How 3D Printing Is Making Government Firearms Regulations (Nearly) Meaningless

Posted on Jan 20 2013 - 9:54pm by Harrison

I live in Kalifornia and, as such, it is illegal for me to possess a firearm magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition because I am but a mere citizen.  Across the border, in Nevada and Arizona, there are no such restrictions.  I abide by the law because, well, it’s the law.  But there are many people who don’t follow the rules and they cross the border and buy what is denied to them by Liberals in Kalifornia.

But Liberals are working very determinedly to once again outlaw the 11+ round magazine.  The have even labelled it something nefarious:

High Capacity Magazine

Let’s examine this term for a moment.  If the standard magazine holds 15 rounds wouldn’t a Kalfiornia-legal 10 rounder be a “restricted magazine” and a 20 rounder be an “extended magazine?”

You get the idea… it is just a silly, made-up Liberal term (like assault weapon).

While I doubt a Federal ban on 11+ round magazines will go through, on the State level it’s already happening.

But what if somebody could go on the Internet and, by clicking onto a few links, print out their own magazine which they could easily assemble?

3D printed magazine.

3D printed magazine.

Sound like science fiction?

It’s not:

That homemade chunk of curved plastic holds special significance: Between 1994 and 2004, so-called “high capacity magazines” capable of holding more than 10 bullets were banned from sale. And a new gun control bill proposed by California Senator Diane Feinstein would ban those larger ammo clips again. President Obama has also voiced support for the magazine restrictions.

But Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson says he hopes the group’s recent work demonstrates the futility of that proposed ban in the age of cheap 3D printing.

3D printers aren’t cheap right now (neither were plasma and LCD televisions when they first came out) but it’s only a matter of time until anybody can afford such a piece of hardware.  And with plans readily available on the Internet, anybody with a little computer skill can make one of these magazines.

In the relationship between the Citizen and the Government, a 3D printer capable of these things takes away a lot of the thunder politicians have trying to outlaw things.  After all, if Widgets are outlawed but anybody can make one is there any point in banning them to begin with?

That is the point of this exercise, not to necessarily encourage anybody to break the law and go to jail.

There are plans underway to print a firearm using this technology but, as yet, the plastic cracks after 4-6 shots.

If you remember the 1993 Clint Eastwood movie, In the Line of Fire, the villain (played by John Malkovich) made his gun out of ceramics (a lot like what a 3D printer would do):

1 2

 Probably within a year or so, functioning, durable weapons like this will be possible.  Without ATF approval, building such a firearm would be highly illegal and would result in serious fines and jail time, but many people won’t care.

When anybody can print out a gun then what use will more gun laws be?  Criminals won’t follow them… only law abiding citizens will.

Our genius Vice President who is heading up the “committee” on firearms said we need more gun laws because we can’t enforce the ones we’ve already got:

Jim Baker, the NRA representative present at the meeting, recalled the vice president’s words during an interview with The Daily Caller: “And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.” …

I wish I could have a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds… not because I plan on shooting up a place (I don’t need a 20 round magazine to do that) but because it’s a pain to have to buy (and reload) multiple 10 round mags when I go to the range.

3D printers are going to cause the Government a whole bunch of heartburn until they realize that you can’t legislate behavior.

2 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. LD Jackson January 21, 2013 at 2:59 AM -

    You expect the government to finally understand that behavior can not be legislated? Sorry, but you are in for a very long wait. I don’t see a chance of that happening. Even conservatives have trouble figuring it out, so I don’t think liberals will ever get it done.
    LD Jackson recently posted..Guns Across America Rallies Support For 2nd Amendment

  2. Steve Dennis January 21, 2013 at 2:44 PM -

    I just heard about these printers last week and apparently they were a pretty big hit at the tech show last week. Just like all technology the price will come down over time and you are right, people will simply be able to create what the government doesn’t want us to have. I guess the government will be regulating these printers once they become mainstream.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Barack Obama to turn Obama for America into a non-profit tax exempt organization