Bloomberg: Ban Plastic Guns. Again. Still. And Parts Too.

Defense Distributed's Cody Wilson shares digital information with a new friend (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

“Twenty-five years ago, it took the specter of a deranged dictator sending agents to the U.S. with plastic guns to get Congress to pass a law banning undetectable weapons,” “reports.” Although Libyan bad boy Muammar Qaddafi isn’t around to defend himself, I guess you’d have to be deranged to send assassins into the U.S. with guns. The gun control industry will tell you: it’s easier to buy a gun in the U.S. than affordable health care. Uh, car insurance with Geico. Something. Anyway, lest Matt think I’m snorting cocaine, here’s a taste (so to speak) of hizzoner’s minions’ hissy fit on the unfortunately slam-dunk renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 . . .

The technology that could make plastic guns widely accessible is advancing rapidly. In May, University of Texas law student Cody Wilson [above] manufactured a plastic gun using a 3-D printer. Defense Distributed, a company Wilson founded, posted online guidelines to produce similar guns. Uri Even, an Israeli reporter, downloaded Defense Distributed’s blueprint and used it to manufacture a plastic gun, which he said he sneaked past security into a news conference by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Defense Distributed has also printed a functional magazine for an AR-15 that holds 30 bullets — 23 more than New York state law allows.

Pay special attention to that last bit. As Mr. Wilson pointed out during a mediocre meal at The Salt Lick last night, the new and improved Undetectable Firearms Act makes personal printing gun parts with a 3D printer a felony. Over-reach much? Yes. Yes they do. Because something must be done! Even if it does nothing.

It is true that even an updated and reauthorized law will not completely ensure public safety. No law can. That is not an excuse, however, for inaction. The emerging capacity for virtually anyone to produce guns that can evade detection poses a threat at airports and sensitive buildings, including the U.S. Capitol.

Is it me or does that sound like some kind of threat against the politicians who might oppose Uncle Sam’s head-in-the-sand approach to security? Probably not. Who would oppose this piece of common sense gun safety legislation? [/sarcasm]


  1. avatar Michael B. says:

    I don’t think you snort cocaine. Possibly rub it into your gums, yes, but never snort.

  2. avatar GS650G says:

    I’ll bet Bloomberg has one helluva gun collection hidden somewhere. No one could be that hoplophobic and not own some sweet stuff.

    1. avatar Roll says:

      Bloomberg’s got his own security team, I think they were caught on video assaulting some guy for trying to interview him.

      1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        I haven’t seen one where they assaulted anyone, but that wouldn’t surprise me. This video is worth a watch though:

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      I doubt it, but I bet his security team has some bad A weaponry.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        Yep. More corporate double talk. “I don’t have any guns. Only my employees have sub-machine-guns.”

        I haven’t generated any worthless sub-prime mortgages to securitize. Only my employees sold sub-prime mortgages to broke wretches.

        Games. Pure games. As Warren Buffett said, “Yes, there’s class warfare. And my class is winning.”

    3. avatar Hank says:

      That wouldn’t surprise me in the least, much the same way Dianne Feinstein got a permit to blow a criminal away, but doesn’t think you should have one.

  3. avatar tdiinva says:

    Back in the days when Nicolae Ceaușescu ruled Romania all typewriters had to be registered and text samples provided to the government. Sounds like we will have to do that to prevent the printing of 3-D gun parts.

    When typewriters are outlawed only outlaws will have typewriters.

    1. avatar Layne says:

      Provided a similar fate befalls any “leader” registering 3d printers, I’m ok with them trying.

    2. avatar BDub says:

      I once worked for an Art Director who escaped Romania with his family. He told me many stories about working in a small print and advertising firm, and being escorted out of work periodically and being made to help paint murals and decorate stadiums for an impending Ceausescu appearance. He would be gone for several days and was never allowed to notify his family that he would be gone, and was never quite sure when and if he’d make it back.

    3. avatar GS650G says:

      They actually televised his execution on Christmas in front of a willing firing squad. Then outlawed the death penalty the next day. Justice for sure.

    4. avatar niceguns says:

      Didn’t the citizens kill Nicola in the street? See citizens can do something to change a dictatorship

  4. avatar james says:

    the salt lick has always been overpriced and mediocre.

    1. avatar Nine says:

      I’d actually heard it was pretty good.


      1. avatar Destrado says:

        Salt Lick is OK, but there are better BBQ places in Austin that don’t require you drive out of your way for it.

        1. avatar JC says:

          I don’t know. I always found the Salt Lick to be pretty much unbeatable! There are a couple of others in the Austin area that are certainly as good, and I’ve been to them all, but Salt Lick is anything but mediocre.

    2. avatar Phydeaux says:

      In the mid 1970s some high school friends and I would spend a couple weeks each summer at lake Travis. We would always may a run to Driftwood to eat at the Salt Lick. It was pretty good back then, as good as Otto’s BBQ was in Houston at the time.

      I’m surprised they’re still in business. But not surprised that they’re not as good as they used to be.

  5. avatar Paul G. says:

    Does this apply to computer generated water dip coatings?

  6. avatar mirgc says:

    Reminds me of the science project where a school kid got people to sign a petition to outlaw dihydrogen monoxide (i.e. H2O). It would be interesting to try the same thing with firearms and magazines:

    We need to outlaw the heart of the hi-capacity magazine: the metal energy “retention coils that power the heart of these devices!” i.e. springs 🙂

    1. avatar Taylor Tx says:

      Stop the Assault Spring Loophole !

      1. avatar BDub says:

        California, I believe has banned repair kits for all manner of “Assault Clips”, have they not?

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      “Reminds me of the science project where a school kid got people to sign a petition to outlaw dihydrogen monoxide (i.e. H2O). ”

      Join the fight!

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        Should be regulated as a prime cause of Climate Change.

  7. avatar B says:

    Good god, is there support for this piece of crap?! Email reps and senators, stat!

  8. avatar Cliff H says:

    Why are these security people so dependent on technology? The Liberator pistol is huge and extremely difficult to conceal. Whether or not you can walkit through a metal detector or slide it past an x-ray, if they are actually concerned about this why do they allow over-dressed people to pass their security checkpoint?

    Turn up the heat. force people to pass through security in pants (skirt) and shirt. Pick up your extraneous clothing, bags, purses, briefcases past the checkpoint after it has been searched. It’s not like you could walk one of these in stuck up your butt, or even in your crotch.

    And here’s another question that just occurred to me – how would one of these pistols work if you made a barrel from that ballistic plastic they use for banks? It’s not 3D printed, but it shouldn’t be hard to machine and it is probably a lot stronger than the plastics the printers use.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      It’s not like you could walk one of these in stuck up your butt, or even in your crotch.

      I’m sure there are people with huge butts and small winkies who could manage it.

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        I saw a woman with a backside so big a AR could fit under her skirt

        1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

          Oh man! Not before dinner!

      2. avatar Leadbelly says:

        Don’t recall where it was, but it was in the news sometime in the last few months that a woman (what a woman!) was found to have a loaded J-frame secreted in her sugar while being booked at her local PD.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          a woman . . . was found to have a loaded J-frame secreted in her sugar

          Are you sure that it wasn’t in the original box?

  9. avatar Taylor Tx says:

    Highly doubt that pistol was loaded if it got through the scanner, ammo is still made of metal. Correct me if im wrong here, never actually taken loose ammo or anything through a checkpoint .

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      I don’t think lead brass and copper in small amounts of one bullet would set off a scanner.

      1. avatar Gopu says:

        I’ve never tried it but I suspect a single bullet would set off the metal detector. Maybe not a .22. Its hard to say and its not like they let us test it. They’re easy to spot on the xray machine but the plastic pistols would be very difficult to see.

    2. avatar Bret says:

      I know that the foil in a pack of cigarettes will set one off, so I’m certain just about any bullet will do the same.

      1. avatar Gopu says:

        Yes that’s correct. But .22 brass doesn’t get detected easily by the hand held metal detectors so I suspect the brass isn’t easily detected in general. It would really depend on if the lead is something that gets picked up easily. I would assume yes but I can’t be sure because I’ve never tried.

    3. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Two Words: Muzzle loader, black powder, ceramic bullet.

      OK, six words.

  10. avatar BDub says:

    It is not practical, advisable, feasible, or even warranted, to ban the 3D printing of firearms parts. Rapid prototyping is how firearms are designed and tested prior to functional production testing. It is simply idiotic to enact this kind of ban.

    And, what is the practical difference between printing a part a layer at a time in either plastic or metal, and cutting the same part from a solid block? NONE! ,except that the former method is collectively referred to as printing and the later is not.

    And, how do you define “part”? Is it a something that was produced to work as a component of a firearm, or something that isn’t intended to, but can be used as the component of a firearm?

    These people are idiots! Its pretty easy to educate yourself on the topic –

    1. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

      You bring up a good point, that of simply machining bulk plastic stock into the same shapes. If that isn’t outlawed, the whole thing is a moot point.

      Does the law intend to bad manufacture, or production/sale? I find it hard to believe they really think a piece of paper is going to stop someone bent on killing someone from making something in their basement or in a private shop. Someone willing to murder a public figure (or anyone protected by layers of security), I don’t think they’re concerned with breaking a law prohibiting them from making the weapon with which they’ll carry out the crime.

      This is turning into prohibition all over again. Which the drug war has also turned in to, and we see how well that is going. I really hope the efforts by some states at nullification will lead to a case which throws out the rulings that have turned the Commerce Clause into a blanket allowance for regulation of everything that can conceivably cross a state line.

      1. avatar dsreno says:

        Any kind of prohibition is bound to turn out just like the original. When the law doesn’t respect human nature, humans won’t respect the law.

        I am perpetually amused and disturbed by the fact that the cannabis plant is illegal. You can go to your local nursery and choose from a number of plants that are actually deadly if ingested. You don’t even have to go through a background check!

  11. avatar Heretical Politik says:

    And Cody Wilson gets Kirsten Joy Weiss’s digits… damn.

    1. avatar Kirsten says:

      Correction. Asked for them. Not acquired. I don’t give my number out to boys. Please.

  12. avatar bontai Joe says:

    His holiness the mayor, has no limit to his paranoia, or his own self importance. Thankfully he will soon be out of office and starting his 2016 presidential campaign which I am hoping will kill his political career for good. I can’t see how his agenda will fly nationally, because most folks see him for what he really is, a power hungry meglomaniac.

  13. avatar dwb says:

    I seem to have lost all my undetectable firearms and cannot find them.

    What are police going to put on a warrant? Looking for undetectable firearms. But how do you know you’ve found them?

  14. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

    Ok sir please step through metal detector.
    Is there anything in your pockets?
    Oh here’s this bullet I carry around in my pocket for no reason.
    Ok sir go ahead

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    Hey, Mike Doucheberg, does the ban include plastic guns that hold less than 16 ounces?

  16. avatar DaveL says:

    Twenty-five years ago, it took the specter of a deranged dictator sending agents to the U.S. with plastic guns to get Congress to pass a law banning undetectable weapons,

    That’s a nice way of saying “Twenty-five years ago, we actually, for real, passed a law based purely on something that happened in a movie.”

    That is not an excuse, however, for inaction.

    That’s a nice way of saying “We have to do something, even if it accomplishes nothing.”

    1. avatar TheThingThatGoesUp says:

      Yes, it was a ban on unicorns.

      If you remember most of the “plastic handgun” hysteria was over Glocks. A polymer brick with a steel barrel, that is about as undetectable as it is beautiful.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        I think my G36/G30SF hybrid is beautiful. “Every child is beautiful in her own way.” I fell for the pistol self-esteem movement. It’s smart, too. Laugh.

    2. avatar Avid Reader says:

      So, now it’s the spectacle of a deranged soon-to-be former mayor of NYC having a hissy fit that’s going to get Congress to pass another law?

  17. avatar David PA/NJ says:

    Yall must be on crack,the salt lick is delicious
    Damn autocorrect

  18. avatar Mark N. says:

    So then, if Glock decides to print rather than injection mold (or whatever they do) their frames, they would be producing illegal guns? Ban them and arrest them all! And anyone who has one! That’ll teach these closet terrorist anarchists that the only REAL all-American gun s is a Colt .45! (Even if it has plastic grips that maybe just maybe could be printed…)

    how does outlawing a method of manufacture solve the (nonexistent) problem of “undetectable” plastic guns with (detectable) bullets that can only fire a single shot? I am truly mystified. It must be something in the water.

  19. avatar RaynBama says:

    Total knee-jerk reaction to a false problem by a bunch of panty-waist crybabies. Grow a set of nads man, err, maam, or, oh, whatever.

  20. avatar Rich Grise says:

    And apparently none of those idiots has ever even heard of a zip gun.

  21. avatar Kyle says:

    Why is the renewal of this law considered a “slam dunk?”

  22. avatar Bob says:

    “It is true that even an updated and reauthorized law will not completely ensure public safety. No law can. That is not an excuse, however, for inaction. ”

    YES, IT IS! It’s a great reason for inaction!

    Am I the only one who noticed the absurdity of this comment? If you know a law will be ineffective for its intended purpose, then don’t pass that law. You do not “need to do something” when that something is stupid.

  23. avatar Dustin Doyle says:

    The two bills are HR1474 and S1149. They have not moved since April 10th and June 12th, and have seven and four co sponsors respectively.

    Among other problems they would hurt the production of plastic bodied magazines because every subcontractor that works with them would need a type 7 FFL.

    Currently the 3.7 ounces of metal can be anywhere in the firearm, such as the barrel. These bills require all plastic receivers to have 3.7 ounces of metal, this would affect many firearm models. This only applies to home made firearms.

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