". That's the bit that should probably be argued through in a court.

      The executive branch is limited in how it changes policy. It can be challenged if the changes are "arbitrary" or "capricious". There's been a lot of argument over the years about how you decide whether a change is either of those things, and there's a lot of things the court can take into account in making that decision. One thing is "did they announce the change in advance and allow for a reasonable discussion period before it took effect?" Another is "were people who made business decisions on the basis of the previous policy given adequate consideration and/or warning of the change?"

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Well...

        The questionable bit is where it characterises "posting blueprints online" as equivalent to "export"

        That was the case with publishing PGP online, solved by publishing the source as a book which couldn't be blocked, taking the book to Europe and scanning it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well...

          Why couldn't the book be blocked even with a potential charge of espionage, which can circumvent the First Amendment by invoking national security (the Rosenbergs were executed on espionage)?

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Well...

      I do also have to question the assertion that a department within the executive branch has to consult Congress (legislative branch) before making policy changes
      You mean liking declaring war? Congress has always been the only branch that can declare war legally except in an existential threat, yet numerous Presidents have, mostly with disastrous consequences.

      In a global, internet world it is is also about your nation imposing your arbitary and dubious and disrespected legal system upon the rest of the world, which is the definition of empire.

      "The Anarchist Cookbook" is a good analogy. I downloaded it in the '80s, before it had been so modified to be so dangerous to the reader, and it was still extremely dangerous to the reader.

      That is now illegal to have owned anywhere, apparently even in the UK, yet it is sold in a bastardised, honey trapped form on Amazon UK against the wishes of the writer.

      I actually learned more useful and reliable information from the 1980s "Nuclear Survival Handbook".

      And you can learn better information online today. Blueprint plastic printed guns isn't a credible or reliable thing. You can learn more from watching the coverage of the Hong Kong protests today.

    3. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Well...

      A 3D printed gun is *not* made entirely of printed plastic. The high-tstress parts such as chamber & barrel, and the firing pin, are metal. As, of course, are the bullets.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Because...

    ...more guns, that's what America needs.

  9. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    why is this debate happening in the US? the most rootin tootin gun toting country in the world?

    why they give a shit about whats effectively a toy gun , when they all have real ones?

    If the storey originated anywhere else i'd understand...

    1. FractalZ

      Those aristoracts (wannabe royalty) in the U.S. who support anti-gun laws

      "why is this debate happening in the US? the most rootin tootin gun toting country in the world?

      why they give a shit about whats effectively a toy gun , when they all have real ones?"

      -----

      Well, there are a lot of ninnies in the U.S. who think that gun control laws (which generally violate our Second Amendment rights) actually serve some wide-ranging, long-term, useful-quality-of-life-improving purpose. They do not, any more than Prohibition did.

      The most ardent proponents of outright gun bans sometimes start with laws that would make the cost of owning a firearm in the U.S. so onerous that very few people could manage to jump through all the necessary legal hoops much less afford to (legally) purchase the firearm(s), ammunition, and time to practice their shooting skills at a (legal) place to shoot. In decaying cities such as NYC, the very few people who can legally own firearms would often run afoul of laws regulating the transport of those firearms to shooting ranges where they could practice.

      Even hunters need places to shoot even if just for practice much of the time. Any attempt to ban hunting would almost certainly spell the end of the many gun control laws which are the political and social minoritys' crazed attempts to prevent ordinary people from having privately owned weapons, most especially firearms ("guns"). It is interesting to note that some of the most strident backers of gun-control laws are essentially aristocrats who would never expect those laws to apply to themselves or their bodyguards, private police forces, etc.

      Most people who own firearms may hunt on occasion, but are very likely to have them in order to able to protect themselves effectively (read: with firearms or other "equalizers"). Firearms of the sort that allow the intended victims of criminal assailants to put up a serious defense of themselves or other innocent people in the U.S. are far more common than firearms designed particularly for hunting game animals or disposing of the kind of pests that like to eat things that farmers, ranchers, and many homeowners have on their land which said pests think of as tasty food.

      There is a lot of overlap between what constitutes a good hunting, varmint control, or target rifle, pistol, or shotgun; and what constitutes a good military firearm in the same category. An AR-15 makes a wonderful deer rifle according to many people I know of who use their black rifles (now available in pink or camo! :) during deer hunting season. Firearms good for self or home defense purposes also tend to have many traits in common with those intended for police, military, hunting, and pest control purposes. Then there are the many kinds of firearms and other projectile weapons that are used in many very popular target shooting sports that people who have no interest in hunting participate in for about the same reasons many people play golf.

      If I were to suddenly go crazy and take up golf again, it might be to see if I could manage to produce custom-designed golf clubs from parts created by 3-D printing technology. But golf clubs are...clubs! Maybe golf clubs should be banned because the number of people bludgeoned to death is greater than the number of people shot to death in many cities, the last time I checked.

  10. PapaD

    The biggest problem here

    Isn't in allowing people who are allowed to own real guns the opportunity to print out a cheap shitty gun.

    The actual problem is in giving people who aren't allowed to own guns (say, ex-cons, children, etc etc) the opportunity to make themselves a shitty gun.

    And sure, the gun may be shitty and as likely to injure the person using the gun as much as anything they are shooting at - do we really want to add children injured/killed through misadventure with a shitty printed gun to the number of children injured/killed because of a regular gun being used on them in a school?

    Surely the most pro-gun advocate doesn't think children should be allowed to access guns freely and without supervision or training/education - because thats what this will get you.

    1. renniks

      Re: The biggest problem here

      I thought gun fairs are where people who aren't allowed to own guns go to buy them, as there are no background checks or so I've heard

    2. batfink Silver badge

      Re: The biggest problem here

      There are already a number of ways that people in the US can circumvent gun-purchasing rules. Having a quiet ask around at a second-hand gun show, for example. Just plain stealing one, for another.

      As much as I'm against the "more guns" idea, I do kinda understand the argument for permitting these things. Guns are already freely available in the US. As several Commentards have already pointed out, if you're handy in the DIY arena then you can probably do better by producing proper parts. These 3D-printed things are demonstrably crap. Prohibiting printing your own seems perverse in view of these.

      Perhaps pressure from the makers of "proper" guns????

      BTW I'm surprised we haven't seen Bombastic Bob wading in here. Bob - are you out there?

  11. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Obvious reason.

    The cops have better things to do with their time than play whack-a-mole with the likes of GuNM4k3R6974 and his/her/its ilk.

  12. Marty McFly
    Alert

    Where does it stop?

    So they want to ban electronic schematics for using a 3D printer to make a poorly functioning firearm. What about blueprints and machine shop schematics to make an actually useful firearm? Are they banned to?

    What about a Ford Pinto? Everyone knows that car is a deathtrap from the 1970's! I have an assembly manual on how it is put together. Since that car is so deadly, is the assembly manual banned as well?

    How far does it go? Government control of information is a slippery slope.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where does it stop?

      The Pinto is arguable since most of its problems were down to one thing...which can actually be retrofitted to make it safe. It's just that one problem stigmatized the entire brand name.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Things you shouldn't do

    Try and make gunpowder. Someone over here tried that, got in a lot of trouble even though it didn't work very well.

    Its not even clear if they intended to use it for mischief, as it was for "Curiosity" purposes.

    Incidentally, milling machines don't need a license at least not yet.

  14. Swampie

    Article ( to include first photo) does an injustice to journalism, the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, programmers and coders in general, and of course the actual issues on hand.

    Coding is speech; and as such, then publishing a line of code is an exercise in Free Speech ( just as publishing this electro fish wrapper called the Reg). You don't need to bow and scrape to any level of government in order to Buy a Stamp Tax to publish your code. The 3D printer file which produces the Liberator piece is considered Free Speech. If you have a government official pass judgement over the block of text which is the code, then where do you stop when a government official wants to "Judge" the html code for The Reg? So, yeah, while the US Govt could Not enforce the ban against the code as code; what they originally did was to say that having it open on the WWW was defacto exporting the drawings/ diagrams of a weapon to the World + Dog... and as such was exporting arms. ( Keep in mind that software/ electro gizmos, words/ plans/ maps and other printed material and software items can be considered "weapons " and subject to Arms control laws...) ( Look up the battle about Crypto algorithms.).

    The 2nd issue is that whether you not you like it ( and for opinions originating in bloody old England, we American's don't really care about your opinions...); America not only has the 2nd Amendment, but a whole govt dept tasked with defining what is and is Not a "GUN"; and how to control it/ them. So, both a home built firearm is legal; as is buying gun pieces/ parts and assembling a firearm... ( both a 3D printed gun and making an 80% lower into a functional gun receiver, and then bolting on what ever more parts you need... all legal ( and done often!).

    Finally, the photo on the first part of the article ( and many parts of the rest of the article ) talk past or show false facts/ ideas... No, you won't be printing out a fully functional AK-47 in plastic filament on a Maker Bot... and no, you still can't print out bullets on an XYZ De Vinci Mini... bad journalism... ( don't get me started on when ever an article talks about bitcoin, they show a little pile of coins, like fake pirate treasure Doubloons! ( PS: I would rather have 1 bitcoin, than a 1 oz gold coin!).

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "Coding is speech; and as such, then publishing a line of code is an exercise in Free Speech"

      But not all speech is protected, particularly if rights clash (the Schenck decision, aka "Fire in a Crowded Theater").

  15. genmayhem

    Not brave enough to print a gun yet but the menendez magazine is awsome.

    ---

    A cop pulls over an old lady for speeding on a Texas highway. He asks for her driver’s license and registration. When she opens her wallet, he notices a conceal-carry permit.

    He asks, “Ma’am, do you have a weapon in your possession at this time?”

    She responds that she has a .38 Special in her purse. And a .45 in her glove box. And a 9mm Glock in the center console. And a shotgun in the trunk.

    “Jesus, lady,” says the cop. “What are you so afraid of?”

    The old lady looks him in the eye and says, “Not a f****g thing.”

    1. codejunky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @genmayhem

      dunno who would downvote you for that. That story always makes me smile

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