State Department forces takedown of 3D gun blueprints

Less than a week ago, the world was abuzz about the release of a fully printable firearm. The topic was divisive, and even our own readers were split on whether this was an amazing breakthrough or a harbinger of future disaster. The files were posted online a couple of days later, allowing anyone with a 3D printer the ability to print their very own gun.

Today, Forbes reports that the United States Department of State has demanded the takedown of the blueprints for “the Liberator,” the name given to the printed firearm. The reason given for the takedown is that the files may be in violation of arms export control laws, specifically the International Traffic in Arms Regulation, due to the fact that the files are available for download by foreign countries. For their part, Defense Distributed has agreed to take the files down, although they made clear that it won’t stop the proliferation of the files since they’re now available on sites like Mega and the Pirate Bay.

It sounds like Cody Wilson, the man behind Defense Distributed and the person responsible for “the Liberator” fully expected this outcome. He’s trying to prove that information, once released, is available everywhere. 

“This is the conversation I want. Is this a workable regulatory regime? Can there be defense trade control in the era of the Internet and 3D printing?”

It will be interesting to see whether the takedown notice will have any impact on the spread of the blueprints, or if it will only serve to bring more attention to the situation and convince people to download them from other sources. Regardless, Wilson is right about one thing: These are definitely conversations we need to start having as 3D printers become more and more common.

Source: Forbes | Image via Fobres

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32 Comments

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Guns don't kill people people do.
There has been no objection to the multiple step-by-step guides on creating lethal weapons on the internet (bows, crossbows, freaking tazer swords) before why start at guns?
As others have mentioned the hard part about a gun isn't the tube with firing pin bit it's the gunpowder and bullets.

Besides it's out there now, a few hundred thousand people got the blueprints and we all know how internet whack-a-mole goes.

Colicab said,
The whole idea is just plain stupid. Cody your an idiot and if you cant see why i pity you.

I wonder which country will ship the most weapons and ammunition this year?? Something that makes printing with a 3D printer a little... misleading...
And I also can think of far bigger Idiots!

Media-driven FUD. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just buy a gun on a street corner instead of spending thousands on a 3D printer?

Anyway, the genie is out of the bottle with these blueprints. Hell, let everyone who wants a gun have one so they can kill each other off and leave the rest of us alone.

Yeah let's all go to france and buy guns where they're illegal.
Or alternatively, buy a 3D printer and make one.
...
Get why now?

COKid said,
Media-driven FUD. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just buy a gun on a street corner instead of spending thousands on a 3D printer?

Small 3d printers are 600 bucks new.. plus every major city has a club/school/make facility with cheap access to one..

n_K said,
Yeah let's all go to france and buy guns where they're illegal.
Or alternatively, buy a 3D printer and make one.
...
Get why now?

And if it is illegal where would you buy the bullets? A printer, a 3D one, cannot create them.

Ok so I need a gun and bullets to commit a crime. Ive got the plastic gun, so thats me 50% there. Which is much better than being 0% there or being stuck using a knife....

You can commit a crime with just a empty gun. Its basically treated the same as a loaded gun, their is no way of knowing if its loaded until its all over. You can hold some one a gun point with a plastic gun, rob a store, etc. If you aim that plastic gun at a cop they will shoot you.

The takedown has already increased the spread, seen numerous threads and discussion on 4Chan spreading the blueprints and printer instructions, embedded in a picture.

What's the big deal? People that needed it, could create their own guns for centuries now. Also modify already existing ones, to be undetected.

Pupik said,
What's the big deal? People that needed it, could create their own guns for centuries now. Also modify already existing ones, to be undetected.

As far as I know, you cannot legally modify a gun in the US unless you are licensed for it. Could be a state law...but I am a little fuzzy on the subject. Im sure there is someone out there that can correct me

techbeck said,

As far as I know, you cannot legally modify a gun in the US unless you are licensed for it. Could be a state law...but I am a little fuzzy on the subject. Im sure there is someone out there that can correct me

I wasn't talking about the legality of this, at all. People that modify and create their own weapons, aren't exactly doing that to hunt ducks.

techbeck said,

As far as I know, you cannot legally modify a gun in the US unless you are licensed for it. Could be a state law...but I am a little fuzzy on the subject. Im sure there is someone out there that can correct me


It depends by what you mean with "modify". You can for example " customize" it changing, for example, the pressure you need to exercise on the trigger to fire; on the other hand it is illegal to replace the standard magazine of a pistol with one with greater capacity.

Fritzly said,

Please enlighten me: what Obama has to do with this?

Keep your pants on. It's a joke and a meme

These guys didn't even think of the security aspects, an undetactable plastic gun probably has those Al q guys salivating.

efjay said,
These guys didn't even think of the security aspects, an undetactable plastic gun probably has those Al q guys salivating.

The only novelty is that is made by a printer; the fact that is made of plastic is not new. Besides, yes plastic guns are up to a certain point harder to detect but bullets arestill made of metal and contain black powder which leave easily to detect residues.