The Biden administration recently proposed new regulations defining exactly what constitutes a firearm and which specific parts are required to have ATF-issued serial numbers for tracking. If enacted, Federal Firearms licensing and serial numbers will be required on many gun components that heretofore could be bought and sold without regulation. Wilson’s new software, which he intends to release later today, is designed to circumvent those controls by converting a 1.5 inch by 8 inch block of aluminum into the essential component of a firearm using one of Defense Distributed’s $2,500 Ghost Gunner 3 desktop printers.
Dubbed the Zero Percenter, because it can turn a completely untouched piece of aluminum into a firearm, the software and a few accompanying components are Wilson’s answer to what he considers government overreach. He seems to care little about the “open source” terrorism and crime it might unleash. So-called privately made firearms or ghost guns, the type Wilson has long championed, have confounded law enforcement officials for years. According to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, from 2016 through 2020, some 23,906 suspected ghost guns were recovered from crime scenes, including 325 homicides or attempted homicides.
“There’s always going to be this mystical platonic line where a component becomes more like a gun than not a gun, and to regulate those intermediary steps of manufacture in any serious level completely disrupts modern American manufacturing, the American system,” says Wilson, dressed in black and brandishing a 24-carat gold ring, embossed with the initials DD. “They are literally trying to control the world. But as the Zero Percenter demonstrates, blocks of metal are also guns.”