Wikipedia gives a little perspective on “homemade firearms” that’s sorely missing from msnbc’s report on 3D printed guns. “Author Harlan Ellison describes the zip guns used by gangs in 1950s New York City as being made from tubing used in coffee percolators or automobile radio antennas, strapped to a block of wood to serve as a handle. A rubber band provides the power for the firing pin, which is pulled back and released to fire.” Which is pretty far away from the “assault rifle” shown as a bearded New York Times egghead (complete with hipster glasses) assures viewers that yes, Virginia . . .

there is a threat of BLOOD IN THE STREETS! Hence we must ban 3D printed guns – for the children! Devil-tempted unsuspecting urchins who might be mesmerized into making a plasma rifle for their HALO games. Or who might be on the receiving end of a gang banger’s single-shot “Liberator” pistol. 

And so lawmakers and police are racing – racing I tell you! – to put an end to Americans’ freedom to use a 3D printer to build stuff in the privacy of their own homes. And after the ATF sorts that out (with a little help from the California legislature) they can work on building support for a law that will require a permit for home-brewed beer. After all, people might brew their own beer, get drunk, get into their cars and kill people! 

The msnbc report ends with a warning about 3D-printed guns’ undetectability, a concern that echoes the hysterical hand-wringing that greeted the arrival of the “all-plastic” GLOCK. Terrorists can evade detection with 3D printed guns and kill people! Which begs the question: what about box cutters?

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63 Responses to OMG! 3D Printed Guns! OMG!

  1. Every law, before passage, should have to list what problem it is trying to solve and how the passage of the law will solve that problem.

    • I see your common sense statement and raise you by requiring that any legislation and or rule making that impacts any enumerated right undergo a thorough constitutional evaluation before being voted on as well as prior to being signed by an independent 3rd party. Said third party would not be able to review more than 1.

      • I raise you again by having the evaluation be performed by people who actually understand and defend the constitution. Obama was a constitutional scholar, and he wouldn’t qualify. Hell, a lot of SCOTUS wouldn’t qualify – they passed Obamacare.

        • I raise you by mandating that all candidates for any and every political office be asked 100 standard questions while being scanned by a functional MRI, a.k.a. the infallible lie detecter, so we all get to know their true intentions and thoughts.

    • I will do one better. Every law should have to produce a report on a yearly basis that proves the efficacy of that law in doing what is intended.

      However, I will resign to the fact that most laws that are passed are done so based on a political calculus. If this law passes, how many votes will I get? What can I put in my political newsletter or website? Given that motivation, neither my idea nor yours will ever come to be.

        • If all laws, even those against murder, sunseted every decade or so, Congress would be kept too busy focusing on renewing important laws to become bored or restless.

    • My solution is that it should take a 60% majority to pass a law but only a 50% +1 majority to repeal a law, and any law passed sunsets after 25 years. Sure, they’d have to waste a few minutes every 25 years reissuing the prohibition on murder, etc. but anything that couldn’t sustain 60% support would disappear.

      • Them spending a few minutes every 25 years re-banning murder and such would not be time wasted. It’d be time they wouldn’t spend finding more things to tax, regulate and ban.

        All laws should have sunset provisions. There’s really no down side. I’d love to see a Constitutional amendment.

        • I had this idea a long time ago. In order for a law to be made permanent, it must be passed with the same level as a constitutional amendment, 2/3 of the vote. It must also be specifically signed by the executive branch to which it applies, president, governor, or mayor depending. If the law does not pass with a 2/3 vote, or is chaptered without executive signature, then it has an automatic sunset.

          All sunsetting laws must be brought up at the end of their life to be voted on again.

          This solves the problems of having to revisit the most common and universally accepted laws.

    • Screw all that, instead of passing more laws, they should be enforcing what’s already on the books and repealing as many as possible. Never going to happen though, because laws are all about control of the unwashed masses.

    • “Every law, before passage, should have to list what problem it is trying to solve and how the passage of the law will solve that problem.”

      It wouldn’t make any difference; these progressive socialist political elitists are either deliberately distorting truth to achieve their own agenda regardless of facts, or they are of the utopian varieties that live in their own fantasy world where realism is little more than their next wet dream. In either case, their prime motive is to make noise like they’re doing something socially useful regardless of whether it is effective, and garner media name recognition for more votes.

      Any problem “list” or “resolution” would be “make it up as you go” fantasy and platitude, nothing more. The only true solution is to vote these arrogant politicians out.

      • Yep, in CO what they do is some crap at the end of the bill that says something like they certify the bill is needed for the public good blah blah blah. It’s all boilerplate and really doesn’t mean anything useful.

    • One better – a mandatory sunset date on all legislation. This would require congress to review and re-enact any important legislation while clearing the books of legislative debris.

    • “Every law, before passage, should have to list what problem it is trying to solve and how the passage of the law will solve that problem.”

      You left out how enforcement will be funded.

    • 800 number plus $25,000 reward for information that leads to the prosecution and conviction of someone you are reporting. I assure you there would be plenty of takers. There are people who try to pass laws today limiting the color you can paint your house or how tall you lawn can be, there will be plenty of people who are will to rat someone out for a motivational $25K.

      In a true story, a neighbor down the street tried to have a law pass on the colors that someone can use to paint the exterior of their house. It was directed towards a neighbor who jokingly said he was going to paint it purple and orange. The neighbor with the complaint took it to the town council, when he lost the neighbor he was directing this toward did indeed paint his house purple with orange trim just to piss him off. There is always someone!

      • That is quite common in homeowner association covenants. Read the @#$%@& contract before you sign, people…

        Homeowner association Nazis.

        I Hate homeowner association Nazis.

    • You go full 1984 on them. Install monitoring systems throughout their government issued homes, turn their friends, neighbors, even their own children into spies and snitches, and if anybody breaks compliance, send the to MiniLove to be, “reconditioned”. Remember, it’s all in the name of national security, protecting the children, and making everybody feel safe.

  2. Speaking as an armed homebrewer, there WILL be blood in the streets if they try to take my beer.

    Or my guns.

    • Speaking as homebuilder of firearms there would be blood if they thought about taking that right away. Illegaller er er gun laws yay for billionaire funded media!

      • I’d like to expand into firearms and whiskey. Unfortunately the whiskey is a big no-no with our maternal overlords.

        • I was referring to the Nanny State. My wife would be fine with me making whiskey as long as I shared it with here. The federal government on the other hand thinks it would be a valid reason to put me in a maximum security federal prison for 7 years.

  3. These are the kind of people who would ban power tools. “Gasp… you mean ORDINARY people can make their own furniture? Cabinets too!? Why, there should be a law!” God forbid they should ever discover what’s possible with just some old fashioned whittling.

  4. So, the antigun talking head, the one on the right, that is, states that thankfully no one has used a 3D printed gun yet. he says this because no one has committed a crime with one yet.
    He’s wrong. plenty of people have used one. You can use a gun without committing a crime.

  5. Scary! Scary! Scary!

    Actual quotes include:

    “It’s getting pretty scary out there!”

    “Scary stuff!”

    “Technology is wonderful but it can be a little scary some times!”

    “Lot’s of kids have 3D printers now”

    “If someone could sneak one of these onto a plane” – yeah, and then what, what will you do with a crappy, single shot, in accurate pistol? You aren’t crashing the plane with it.

    Wow – the BS is so deep – for someone who “wrote about it 18 months ago”, he doesn’t seem to have learned a lot about the subject.

    I love how the accompanying graphics are almost all ARs and 1911s – including a very scary close up of an A2 flash hider. Maybe 10 seconds showing the 3D liberator.

    The second undercurrent: We need to “race” to come up with laws for this – no aspect of your life can be free from regulation, that’s just crazy. We need smart people to make laws for every circumstance and situation.

    And people will think this is “news” and actual “information” or “facts” and reinforce their already whacked beliefs as a result…

  6. Because obviously there are NO illegal guns in CA so the rich drug cartels only way of getting guns is to buy $20,000 3D printers and make single shot wildly inaccurate guns for doing all their drive-by shootings on schools and nurseries…..

    • ^Yes!^ I truly laughed aloud at this.

      While your logic seems perfect to me, I think we are forgetting the single most important thing, which seemingly trumps all of our facts & logic: the feelings of the anti’s. After all, don’t their feelings count for more than our rights? /end sarc

      • The price of good 3D printers will drop. You can already get hobby models under $1000 which is pretty reachable if you really want it and I just noticed the other day they are available at the local computer store (Micro Center). In 10 years they’ll probably be a lot less expensive and more readily available.

        I think the big question though is when will the 3D printers that can do metal be available for a reasonable cost.

        • The price will drop.

          Until about 1990 Xerox machines in Russia were under lock and key.

          It wouldn’t surprise me if Cali tries to regulate the digital files fed into additive manufacturing machinery.

          Metal powders and coherent light… Freedom.

  7. What kid has a 3D printer at home?? Really… This guy is a freaking bloody flag waver… Also as california races on we find it making laws to save us from ourselves… The communist republic of california needs to just leave and make it’s own freakin country…

  8. According to the BATF website, “With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a non-licensee provided it is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms.” So people making their own guns has actually been legal since the GCA. There are plans on WikiHow on how to make a gun that looks better than the 3D printer gun from parts available at a hardware store. There are parts kits available for more sophisticated guns. Someone with machining tools and skill could also make quality guns. So they are using the 3D printer “news” to “solve” a situation that has been present for decades with no major issues.

  9. Please encourage this type of regulation. It diverts attention to regulating the Mazaks in my basement. I’ve never been a fan of plastic barrels, frames or slides and the kids love ’em when I pass them out at Halloween.

    • Personally, I think the opposite is true. No one is going to propose a law that it’s illegal to 3D print guns, they’ll propose it be illegal to home-make guns at all. The whole 3D print thing is, I think, drawing a ton of unwanted attention towards the age old practice of legally building our own guns. Hardly anyone in the general public ever knew it was legal before, this will only bring it to their attention. AND hardly any gun owners actually build their own guns, so they and the big organizations probably won’t be bothered to help defend this particular right.

      • “…they’ll propose it be illegal to home-make guns at all.”

        The rumblings of that legislation started when Cody Wilson started his self-aggrandizement tour with that steaming pile of dog feces. There were better printed guns even at that time, difference being the hobbyist community knows that sometimes it’s best to keep ideas in development quiet, rather than wave your wiener and scare the sheep.

        That legislation will come, and it will a direct result of the lack of judgement used by people like Wilson. I’ve been railing on this since day one, for precisely the reason you mentioned. The other thing that will happen in the next 15 or so years will be regulation of all maker machines. There will be licenses to own one, taxes to pay, and every program you want to run will be transmitted over the net to a central approval computer. It will scan your code to make sure you’re not making anything some corporation is selling, or something the government wants to control for whatever reason.

        Tech to do it is state-of-the-shelf, all they have to do is find an excuse to legislate.

  10. Good grief. I couldn’t get past the first 30 seconds or so on the video. Unbelievable. By showing images of production firearms while talking about the 3D printing they are deliberately leading viewers to believe that anyone with access to a 3D printer can “print” 1911s, ARs, etc. Since I didn’t (couldn’t) force myself to watch the entire lie report, I don’t know, but I imagine they failed to point out that you can’t actually just “print up” a fully functioning firearm – that you print parts, then need to assemble said parts, obtain components made from metal, etc, to make a working firearm. Or that it might be easier to make one from easily obtainable, cheap materials found at your local Home Depot. Or easier yet to get one from that shady looking guy that hangs out near the pawn shop.

    I cannot find words that will adequately express my disgust and repulsion for these fear mongers. I think I’ll go write some checks to the NRA, GOA, SAF, etc, now…

  11. I was pretty calm up until the point where you mentioned a license for home brewing. You can have my mead from my cold dead hands I say!

  12. Now if I had a million dollars to buy the printer that makes a metal 1911. I’d have 2 1911’s, 2 more AR’s , a coach gun, and $994,000 to spare. ok ok id toss in a few grand for Ammo too .$ 990,000 in the bank..

  13. The msnbc report ends with a warning about 3D-printed guns’ undetectability, a concern that echoes the hysterical hand-wringing that greeted the arrival of the “all-plastic” GLOCK. Terrorists can evade detection with 3D printed guns and kill people! Which begs the question: what about box cutters?

    what about ammo? When are they going to 3d print some ABS plastic casings?

  14. Banning and/or heavily restricting access to 3D printers not only achieves the goal of civilian disarmament, it has the nice side-benefit of protecting the interests of most Congressmen’s big corporate and retail owners. Sure 3D printers don’t pose a threat to traditional manufacturing NOW, but give it another few years. The ruling class of America will not allow the average schmuck to 3D-print their own merchandise if they can help it.

    • There was a proposal to require registration of all 3D printers in California by the gun runner state Senator Leeland Yee, however it was immediately canned as a stupid idea.

  15. Where can I get plans for printing up a 30MM chain gun, I want to do a few drive by’s on my neighbors purple house!
    I’ll aim for the orange spots.

  16. I would not have been surprised to see them running that old video footage of Osama Bin Laden firing an AK-47 while both “journalists” played verbal ping-pong with the word scary.

    Also, the idea of lawmakers “racing” to ban 3D gun parts is sheer lunacy. Against whom are they racing?nd assuming the lawmakers win the race, it’s laughable to think that anyone bent on doing harm would note the passage of a law and simply stop, exclaiming, “Well damn, they beat me.”

  17. Which begs the question: what about box cutters?
    Why do so many people not know what this means?
    Begging the question is a form of circular logical fallacy. This raises or prompts a question, but doesn’t beg it.

  18. Following the repeal of Prohibition and the re-legalization of commercial hooch production in this country, it remained essentially illegal to home-brew for decades until Carter (!) deregulated it in 1979. It remained illegal in Alabama and Mississippi until 2013.

  19. When anyone tries this, just bring up the following.

    The shell casing is metal and has to be made of metal or it does not work and will explode. It will show up in a metal detector.

    The primer is metal and has to be made of metal or it does not work and will explode. It will show up in a metal detector.

    The projectile has to be made of metal or it does not work. It will show up in a metal detector.

    The propellant has metal it in and it will show up in a metal detector.

    Then watch them shut up and have a really weird look on their face.

  20. When Khyber Pass blacksmiths churnout ak’s and Filipino shops make high quality arms( in 3rd world conditions I would say the cat is out out of the bag for homemade arms. Most any machine shop can make usable shotguns. And what makes people think there aren’t rich kids with 3D printers? Ban all you want-the cat’s out.

  21. In ten years MSNBC will be a laughingstock for everyone.
    I predict you will be able to get Rachel Madcow glasses to show faux pretentiousness,
    just like you can buy Groucho Marx, mustache/noses/glasses for Halloween.

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