The blueprint for a 3D-printed plastic gun will stay offline for the time being. A federal judge has stepped in, issuing a temporary restraining order.
U.S. President Donald Trump (usually a gun advocate) has expressed concern, but people have already downloaded the files and are making the guns.
CGTN’s Nathan King filed this report.
The courts have stepped in, but already it’s too late. People are already printing 3D guns. The files have reportedly been downloaded more than 100,000 times.
Cody Wilson, the founder of the nonprofit organization Defense Distributed, said he’s already uploaded the files to the Internet for a single-shot, 3D gun that Wilson calls the ‘Liberator’.
“I already uploaded the plans. The ship has sailed,” he said. “It’s public domain information now. It’s irrevocable. No one can take it back.”
These 3D firearms are called “Ghost Guns.” They have no serial numbers, making them untraceable. They’re made of plastic, so they won’t set off metal detectors.
The Obama administration blocked Wilson’s previous attempts to publish, but this was reversed under the Trump administration. On Monday, eight U.S. states and the District of Colombia sued the Trump administration, in an effort to block the publication.
Wilson said he won’t upload any more files for now, but those campaigning against gun violence are horrified.
“Coming to a theater near you, coming to a theater near you, coming to a school near you, coming to a sports stadium, to any public place. These ghost guns are the new wave of American gun violence,” Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said.
President Trump tweeted that he had already spoken to the U.S. gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), on the issue and hinted that printable guns could face restrictions. However, existing law makes them illegal already.
I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
The Federal Undetectable Firearms Act makes it illegal to manufacture or possess a weapon undetectable by a walk-through metal detector. The vast majority of gun rights advocates overwhelmingly believe that gun sales should be regulated, firearms should be traceable and background checks should be carried out.
The 3D gun means criminals and terrorists could get guns far more easily. Many have said the fault lies with the U.S. President.
“This is the doing of the Trump administration,” Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said. “This is part of a long pattern of letting the gun lobby get whatever they want even if safety is at risk, even if terrorists could gain the upper hand. He complains about terrorists crossing the border. But he wants to let them have guns undetected. What kind of hypocrisy is this?”
The debate continues to rage on in the U.S. with a new twist. Does the right to bear arms also mean a right to print your own gun at home? Only time will tell.