Some odd documents are circulating on the Internet which purport to show that the Department of Homeland Security wants to combat “illegal -D printing,” whatever that is, because making firearms for one’s own use is generally lawful and always has been in America.
One reads . . .
Combined classified BATFE and NSA data efforts shows a significant rise in domestic violent extremists (DVEs) exploiting 3-D printing to produce weapons and firearm accessories that are unregulated and easy to acquire. Through torrent tracking, and other electronic surveillance measures (ESMs), this data shows that DVEs have downloaded shared files related to 3D printed weapons, equipment, and materials in all 50 states. This critical information has been forwarded to the appropriate local BATFE office, and multiple coordinated joint effort search warrants, and possibly arrests, will occur nationwide over the next few weeks. ICE and BATFE is also currently seeking to obtain seizure warrants from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio for the follwing web domains, in order to combat illegal 3-D print:
BATFE is also currently seeking the voluntary removal of all 3-D printed weapons, equipment, and materials of the following domains from their web host. If voluntary removal is not met, futher action may be taken:
BATFE seeks further regulations and restrictions against the -D printing of weapons, equipment, and materials.
Since manufacturing firearms for personal use is generally legal (your mileage may vary in certain states), the only “illegal” printing going on would be building guns for sale or if felons or prohibited persons do it. Pro tip for Homeland security: we already have existing laws for that.
The apparent assertion that physical “firearms, equipment, and material” (not printer files) are on web sites is another weird point, not to mention the allegation (admission?) that the National Security Agency is conducting unlawful domestic surveillance of US citizens.
To settle the question, I asked Homeland Security if they could confirm or deny the authenticity of these documents. That was more than a week ago.
If they are authentic I wanted to know . . .
1. Why is the NSA conducting domestic surveillance of Americans?
2. What would be the basis for any arrests, since making firearms for one’s own use is generally lawful?
3. How and when did DHS determine that the people downloading and sharing electronic files — which the courts have found to be lawful, First Amendment protected activity — are “domestic violent extremists”?
4. Is DHS aware of the difference between additive polymer manufacturing (3-D plastic printing) and CNC metal milling (defdist.org)?
5. If the “Ghost Gunner” mills are unlawful, how will DHS differentiate them from any other CNC mill commonly used in manufacturing around the country?
To date, I have received no reply from DHS, not even an acknowledgement of the inquiry. But it has been reported that . . .
Thingiverse literally removed all gun related stuff
While there appears to be a lack of printable firearms, I still see plenty of listings for accessories. In our current cancel culture, though, one site choosing to remove lawful files may be their own choice, and doesn’t prove DHS interference. Since DHS doesn’t see fit to answer mere citizens’ questions, I guess we’ll have to wait and see if the alleged warrant service and arrests occur.
Personally, I doubt the authenticity of this, as does Defense Distributed; a representative of the organization said their “sources doubt the authenticity of these memos.” Nonetheless, they have added warrant canaries to their Ghost Gunner, Legio, and DefCAD sites.
Keep your eye on the birdy.