3d printed glock frame
Courtesy Vinh Nguyen
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Among these FAQs, for instance, it’s made clear that a BIS license is now required to post online ‘‘any file, including any CAD file, that once converted will be in an executable code for the production of a firearm.”

3D Printing Industry has a great article on how the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has placed Export Administration Restrictions (EAR) on 3D printed firearms, including on the dissemination of related software files.

This comes just three months after the Ninth Circuit vacated an injunction placed on Defense Distributed, which allowed them to publicly release all of their 3D gun files for the first time in years. Can’t stop the signal? Well, they can sure make it difficult. Visit the article on 3D Printing Industry for much more info.


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  1. Problem is modern firearms operate using century old springs and gadgets. The Second Amendment will have its hands tied if the citizenry is kept from advancements in firearm technology. I mean Jim Crow Gun Control joe will not only have F 14s and nukes he’ll have Phasers too.

  2. Difficult?

    TOR and torrents will make that difficult on them.

    And the ACLU will (hopefully) have first ammendment issues as well…

  3. Phasers can and will be stolen. The military has had a real historical problem keeping track of its explosives and firearms shipments.

    • Not to mention billions of $$ in vehicles and other war equipment left behind when we exit some 3rd world sh. Yeah, we’re supposed to blow it all up, but that doesn’t always happen.

      • Which is mind-boggling. It’s cheaper to blow it up than return it home or at very least give to an ally?

        Sheesh, I’d take a couple of Humvees and .50’s for pennies on the dollar!

        • Any idea how much it costs to fly a military aircraft, especially in and out of these locations where you can’t/don’t want to trust it to local trucks? How much do you think a convoy costs, in terms of lives and equipment/damages? Hate to say it, but I’d rather see stuff destroyed than someone lose their life over a million dollar truck destined to be scrapped or given away.

      • Or simply abandon in place nicely dusted in a layer of radioactive material, or maybe COVID… be creative.

        • I would consider picking a remote spot to depot all abandoned equipment. Put up a razor wire fence and warning signs.

          And install motion trigger alarm booby traps on one out of four pieces at random to explode if it is moved. If one goes off, the rest go off from the vibrations.

          BIG ba-da-boom.

      • Even after military exercises, US troops will throw gear over the side instead of taking it home. I heard of time after the Kangaroo exercises in Northern Australia, the troops were throwing M16 uppers (complete with barrel and guards) into the water as they walked up the gangplank.

  4. As technology in all forms becomes more advanced, the ability of the government to stop the distribution of any materials will improve, as will the technology to evade such tyranny. This “Cat & Mouse” game has been played through out history and will continue.

    Although most citizens can freely purchase quality firearms at retail, that are much better than what is normally produced by a 3D printer, this will change as the technology advances. People in other parts of the world who wish to reclaim their Natural Right to Arms; Revolutionaries, Freedom Fighters and others branded by states as “Criminals” will get this technology and use it, as they are doing right now.

    Just as the Printing Press evolved into are current information society, so will 3D Printing continue to evolve and mature. Once you see the routine production of 3D printed ammunition, you will know that the governments of the world have 100% lost the battle to eliminate freedom.

  5. Unless they plan on tracking every post everywhere this rule is meaningless. Even if the poster is known, but it states clearly on the forum it is not legal for export, than they can’t control who connects and who downloads. They can certainly take folks to court and cause headaches of course.

  6. Right now this is funny because it’s impossible.
    A few more years of Democrat/Google/Bezos run techno-facism who knows?

  7. Wait a minute, didn’t the State Department already dismiss a case against Defense Distributed respecting export restrictions? Two bites at the same apple, isn’t it? Once and done I say, especially when the Fed knows they have a losing hand.

    • They made a settlement with Defense Distributed that ended the lawsuit in DD’s favor. It sounds like it’s a completely different federal agency applying export restrictions this time.

      I’d be curious if DD would have a case. It would seem like settlements with the government would be meaningless if a different agency could simply do the exact thing the agency you just settled with agreed to stop doing.

      • Bingo. All suits are brought in the name of the United States.It various agencies, although they must be sued separately as defendants, are still one entity, not separate jurisdictions.

  8. All it will do is drive the files to BitTorrent websites. There is also the old school method of mailing thumb drives through the mail. It’s like the Streisand Effect.

    Declaring a law and enforcing it are COMPLETELY different things.

  9. This does nothing about importing from a foreign server, or a foreigner using an American VPN or Tor, or ….

    FPC has fought this before and will fight it again. EFF might get involved as well.

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