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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]

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

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

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

      • 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.”

    • 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.

  2. 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.

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

        • 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. 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 .

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  6. 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 –

    • 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.

      • 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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

  10. 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.”

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. “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.

  14. 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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