BREAKING: UK Mail on Sunday Prints Liberator, Takes it to Paris on Eurostar

Liberator pistol on Eurostar from UK to France (courtesy dailymail.co.uk)

Cody Wilson’s 3D-printed Liberator alive and well in the Land of Hope and Glory. In fact, an enterprising reporter for the UK’s Mail on Sunday has taken it walkies. Simon Murphy printed out the plastic pistol and schlepped it on a Eurostar journey from London to Paris during rush hour. Seems no one was in a rush to remove the [unfired] single-shot  firearm from his grip. Murphy and his mate disassembled the gun for its journey. Neither the UK’s Old Bill nor les flics noticed anything untoward. Murphy reassembled the firearm on board and his pal snapped the historic pics. So, what does all this mean? According to various authorities: human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! More specifically . . .

Last night, security experts and politicians said they were horrified at the implications of our investigation. Lord West, the former Labour security Minister, called for a review to see how the ‘extremely dangerous’ weapons could be better detected.

But he said he was ‘not surprised’ that Eurostar checks had failed to spot the weapon because they were so hard to detect. He said: ‘What we need is a review of how we can look at these things and how we can discover them more easily. That will take work and it will cost money.

‘These weapons are extremely dangerous because they are very difficult to detect with the methods we normally use. This is going to be a real problem, no doubt about it. People are going to have to rethink whether we need more checks.’

A Eurostar spokeswoman said last night: ‘Eurostar has a high level of security, with a number of checks  as specified by the authorities in order to protect the integrity of the Channel Tunnel. We take any issue relating to security very seriously. We will be investigating immediately to fully understand the nature of this issue with our security partner which carries out checks on our behalf at St Pancras. We will also investigate the matter with the Department for Transport, who oversee our security operation, and specify the checks that need to be undertaken.’

Looks like the Liberator hasn’t liberated any thinking in the security sector. Just more of the same, really.

As for Cody Wilson’s idea that a 3D printed pistol will undermine and eventually destroy the UK’s or France’s or the world’s gun control regimes, as the Brits would say, pull the other one it’s got bells on it.

Or not.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

64 Responses to BREAKING: UK Mail on Sunday Prints Liberator, Takes it to Paris on Eurostar

  1. avatarDavidT says:

    As has been said before: gun control laws just became irrelevant. They made an excellent choice on caliber as well, since many countries prohibit private possession of military or police caliber weapons. The .380 is legal in almost all of those countries and therefore ammo will be easier to come by.

    • avatarJSF01 says:

      I disagree, this has changed nothing. There is not a single thing new that this pistol has brought to the table compared to before as far as security goes. You could make a single shot zip gun out of wood just as easily and it would pose the exact same security risk as the liberator. The only thing that has changed is the technology used to make the liberator is new which is why it got any attention in the first place. Of course since the anti’s live in a bubble the little bit of attention is just burting that bubble.

      • avatarChance says:

        Exactly. This thing is a plastic zip gun. YouTube has plenty of videos showing how to make a zip gun with a few pieces of pipe. No one has yet to make a convincing case to me that this 3D printed contraption is anymore dangerous than what people can already cheaply, easily and discreetly make in their homes now.

      • avatarPascal says:

        You are talking about physical (the gun). The change it has made is perception (mental).

        We will either see a doubling down on gun control, or we will finally have a real conversation that the laws we have are useless to stop anything.

        • avatarDon says:

          +1

          He’s shaken the illusion of security that so many people enjoy and so many politician’s depend on taking credit for.

          In the scrambling that follows will be a debate, and in that debate the world will be forced to see and acknowledge all of the millions of ways people can and do make their own guns.

          He’s waged a guerrilla war in the intellectual and emotional domains of the mind.

        • avatarWilliam Burke says:

          I am discovering, literally hour by hour, that some people just plain just don’t get it.

      • avatarTom in Oregon says:

        IMHO, it changes a lot. Open your mind a bit. Yes, there are a lot of us who can go to our garage or the hardware store and fairly quickly make a zip gun. But a guy,or gal who thinks in code, doesn’t understand where his/her food comes from, has no idea how to check the oil in his/her car, cannot think on this plain.
        It’s right up there with a tech guy trying to explain torrents or BitTorrent to me. I have no clue and I’m ok with being clueless.
        This guy probably blew a load in his pants when this thing was “printing”. People all over the planet are thinking up ways on how to burglarize a business and feed the instructions to cause a printer to make a gun so they can caress it and think of freedom.

        • avataranon-the_mouse says:

          As a student going for compsci and physics dbl major, who has changed oil in his truck and has pet chickens I feel somewhat miffed by your statements. At any rate I personally would rather have a milling machine and lathe (not necessary cnc) and build good stuff than this liberator. (admittedly I am not the most mechanically inclined though) at any rate the liberty aspects are interesting, but meh I’d rather have metal working tools. Oh and on a machine note this rifler is awesome http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_yemjfgkE0

          that is all

      • avatarVaqueroJustice says:

        Actually, this has changed something, or it will soon.
        Very soon, the average person will be able to
        manufacture, in their own homes, a weapon that
        will pass through metal detectors.

        Who is protected, by and large, by metal detectors ?

        And that is why those who rule us are in such a tizzy,
        while we are debating weather this is a big deal or not.

        • avatarLandbarger says:

          You’re arguing exactly the wrong point. This is what protectionists WANT you to think. In reality the “average person” can much more easily (and cheaply) get their hands on the materials and tools to make the same gun (or nearly infinite similar models) than they can buy into a 3D printer to print one.

    • avatarOld Ben turning in grave says:

      “The .380 is legal in almost all of those countries…”

      Not for long, I’m guessing.

  2. avatarJohn D says:

    It means some Limey bloke feels “empowered” whilst holding his illegal plastic gun on a tram ride, (you can see it in his eyes) in demonstration of the ease with which he does so, while ignoring the fact that numerous squids all about him are likely armed with real steel.
    It means there will be wringing of hands and soiling of pantaloons.

    It means, now that they can freely print their own, next time Britain is in trouble, we’ll have no need to lend them arms.

  3. avatarHidden Hills says:

    And obviously, the Liberator in question was not deployed to its full extent or intent. No photos of French gendarmes in surrender.

    • avatarjw says:

      That would be ironic. The French take security (of common people) more seriously than the Brits. Security in the Eurostar Station and in the Paris Metro is comprised of a three man team of Military regulars packing SMGs. The only place you see armed security in London is in front of Buckingham Palace and White Hall.

      • avatarJonathan miller says:

        I know both London and Paris well and have travelled on Eurostar dozens of times. I would dispute that French security better than UK. Both are pretty feeble.

  4. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Mr Ed has left the barn, too bad Wiiilber. Like was said, when the plastic/composite gets stronger it will be a viable weapon. Right now its everything the grabbers feared about the first “undetectable” Glock. Carbon/carbon or synthetic ruby firing pin anyone,lol, Randy

  5. avatarGreg Camp says:

    Finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire. Still, this illustrates the fundamental flaw in security theater–it’s not what you’re looking for that’s the problem.

    • avatarLabman says:

      There you go, Greg. The definitive word being “intent”. The big problem with that being we can’t read minds. I guess that’s one of the reasons we have CCW. Some say we who “carry” are paranoid. I would say that because we pack a gat, we tend to have more situational awareness…and the means to counter a threat like this.

  6. avatarDoug says:

    Everyone get ready for more invasive security checks, strip searches, full body scans, etc.

    The old ways don’t work, but since that is all we know, the result will be making them more and more draconian. After the shoe bomber everyone had to start removing shoes. How idiotic is that? From the TSA’s perspective, they would probably respond with “well, having people remove shoes has prevented another shoe bomber!”

    The new polices to deal with printed guns will be reactive and will start as soon as some dude gets caught on a plane with one of these. Say goodbye to carry-on luggage and hello to massive amounts of radiation going through full body scanners each time you go through a security checkpoint.

    • avatarWilliam Burke says:

      “as soon as some dude gets caught on a plane with one of these. ”

      Don’t you worry. They will be providing the incident and perp straightaway.

  7. avatarKevin T says:

    No bullet though. Would that have cleared security?

    • avatarLabman says:

      Depends on how sensitive the scanner is set. I saw the capability of a scanner when I set off a scanner in the Minneapolis airport a few years ago. My pockets were empty or so I thought, belt was off, still set it off. The guy wands me and points to my pants pocket, so I dug around in it and came up with a piece of balled up gum wrapper foil. Maybe this combined with the metal zipper on my pants were enough metal to set it off? After removing the foil, I went through without setting it off. Pretty sensitive.

    • avatarPascal says:

      YMMV, I have on several occasions accidentally walked through security and made it to/from my destination with a Swiss Army Knife and no bells went off. In another case, I made it to my destination, but got caught on the way home. I was able to mail it back to myself however.

      • avatarRobert Farago says:

        I flew from the US to the UK with a single .22 cartridge in my carry-on (inadvertently). The UK scanner picked it up on the way back. That was fun.

  8. avatarShire-man says:

    He carried a plastic tube. Oh noes!
    Missing a key component.
    Besides, I seem to recall reports of more than one actual metal gun slipping through TSA loaded and ready to go ovee the past few years. Funny how thats not a big deal but a single shot tube with no ammo means the sky is falling.

  9. avatarShadforth Jones says:

    Seriously who gives a flying proverbial about some dopey hipster deciding to break his countries law? He could have arrived in Paris gone to a hardware store brought two bits of pipe and a screw and make a home made pipe/shot gun in 5 mins. Being it was France he was lucky he didn’t have half their armed services surrendering him to him when he got there. It was lucky he didn’t sharpen the end of a plastic spoon to a point just for kicks, he would have been able to do more damage with that than his block of plastic with no ammunition.

  10. avatarSC Jeff says:

    I like the Ghostbusters reference. :)

  11. avatarST says:

    Gun control laws are a symptom of liberal culture,not the other way round.They’ll just ban 3D printers and criminalize possession of the blueprints along with the end product.

    In any instance, I fail to see how this Liberator revolutionizes anything.Why bother making a plastic gun when plenty of the real weapons can be bought on the black market in every gun contol zone on the planet?

    • avatarLabman says:

      I think the Cody’s real intent was to prove a point…it can be done. I believe there are already proposals to have background checks on folks who buy the equipment or blocks of plastic or propellants…er…explosives. BTW how much fertilizer did you buy today? Lanza figured out how to avoid the background check and murdered 26 people…to steal a phrase…just sayin’

    • avatarjw says:

      I think the reason is simply because it allows anyone to make a gun with the click of a mouse. As the tech gets better, so will the types of arms that can be made.

  12. avatarMatt in FL says:

    The flip side is that it’s single shot. So as scary as the security apparatus wants to make it sound, no serious criminal is going to muck about with this thing, for the same reason they don’t mess with derringers.

  13. avatarThe Original Brad says:

    His finger on the trigger illustrates a big issue I have noted in my travels. People not trained in firearms or have only limited exposure (Hollywood movies) do not understand gun safety. As this technology progresses, well likely see an uptick in ND’s as the Brits, Euros, Chinese, whoever, who’ve been without access to them start experimenting.

    The next iteration of the Liberator will have some sort of barrel sleeve. Just a harmless steel tube you can order in the mail. Print your gun, order your barrel sleeve, drop it in when it arrives, now guess what….it’s not such a joke anymore.

  14. avatarAnonymous says:

    Didn’t he commit a major crime by manufacturing and possessing an unlicensed handgun in the UK?

    • avatar_DonWorsham_ says:

      Civil disobedience.

    • avatarGS650G says:

      And that is the whole point. It’s not that you can buy a cheap gun or make one from pipe easier, it’s the fact a firearm was downloaded from the net, printed in 3D, and created. Next versions will get better and use the same distribution method. You don’t buy conspicuous parts that tip off what you are doing, it’s made from material that could just as easily made a bobble head doll.

      5 years from now there will be lots of variations on the theme. Imagine a revolving model with 6 barrels.

    • avatarSouthern Cross says:

      In the UK, many illegal handguns are deactivated firearms that have been repaired, or even modified toy guns. The latter are common in South Africa.

  15. avatarWLCE says:

    great

    the egos and “brilliance” of the powers to be have been spat upon by such a innovative devise.

    they will stomp their boots harder and dream up new ways to restrict.

    havent you guys figured out that they masturbate to the problem/solution mechanism?

    “That punk pulled a liberator on me, you know what that is? It’s a plastic gun that can be made anywhere. It doesn’t show up on your airport metal detectors and its printing press probably costs more than what you make in a year.”

  16. avatarDerryM says:

    So the “unintended consequences” of Cody Wilson’s printed plastic gun projects are starting to spill out of the closet. Now, that politicians and security people on both sides of the Atlantic are all worked-up about this, the legacy of the “Liberator” may be that it only shot lawful gun ownership in the foot. Nice!

    • avatarLabman says:

      Yeah, it’s that pesky “Law of Unintended Consequences” knocking on our door again.

    • avatarEPThorn says:

      and it may drastically increase the amount of intrusiveness in the name of ‘plastic gun security.’

  17. avatardefensor fortissimo says:

    Yet one more paralel to the Glock scares 20 years ago. The difference being where the glock was actually able to back up said threat by being effective, if not invisible, this might well be invisible but far from effective.

  18. avatarready,fire,aim says:

    time to become a TSA employee…….strip searches for everyone….even you my lovely lady…

  19. avatarHuman Being says:

    He said: ‘What we need is a review of how we can look at these things and how we can discover them more easily. That will take work and it will cost money.

    ‘These weapons are extremely dangerous because they are very difficult to detect with the methods we normally use. This is going to be a real problem, no doubt about it. People are going to have to rethink whether we need more checks.’

    I think I read that last word differently than he meant it. To wit: Oh dear me! Are you upset? Why that’s wonderful! I shall need even more departmental funding to palliate your fears – and we really should talk about vacation and sick-leave packages for our so-stressed personnel.

    No one asked, nor tested, if the existing security apparatus could detect a .380 round.

  20. avatarIllumFiati says:

    It’s merely the vehicle by which the gun is manufactured that is the only difference. Plastics have been around a long time and so have lathes and milling machines, but it still takes skill to use them. The 3D printers take much less effort, like many things these days.

  21. avatarjwm says:

    I guess having an illegal pistol in London and Paris is like having an illegal 30 round mag in DC. You get a pass as long as you’re toeing the banners line.

  22. avatarLucubration says:

    “These weapons are extremely dangerous because they are very difficult to detect with the methods we normally use. This is going to be a real problem, no doubt about it. People are going to have to rethink whether we need more checks.”

    Metal detectors insufficient? Full strip and cavity search for every passenger. That’ll keep ‘em “safe”.

    • avatarjwm says:

      You get a hospital gown before you enter security and wear it and flip flops till you pass out of security at the other end of the flight. It’ll make us all safer.

  23. avatarRuss Bixby says:

    The Clone Wars have begun.

  24. avatarRalph says:

    This means that security personnel, like our beloved TSA, will have to stop feeling up 65 year old Scandinavian nuns and focus on actual bad guys. Oh the humanity!

  25. avatarإبليس says:

    There’s nothing left to liberate in the UK. Her people are just bored post-modern consumers with no unifying goal or vision.

  26. avatarSteve says:

    So… in one breath it is both “A stupid useless design”, a “dangerous weapon for the user because it can blow up in their hand” and “one of the most dangerous inventions in decades”

    They really can’t choose a side to stand on so they’re just grabbing them on. They really don’t like it.

  27. avatarEagleScout87 says:

    You’re missing the forest for the trees… this is the equivalent of the fire lance from 13th century china. As printer technology and polymer technology evolve, so too will this. 3D printing technology doesn’t just have gun control advocates crapping themselves, the manufacturing industry at large is crapping themselves.

    • avatarjw says:

      Exactly! The real revolution here is that printing tech is a democratization of weapons manufacturing. Look at the early Gatling guns and how they spawned development and competition with the now whose-who of firearms- John Moses Browning and Hiram Maxim. Given how fast the computer age has come in 20 years (Floppy Drives?) imagine how this will allow for rapid prototyping of novel weapon systems.

      I would summarize this revolution as: protecting gun rights is only a mouse click away.

    • avatarNazgul says:

      EagleScout87, you are correct. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, the device may actually be improved by others. A lot of the geriatric gun owners (whether they are old in their thinking or chronological age) don’t realize this is a game changer. Many claim that they can go to the hardware store and make zip guns. However, this is risky since a poorly designed/manufactured firearm can actually turn into a bomb. The designer of the liberator has already taken the risks and tested the weapon. Now anyone without firearms knowledge or mechanical ability can make a Liberator. This disposable weapon should not be downplayed as just another zip gun.

    • avatarLars says:

      Not really, the tech is already there and advancing for most manufacturers, to their benefit.
      I use to work for one of the big American auto companies and I went around to the manufactures we got our parts from and to ones we were thinking of contracting parts from to monitor their production and management performance. Any company that didn’t have the new manufacturing tech, in our case that was certain laser/robotic welders, cnc machinery similar but more advanced to 3d printers which can manufacture any number of specific parts using laser cutting tech, and advanced paint lines, were not even considered to be contracted although we still monitored them just for shorter periods as only the auto company knew the final prerequisites. But those companies that know the game already are all investing in new tech. CNC tech is way ahead of 3d printer tech and is much more relevant to industry than 3d printing will ever be.
      The big biz guys are way ahead of you EagleScout87.

  28. avatarLars says:

    Being there is no ammo in the UK what does it matter?

  29. avatarWill says:

    Once again… the press gets a free pass to violate the local gun bans and restrictions. If it were anybody else, I’m sure charges would have been pressed as quick as humanly possible.

  30. avatarBenjamin Dover says:

    And who cares, most people carry guns for self defense. did he go on a shooting spree with his plastic gun that only sometimes fires 1 bullet and only holds 1 bullet. We’re not scared of freedom. Gun laws just allow the criminals to carry guns.

  31. avatarBenjamin Dover says:

    These people don’t care about the guns really they care about people being able to print the things they need. That’s what they want to stop.

  32. avatarThomas Heiss says:

    Where is Holly Mclaine from “Die Hard”?

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