The Only Solution to Home Made Guns: Yet Another Law

Chucky Schumer’s not the only DC denizen freaking over Defense Distributed’s latest feat. Just as night follows day, another Big Apple big government type is up in (virtual) arms over the ability of regular Joes cranking out their own guns and wants to outlaw this latest technological abomination. Toward that end, Rep. Steve Israel is pushing an update to the Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act. And Congressnoids being what they are – generally clueless on most subjects under their purview – the NY Dem’s proposal is, as calls it, “about as enforceable as a ban on photocopying your own ass in your home office.” Here’s Rep. Israel’s statement of outrage and call to action . . .

Melville, NY—Today, following news of a working plastic gun made almost entirely on a 3D printer, Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) renewed his call for passage of his recently-introduced Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act that extends the ban on plastic firearms and includes homemade, plastic high-capacity magazines and receivers. The existing ban on plastic guns expires this year and does not clearly cover these major components. On Friday, Defense Distributed, a group of homemade gun enthusiasts, premiered a plastic firearm with only one small necessary metal part, a single nail used as the firing pin.

Rep. Israel said, “Security checkpoints, background checks, and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser. When I started talking about the issue of plastic firearms months ago, I was told the idea of a plastic gun is science-fiction. Now that this technology appears to be upon us, we need to act now to extend the ban on plastic firearms.”

The Defense Distributed project circumvents the current Undetectable Firearms Act by including an extraneous block of metal in the gun, making the firearm detectable by metal detector. However, those who wish to smuggle guns onto planes and into high security areas will soon be able to download the digital blueprints from Defense Distributed’s website and forgo the extraneous metal, producing guns completely undetectable by metal detector.

The revamped Undetectable Firearms Act that Rep. Israel wrote makes it illegal to manufacture, own, transport, buy, or sell any firearm, receiver, or magazine that is homemade and not detectable by metal detector and/or does not present an accurate image when put through an x-ray machine. The reauthorization would extend the life of the bill for another 10 years from the date of enactment.


  1. avatar Brian S says:

    the sky is falling!

    1. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

      agreed. I still fail to see how this is any more significant that a CNC machine in your garage.

      1. avatar Daniel says:

        It requires skill to use your machine. You don’t need to be a craftsman to click a button.

        1. avatar Steve says:

          You say that as if CNC machines don’t do the exact same thing as 3d printers, just with metal. They both use programs with designs to execute the making of something.

        2. avatar Robert M says:

          Steve is right the CMC can do this with stronger parts. It is the same thing just diff material and currently a more complex programming lang.


        3. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

          I’m not talking about a Machinist, which is a skill. I’m talking about inserting the material into A machine and pressing the button. If you have the data and the machine, then the only difference bewteen the two is one is an additive process (3Dprinting) and the other is a subractive process (milling/drilling).

          If I stuck a block of ABS into a CNC machine and had the right bits/tools, the results would look and feel nearly identical – with the notable exception of the CNCed piece being strange as it is milled from a solid block and not built-up in layers.

          As with any issue these days, if you blow away the cloud of alarmist BS, you can see the truth of the issue – this is just another process (a currently inferior one at that).

        4. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

          I’m not talking about a Machinist, which is a skill. I’m talking about inserting the material into A machine and pressing the button. If you have the data and the machine, then the only difference between the two is one is an additive process (3Dprinting) and the other is a subractive process (milling/drilling).

          If I stuck a block of ABS into a CNC machine and had the right bits/tools, the results would look and feel nearly identical – with the notable exception of the CNCed piece being stronger, as it is milled from a solid block and not built-up in layers.

          As with any issue these days, if you blow away the cloud of alarmist BS, you can see the truth of the issue – this is just another process (a currently inferior one at that).

        5. avatar CA.Ben says:

          The “click of a button” argument is so wrong. Ever heard of an 80% lower?

          An 80% lower is essentially an AR-15 lower that doesn’t have a few major holes and such drilled in it. They cost about $80 each. You can then buy metal templates for them that allow for super easy machining.

          80% lower and template for $200 (out of stock):

          Because the lower isn’t completed, it legally isn’t a gun. You submit no paperwork to buy it, no background check, you’re just buying a fancy metal paperweight. You can then easily finish all of the machining yourself with a mill or drill press. Because you are technically the “manufacturer,” making this gun is completely legal, provided you don’t sell it to anybody.

          Once you have your AR-15 lower completed, you can order the fire control components, stock, and upper online. Because only the lower is technically the “gun,” there’s no paperwork for any of that either.

          And there you go. You now have a retail quality, fully functional AR-15. Completely metal. You can complete this for under $600, not including drill press/mill. Probably cheaper than a 3-D printer, and definitely more reliable.

          Anybody can easily make a quality firearm. This isn’t anything new, and we don’t need any new legislation making us into criminals.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    I spent all day yesterday debating and defending gun owners on liberals sites such as huffpo and mediaite. It was exhausting. Now i’m going to include “banning 3d printers” in those discussions.

    1. avatar Patriot says:

      Ugh, nausea, why bother.

    2. avatar Joke & Dagger says:

      Kudos for your efforts, but I would rather be locked in a room with a rabid wolverine.

      (as Ralph would say!)

  3. avatar William Burke says:

    The BeeBeeSee lady needs to learn some manners. “Rural backwater” is in the BeeBeeSees style book, is it?

    One morning, missus, you’ll awake to the terrifying truth: liberty WON, and YOU LOST.

    1. avatar Sean says:


      “Rural Backwater”, seems to sum up everyone who does not agree with them, extremely insulting.

      I guess they don’t know where their food is grown, or where some of the greatest minds of the last 100 years have grown up.

    2. avatar Ropingdown says:

      A high-status degree, a posh accent, and favorable legislation granting you a monopoly are all respected by the BBC journalist crowd, which thrive on the mandatory telly license fees each household in Britain pays unwillingly “at the point of a gun,” as they say. It’s in the manual: If the ‘rural backwater’ folks are shooting Purdeys, then its name changes to “genteel country retreat.” According to the London papers recently the BBC has been a publicly-funded safe-house for sex fiends during much of its existence.

    3. avatar JE says:

      On nice thing about the BBC is that they call “anchors” by their proper names: “news readers”. Beyond a pretty face and /or a nice voice do they really offer much else?

      1. avatar Felix says:

        But anchor describes their utility rather well.

        1. avatar Scott says:


  4. avatar Skyler says:

    I guess it’s a single shot pistol.

    1. avatar DavidT says:

      Think of the Liberator .45 that was designed to be airdropped behind enemy lines in WWII (never was deployed though, most were dumped in the Atlantic). One shot to the back of the head of the invader/usurper/bad guy with a gun and then arm yourself with his better quality weapon.

      1. avatar Evan says:

        I’m reminded of a story about Bill Jordan(I think it’s true) who, during the late 70s, when asked about what AR or other battle rifle he would store in a PVC tube in his backyard if the government came a confiscating, he responded, “a smith & wesson model 19 and a box of cartridges.” The man who asked the question thought bill was confused so he clarified, “no, no, no, I mean what type of rifle.” Bill responded again, “a smith & wesson model 19 and a box of cartridges.” The man asked why. Bill responded; “because if you can shoot, you can get whatever fancy rifle uniforms or vehicles you want.”

  5. avatar Lucubration says:

    Because if we can’t find it, it must be illegal!

  6. avatar dwb says:

    hey, i know, lets register all blocks of resin and metal used to melt into gun parts with a serial number on the side. That way when a gun turns up, we’ll know where the metal/plastic came from.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      Most resins aren’t worked by melting…

  7. avatar Ben says:

    I’m confused be the part where the metal piece in the gun isn’t functional. As far as I know it’s a nail used as the firing pin. Would a plastic firing pin even work? More than once?

    1. avatar csmallo says:

      There were two metal pieces in the firearm. The nail for the firing pin and a piece of steel somewhere in the frame to help make it detectable to the machines.

    2. avatar Alex Peters says:

      Not to mention how many uses can you get out of a plastic barrel.

      What politicians see as the next great threat to national security, gun owners see as the biggest POS firearm ever made. Sure, it’s got a certain “cool” factor going for it since it was 3D printed, but if someone gave me a plastic, hideously ugly, unnecessarily large, inaccurate, single-shot .22 “gun” as a gift, I’m not sure I could find a use for it.

      1. avatar Human Being says:

        The intended use (they were never dropped to anti-German partisans so far as I know) for the original .45 Liberator in WWII was to be able to plug a Nazi soldier in the back of the head and then take his guns to fight with from then on.

        I can see how that would be frightening to modern Statists.

        1. avatar Evan says:

          that was pretty much the point of the liberator as well. it basically worked as a psy op.

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        You could turn it in at a “gun-turn-in” event and get a $25.oo gift card for your $8,000 investment!
        That’s a great idea Wally. Yeah Beav, let’s do it!

        1. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

          Like 3D printing money!

      3. avatar jeff says:

        No one is going for a cool factor. This is about liberating us from government; showing that laws banning certain kinds of guns are no longer enforceable, it is not something they get to control anymore. It’s about what the gun says, not how it shoots.

        1. avatar Labman says:

          They’ll see it differently, then they’ll just ban ’em all.

        2. avatar Ropingdown says:

          They banned possession of firearms by convicted gang bangers. That worked, right? “A law”? Any self-respecting congressperson could propose 17 laws just on this one issue, if it would save them having to tend to the productivity of our economy or the efficacy of their spending.

      4. avatar Steve says:

        It’s still in its infancy… much like the old “Hole drilled into a tree trunk” where firearms started. It has potential.

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          The better grades of these printers work with powdered metals as well.

        2. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

          @ Ropingdown. Close. That’s actually a different process – direct metal laser sintering.

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    “I think that liberty in the end is a better interest.” – Cody Wilson

    The new hero.

  9. Maybe they will just force companies to put something like lead in the plastic that the 3D printers use…

    Because THAT would solve everything!

    1. avatar Taurus609 says:

      China must be ahead of their time, they put lead in everything.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      No! No lead in the plastic. If it saves one condor . . . .

  10. avatar Stinkeye says:

    If only ammunition were made of metal, then such a gun would be detectable…

    1. avatar Sid says:

      You simply hide the bullets in your keychain fob. Geesh. Didn’t you watch In The Line Of Fire?

      1. avatar Loyd says:

        Sen Schumer actually referenced In The Line Of Fire in a recent presser about the Liberator.

        1. avatar Michael C says:

          And he claimed that I had seen that movie. I haven’t seen it. I had never even heard of it until I read the quote.

  11. avatar Bob says:

    They conveniently left out that the ammunition would be detectable in metal detectors…

  12. avatar sbk510 says:

    I doubt the plastic would handle the heat of long term/fast repeat/full mag use. I’d be interested in learning about a resin that would.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Not the point of this weapon. The idea is to plug a stormtrooper and take his god. It’s the sort of thing that would make the freedom fighters in Libya and Syria a lot less likely to get massacred trying to get weapons.

      1. avatar Labman says:

        Bet it won’t penetrate a level III vest. Might really torque off the storm trooper though. Good luck with that! It’s probably not the answer but it does provide food for thought.

        1. avatar Doug says:

          If you’re plugging the nazi in center mass, you’re doing it wrong.

        2. avatar Pwrserge says:

          Vests cover your torso. The back of the skull, not so much.

  13. avatar Sid says:

    My unit received mine warfare training during JOTC training in 1989. I remember to this day a chilling but enlightening statement. “Mine warfare is limited only by the human imagination and the materials available.” The instructor then explained how to make a booby trap with a bullet and a pointed rock. Years later, I was updating my platoon on the use of garage door openers in the construction of IEDs.

    Our forefathers made some spectacular firearms with handtools. Sam Colt did not have a CNC machine. Controlling gun manufacture is at the jump-the-shark moment. You cannot control what can be done with a trip to Home Depot. There are too many existing guns and components that can be used as templates or bases for some really practical builds.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yes. Just ask John “Carbine” Williams…

  14. avatar Pulatso says:

    “The more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers.” I’ve quoted it before, but it bears repeating. More laws help nothing, not even their own misguided (or willfully oppressive) ends.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Ah, the Tarkin Doctrine.

      1. avatar Pulatso says:

        The Oregana Corellary to the Tarkin Doctrine.

  15. avatar Peter says:

    So any criminal with several thousand dollars for a 3-D printer can now get their hands on a single shot pistol? OMG!
    While I have no idea what the current street prices are for firearms, I suspect that is is well below the thousand dollar mark.
    This is simply an excuse for the authorities to clamp down on the internet, anyone opposed will be accused of being in favor of killing children.

  16. avatar PNG says:

    Just me or does the neo Liberator look like this sci-fi puppy sans magazine? If only the Liberator could fire .75 cal rocket propelled, exploding shells…

    1. avatar Robert M says:

      Don’t worry Liberal will be saying it can shot rockets in a few days.


      1. avatar Pwrserge says:

        Actually, it can. Just not effective ones… Sad, really.

      2. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

        When I was 13, me and a friend used to make a rocket launcher of sorts. It could propel a 20 gauge shotgun shell 60-80 feet and detonate on contact, and would blow an nice hole clean through a car door.
        The materials included; a few model rockets, some single-stage D model rocket engines, a nail, 3/4″ dowel, a 9volt battery and a small package of model rocket igniters…oh, and the box of 20ga shells. Side-note, the engines and ingiters can be made at home as well, if you are extra crispy at this sort of thing.
        Necessity isn’t the mother of invention, laziness and outrage are.

        1. avatar Human Being says:

          I’m not a hundred percent sure what’s in those old model rocket engines. How do you make them at home?

        2. avatar Chipsa says:

          Rocket engines are a cardboard tube, capped at one end by clay, filled with black powder, tamped down to compress it, and then capped with more clay in the form of a nozzle. It’s not really recommended to make at home, as they use a 25 ton press to compact the powder, IIRC.

  17. avatar PNG says:

    Haha, yes!

  18. avatar Nigil says:

    I bet there’s nothing about this gun you couldn’t make out of UHMWPE, a pocket knife, handsaw and drill press, a set of plans, and patience. The 3-D printer doesn’t really have anything to do with it; the only thing that makes it different than any other field expedient weapon is that it requires only money, and not ingenuity or skill to make.

    1. avatar RKflorida says:

      That’s right. All you have to have is the desire to want one. This is a rapidly advancing technology and I expect this first iteration of gun will seem crude in a year or so. This is a BIG deal. It puts us back to the 1700’s when there were many skilled gun makers with no government intervention, except now you don’t need the skills. Where will this be in 5 years?

  19. avatar Dave S says:

    while you can have a plastic gun, and plastic ammo cases, how do you get away from metal projectiles?

    so a metal detector would find the ammo, without which, the plastic gun is harmless!
    so we dont need a new law remember the hysteria bout the original glocks?

  20. avatar J says:

    It’s like these people have never heard of a zip-gun. Throught the world criminals have been making (mostly single shot) guns out of whatever junk they have lying around. The shotgun made from a length of steel pipe was common in Ireland, and used like a liberator pistol, by the IRA to kill soldiers to steal their guns.

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