SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Downloading a gun’s design plans to your computer, building it on a three-dimensional printer and firing it minutes later. No background checks, no questions asked.
Sound far-fetched? It’s not. And that is disquieting for U.S. gun control advocates.
At least one group, called Defence Distributed, is claiming to have created downloadable weapon parts that can be built using the increasingly popular new generation of printer that uses plastics and other materials to create 3-D objects with moving parts.
University of Texas law student Cody Wilson, the 24-year-old “Wiki Weapons” project leader, says the group last month test fired a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle — one of the weapon types used in last week’s Connecticut school massacre — which was built with some key parts created on a 3-D printer. The gun was fired six times before it broke.
Though no independent observer was there to verify the test, a short video clip showing the gun firing and breaking was posted to YouTube.
Federal firearms regulators said they are aware of the technology’s gun-making potential but do not believe an entire weapon has yet been made.
Rep. Steven Israel said the prospect of such guns becoming reality is reason enough for the renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act, which makes illegal the building of guns that can’t be detected by X-ray or metallic scanners. That law expires at the end of 2013.
A gun made by a 3-D printer was like a Star Trek episode, but now we know it’s real
“What’s chilling is that last month a group of kids used a 3-D printer to actually manufacture (key parts) of the AR-15 and fire six bullets,” the Democrat said. “When the (act) was last renewed in 2003, a gun made by a 3-D printer was like a Star Trek episode, but now we know it’s real.”
Even with gun control pushed to the top of the national political conversation, Wilson is steadfast about reaching his goal of making a fully downloadable gun. This weekend, he and his partners plan to print four new lower receivers — the part of the gun that includes the trigger, magazine and grip. He keeps three of these AR-15 parts in his tidy student apartment in Austin, Texas.
While saddened by the Connecticut school killing, Wilson said Thursday that protecting the constitutional right to bear arms by giving everyone access to guns is more important in the long term than a single horrible crime.
“Clearly what happened in Connecticut was a tragedy,” he told The Associated Press. “Still, by affording the Second Amendment protection, we understand events like these will happen.”
He said he discussed with his partners whether they should suspend their effort, and they all decided it was too important to stop.
Wilson acknowledged there still are many technical hurdles to creating a complete gun from a 3-D printer and provided no estimate on when his goal might be reached.- www.shfaqna.com/English