Shortly after Defense Distributed’s Cody Wilson demonstrated the firing of the first fully 3D printed gun on Sunday, U.S. lawmakers were expressing concern about the future security implications. The 3D design files for the gun, called the “Liberator” are now available for anyone to download from defcad.org and print their own weapon.
Almost immediately New York Senator Chuck Schumer called for new legislation that would ban 3D printed weapons as they could pass through metal detectors without being noticed. New York Rep. Steve Israel also called for the Undetectable Firearms Act to be renewed as it is due to expire before the end of the year.
“We’re facing a situation where anyone — a felon, a terrorist — can open a gun factory in their garage and the weapons they make will be undetectable. It’s stomach-churning”, he said.
Rep. Israel has previously expressed concern at the potential of 3D printers to bypass gun control legislation. Defense Distributed were granted a federal license as a gun manufacturer in March and the inevitability of their first successful firing of a printed weapon was obvious.
“Security checkpoints, background checks and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” Israel said in a statement, “When I started talking about the issue of plastic firearms months ago, I was told the idea of a plastic gun is science-fiction. Now that this technology is proven, we need to act now.”
Schumer has said that he would support legislation that would make it a crime to produce 3D printed guns, as well as other printed gun parts such as silencers and high capacity magazines. New proposals to tighten up background checks on gun purchases are imminent, but a 3D printed weapon would bypass these requirements completely which is something of great concern to lawmakers.