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 Cody Wilson takes aim at gun laws (courtesy

“Significant advances in three-dimensional (3D) printing capabilities, availability of free digital 3D printer files for firearms components, and difficulty regulating file sharing may present public safety risks from unqualified gun seekers who obtain or manufacture 3D printed guns.” That’s the warning in a May 21 bulletin distributed to numerous state and federal law enforcement agencies by the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Regional Intelligence Center, as revealed by Unqualified? Defined by who, exactly? Anyway, the DHS is Chicken Little-ing Cody Wilson’s DefCad 3-D printable gun by trotting-out ye olde undetectable plastic gun schtick. In a section called “Liberator design poses Public Safety Risks,” the bulletin explains . . .

“Magnetometers may fail to detect the Liberator, depending on device sensitivity. Though it is prohibited by federal law, manufacturers may deliberately omit the unnecessary metal insert, leaving only a small nail and ammunition as the sole metal component. Future designs could further reduce or eliminate metal entirely.

“Unqualified gun seekers may be able to acquire or manufacture their own Liberators with no background checks.”

I think they mean “without any.” And here’s news: the Department of Homeland Security memo admits you can’t stop the signal.

“Proposed legislation to ban 3D printing of weapons may deter, but cannot completely prevent their production,” the memo says. “Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these digital files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files.”

Which means . . . more secret government surveillance? Count on it. Meanwhile, again, I’d like to point out that “unqualified gun seekers” (UGS) have no problem obtaining firearms at the moment. As far as terrorists smuggling guns through current security devices, I guess our guardians will have to be more thorough and, perhaps, consider the person rather than the thing.

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  1. With the current cost of 3D printers at the moment, it is much cheaper to illegally purchase a firearm off the street.

  2. …and unqualified gun seeker (UGS) has just been coined, plus it is clearly worded in context to mean everybody.

    • Yeah, my brain threw a gear when I read an anonymous bureaucrat come out with “unqualified gun seeker” too.

      “Though it is prohibited by federal law, manufacturers may deliberately omit…” was just rational icing on the cake. Heavens! Someone choosing to violate law??

    • Any other interpretation would be wrong. It’s crystal-clear they want nothing short of total disarmament. This is what one-dimensional people wrongly equate to Communism. It isn’t true. Look up Fascism.

      • From the perspective of the little people, there isn’t much practical difference between communism (as practiced in the real world) and fascism. I’ve never bought the model of government systems in which fascism is on the opposite end of a single continuum than communism.

        • That viewpoint is due to an odd parallax effect you get from standing in the Left side of Europe…

      • Whether it is communism or fascism, the government is all powerful and does whatever it sees fit without any accountability to the People. Either flavor is awful.

  3. Forget the practicality of the Liberator as a firearm, I am just thrilled with it’s effectiveness as an irritant to our government. Bravo!

    More 3D printed guns, more home builds and build parties. Our government needs to be SHOWN the meaning of the Second Ammendment.

      • It’s a wonderful thing. It causes them to feel desperation, and when they feel panic and desperation that causes them to make crucial mistakes.

        Let’s be cool, collected and resolute.

        • Sadly their mistakes are usually in the form of horrible legislation that takes us lots of time and effort to repeal.

        • It is great, but I feel a storm of irrational reactionary policy/lawmaking coming… Get ready for some more “interpretation” of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th.

      • Is instilling in our Government a little fear of the people such a bad thing?

        J&D, the answer is yes and no. When the G gets scared, it has a tendency to kill people. Men, women, children, it doesn’t matter. Then the people get pissed at government and it “reforms.”

        The aftermath of Ruby Ridge galvanized a lot of anti-government thought and did a lot for human rights in general and gun rights in particular, but it didn’t do anything good for Randy Weaver’s wife and two kids.

        • This. The last thing you need is an 800lb gorilla scared and backed into a corner. The results are…messy.

  4. This is such fear mongering. It’s also ignorant. Modern X-Rays can color code the density of different materials. Not to go into it too much but plastics show up nice and clear on the x-ray and metal detectors are already sensitive enough to detect a nail. If not, they can be turned down. As someone with lots of experience with both devices, I am confident, with additional training and guidance, even the TSA screeners can be taught how to detect a giant chunk of plastic that has a round and a nail in it.

    I would be much more worried about the Kevlar and composite plastic knives being produced these days. But that’s the GOV for you. Spreading fear and misinformation in order to justify a higher budget.

    • What about the terrorist who’s smart enough to disassemble a Liberator and put the parts in their 2 carry on bags? Just saying, it could still be undetectable even if the TSA is looking for plastic gun shaped objects. However, if the xrays can’t detect a .22, let alone .380 cartridge, they need to get rid of them and just let everyone carry concealed on the plane, as that’s the only way to keep it safe.

      • What about the terrorist who brings a binary explosive compound on a plane in 4 separate 3 ounce bottles, combining them all in the bathroom on board? What about the guy who replaces the reinforcement in his suitcase with PVC zip guns and gives a couple of 20ga cartridges to a coupe of others with the odds of at least one of them making it past security.

        I can do that all day, what you said about CCW is the only way to be sure. But that’s the game or should I say, farce, the TSA is trying to put up when it says it can keep us safe if we just keep giving up more of our rights.

        • There is such a laundry list of ways to bring down a plane if you’re very motivated, and a little creative. But that’s not what this is about. DHS will say anything they can to get themselves a bigger chunk of the taxpayer pie. Money fuels lies.

      • I gave his a little thought when I worked (pre-TSA) airport security. Originally I thought the solution was to provide a bushel of cheap revolvers at the gate that any passenger who wanted could take on the flight with them. Concealed carry or not, how could/would you hijack a plane if you KNEW any number of other passengers were armed?

        My only concern was that a whack job might get on the plane anyway and use one of the free guns to cause trouble. The solution to that: make sure the passengers know that only a third of the guns (at random) actually work.

  5. I understand that law-abiding persons who make these things may include the required chunk of metal and jump through other regulatory hoops, but as noted above it is entirely possible to skip the unnecessary metal piece. Can anyone tell me why, if you happen to be less concerned about legality, you could not insert a metal barrel made from scratch into the receiver section of a Liberator? As long as you are not trying to smuggle this past any security device, why would this not work?

    • You could certainly do this. If you want a little more accuracy and safety, you could even just buy a barrel blank and cut it to size. Printing the liberator sans barrel, and using a rifled metal barrel instead of the metal chunk, would be breaking absolutely no laws, and would most definitely give you more uses out of it.

  6. I feel like a strong plastic or ceramic knife is more dangerous than the liberator. At least you can use it more than once in a practical situation. I don’t know why DHS has their panties in a bunch over this. Now, once they develop an all plastic repeater they might have reason to be worried. At that point they will probably just change tactics and let people defend themselves…

    [wakes up from dream]
    oh, never mind.

  7. Allow me to provide a non-bureaucratic version of the DHS “warning”:


    Definitely got their knickers in a twist.

  8. “Significant advances blah, blah (3D) printing capabilities, blah, blah free digital 3D printer files blah, blah, and difficulty regulating blah, blah may present public safety risks from blah, blah, blah guns.”

    How about: A tyrannical government will (not may) present public safety risks to its disarmed citizens.

  9. How much money does the plastic cost per printed Liberator? I think it would be worth it to print out a few and then sell them to .gov during buy back programs. Its like printing money!

  10. It seems to me that you could produce a comparable non metallic pistol without the use of a 3D printer. There is nothing magical about producing this with a 3D printer. You could probably incorporate a ceramic firing pin and produce non metallic ammo to make an even scarier weapon. This just seems like one more thing for the pols to get up in arms about so they don’t have to talk about the economy.

    • Just print out multiple, single-use barrels and pre-charge them with black powder, a primer, and a ceramic ball bearing for the projectile. No need for a separate cartridge.

      Or change the design to make a double-barrel, or even a pepperbox type unit.

  11. If by “unqualied” they mean felons, they break the law regardless of how, providing they did, by any means.

    This is no different than if they wish to invest in a cnc mill, learn how to use it, & make firearm components…

    If they did then wouldn’t they be learning a trade srrvice? I think that right there “disqualifies” many from doing so simply because that would be perceived as “work”… otherwise their skikks coukd aactually contribute to society…

  12. Aww, boo-hoo, poor statists want me to call the whaaaambulance for them now that they can’t control a fundamental right anymore?

  13. Since we are talking about breaking the law anyway, its alot easier to just pop a cop car trunk and help yourself to a full auto M4 than go to all this 3D trouble.

    Google “AR15 stolen from cop car” if you think this doesnt occur.

  14. Sadly this is all they’ll need to eliminate all file sharing. Copyright laws and piracy didn’t do the trick, but tell the people that criminals will be printing these up by the dozen and shooting the children and it’s good night torrent/file sharing.


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