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newster

join:2011-09-26

1 edit

Feds ban 3D printable gun - what century are they living in?

Just a few days after 3D printable gun publisher Defense Distributed posted its first set of complete "blueprints" on the internet, the US State Department ordered company founder Cody Wilson to pull the plug - apparently believing that none of the previous downloads (reportedly over a hundred thousand) will ever get re-released on mirror sites - let alone Bittorrent or Usenet.

Not only will this takedown action have essentially zero effectiveness in stopping the spread of these gun-printing files, but could lead to quite a Streisand Effect as word spreads of the government's ham-fisted approach in trying to enforce censorship in the digital age.

Another issue for US residents is whether downloading a banned gun-printing file using BitTorrent would be breaking the law, since you might be considered to be illegally "exporting" the file to people in other countries. Will the feds join the copyright trolls in taking legal action against BitTorrent users?

»www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05···tributed
»www.prisonplanet.com/breaking-3d···ent.html

If anyone is left wondering what exactly a 3D printer even is, it's basically a type of 'injection-molding' machine that creates plastic parts using a one-off form built per dimensional specifications contained in a digital file format. (A 100% plastic gun would certainly get through metal detectors, but without a ceramic-lined barrel, wouldn't it melt into a pile of goo after just a few shots?)



pb5k
Can't Triforce
Premium
join:2005-11-16
Glendale, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

I guess they felt the need to attempt a ban of course, even if the equipment costs to build one are prohibitive at the moment. IIRC it is already illegal, per the ATF, to build a weapon capable of bypassing metal detectors.

And as you mentioned there are several engineering challenges in making a completely plastic firearm. Plastics and even ceramics lack the tensile strength to withstand the barrel pressures of most common firearm loads. Not sure about carbon fiber but that is quite expensive to work with. The ammunition would be another challenge as I'm not aware of any plastic casing or bullet on the market (though like ceramic barrels the idea has been experimented with). You could try loading it with loose powder but airports have sniffers for explosives so that would likely be detectable.

tl; dr - An interesting proof of concept but too many engineering issues to be a safe, practical and fully concealable imo.
--
"I'm just a human being trying to make it in a world that is very rapidly losing its understanding of being human." - John Trudell


sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
reply to newster

I agree that this will have zero effectiveness. I remember back in the day they banned 50 cal rifle sales or something like that but there was a loophole or something that allowed it to be sold in pieces (IIRC) and shipped to the purchaser. Anyway the cat is already out of the bag so too little too late.



TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
reply to newster

downloaded the plans off the pirate bay already. will never use it but hey cool to have so called banned plans.


ttfg

join:2000-09-27
PlantationFL

I think I hear the sound of helicopters hovering over your house.


newster

join:2011-09-26
reply to pb5k

said by pb5k:

I guess they felt the need to attempt a ban of course, even if the equipment costs to build one are prohibitive at the moment. IIRC it is already illegal, per the ATF, to build a weapon capable of bypassing metal detectors.

Interestingly, it's not even per ATF regulations, which prohibit possession of a solid object. The ban is on the "blueprint" information itself (and only a ban on 'exporting' it outside US borders) which anyway includes the installation of a chunk of metal to make the plastic gun non-invisible to metal detectors.

I think it might not be long before metal detectors get "upgraded" to the airport-spec naked-body scanners that are so revealing they can tell whether or not a young boy is circumcised, making old-fashioned strip-searches completely redundant.

»www.foxnews.com/health/2010/11/1···ployees/

Therefore, no way to hide a gun made of 100% plastic or any other material from 21st-century x-radiation scanners.

said by pb5k:

And as you mentioned there are several engineering challenges in making a completely plastic firearm. Plastics and even ceramics lack the tensile strength to withstand the barrel pressures of most common firearm loads. Not sure about carbon fiber but that is quite expensive to work with. The ammunition would be another challenge as I'm not aware of any plastic casing or bullet on the market (though like ceramic barrels the idea has been experimented with). You could try loading it with loose powder but airports have sniffers for explosives so that would likely be detectable.

Shotgun shells are mostly made out of plastic. Also shotguns use low-pressure loads, allowing very thin walled barrels compared to a typical rifle. That's the key right there, using low-pressure ammunition that was designed way back in the black-powder days [like the old police-standard .38 revolver] so the pressures produced by the slow-burning gunpowder that meets the low-pressure [black powder] specs are only a fraction of the pressures produced by "modern" ammunition using powders with fast-burning chemistry. (but then maybe the goal is to prove it can be done using standard modern [high-pressure] ammo like 9mm.)

said by pb5k:

tl; dr - An interesting proof of concept but too many engineering issues to be a safe, practical and fully concealable imo.

I agree. I think this "printable gun" is really more of an academic proof-of-concept than a realistic firearm. Obviously having features such as a barrel 'insert' of a high-temperature material, as well as using high strength materials like kevlar or carbon fiber to reinforce the critical parts would make for a much more robust metal-free firearm. But then that would defeat the whole purpose of having a 100% printable gun that could be made by anyone with nothing more than a standard 3D printer, a common household nail, and a downloaded "CAD" file.

said by TOPDAWG:

downloaded the plans off the pirate bay already. will never use it but hey cool to have so called banned plans.

I hope you used a good proxy or VPN, just in case! You can never be too safe when dealing with the Feds, especially for content that's illegal and considered terrorist-oriented. Though on second thought, considering that all internet traffic is supposedly monitored and logged (along with all telecommunications and email) by DHS, it might not make any difference.

said by sandman_1:

I agree that this will have zero effectiveness.

Maybe I should have said "less than zero" since there have probably been a lot of people (like TOPDAWG) without a printer who just downloaded it from TPB since the news of the ban broke. But unlikely to be many people (definitely not among any of us file-sharing addicts) who owns a 3d printer and was already looking for the download but gave up upon seeing that the link had been removed from the official site, and looked no further.

said by ttfg:

I think I hear the sound of helicopters hovering over your house.

You know who was hosting these *banned* files? Kim Dotcom, who would certainly know a thing or two about attack helicopters and armed invasions. Dotcom is either very brave or very foolish to mess with the US government a second time. I don't know if the original links on Mega are still active.


TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

1 edit
reply to newster

well the feds are dumb plans are not illegal. Exp if I drew a gun you can't ban the damn drawing of the thing least far as I know. So they can try and throw their weight around and kill more rights but really I can look up bomb plans online and everything else so it's not illegal no matter how much they hate it.

From what I'm reading the printer the guy used is like 20,000 bucks shit people could buy tons of real guns for that price.

The government makes me laugh they all be like the terrorist are trying to take away our rights so we'll take away those rights ourselves so the terrorist can't take away those rights. Man the terrorists kicked the US ass so bad it's not funny they already won.

Man it's simply pathetic what the US has turned into and the fact the people let it happen and won't do shit about it.


sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111
reply to newster

It is all in the name of keeping us "safe", which is utter BS. Over the past 14 years, our freedoms have been eroding away at an unprecedented rate. People don't seem to care either. I work in retail (BestBuy) and see all kinds of people and 99% of them are more concerned with getting their next "fix", i.e. what can I buy next so I can be a good consumer like they want me to be. My first Black Friday, last year, was a real eye opener and seriously diminished my hope for humanity and for this country. Everyone is so concerned with their own world and oblivious to the big picture. As long as something doesn't rock their world, they don't care. Most Americans are so complacent that nothing of any note will ever be done about anything.


newster

join:2011-09-26

1 edit
reply to TOPDAWG

said by TOPDAWG:


From what I'm reading the printer the guy used is like 20,000 bucks shit people could buy tons of real guns for that price.

I think laser printers were somewhere around that price when they first came out, and now they're dirt cheap. I don't know if there's a reason why 3D printers would not follow that same pattern.

said by TOPDAWG:


The government makes me laugh they all be like the terrorist are trying to take away our rights so we'll take away those rights ourselves so the terrorist can't take away those rights. Man the terrorists kicked the US ass so bad it's not funny they already won.

Man it's simply pathetic what the US has turned into and the fact the people let it happen and won't do shit about it.

I agree that it's ridiculous. I think one reason for the runaway growth of this police state is that a lot of companies are lobbying heavily for lucrative contracts in the security-related field. Surveillance systems, red light ticket-writing cameras, "drones" in the air watching our every move (or worse!) and the for-profit prison industry making sure that drug laws won't ever get relaxed. Though we may soon reach a point in which there is little difference between life inside prison and life outside prison.

said by sandman_1:

It is all in the name of keeping us "safe", which is utter BS. Over the past 14 years, our freedoms have been eroding away at an unprecedented rate. People don't seem to care either. I work in retail (BestBuy) and see all kinds of people and 99% of them are more concerned with getting their next "fix", i.e. what can I buy next so I can be a good consumer like they want me to be. My first Black Friday, last year, was a real eye opener and seriously diminished my hope for humanity and for this country. Everyone is so concerned with their own world and oblivious to the big picture. As long as something doesn't rock their world, they don't care. Most Americans are so complacent that nothing of any note will ever be done about anything.

Perhaps as bad as the eroding freedoms in the last 14 years has been the ever-widening income disparity over the last 40 years, a trend which shows no sign of ending.

Imagine if Best Buy had been around 50 years ago. Everything in the store would have been American made, the company would have been unionized (or at least paying union-scale wages) with employees making a good income. It's a shame that few shoppers today realize that their "can't live without it" iPhones are made in a distant country with no freedom or right to vote, by factory employees getting starvation wages working ungodly hours in miserable conditions while being treated no better than slaves.

And just imagine living at the factory compound in a company dorm and being woken up by your boss in the middle of the night and ordered to the assembly line because the company just got a rush order that can't wait until the morning. It's no wonder suicides are so common among Chinese factory workers. (though unlike US factory workers, they at least have jobs)

I have just about lost hope that anything in this decaying economic system will ever change because the people at the top are profiting handsomely just the way it is, while most of the other 99% are either complacent or deceived into supporting it against their own interests.


Xioden
Premium
join:2008-06-10
Monticello, NY
kudos:1
reply to newster

Next on the list of things to ban, pipes.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Va87gB_4AI


Feds also recently became aware that people could bludgeon another person to death with their bare hands and are looking into implementing bans on hands.