Earlier this week Cody Wilson, of Defense Distributed sucessfully produced and test fired (presumably) the worlds first, fully 3D printed gun.
And in the 48hrs since he released the files needed for others to print their own, the files were downloaded in excess of 100,000 times.
This is the gun in question:
A fully plastic gun which, technically at least, violates existing laws on fully plastic guns (or any gun made so as to be able to avoild detection by a metal detector). It’s worth noting that Wilson at least claimed to have (and went through the explicit effort of claiming such) inserted a metal rod into his so as not to violate this law.
And while the BATFE has yet to enter the fray, the State Department has. Using as justification the idea that by uploading the file to the internet he has broached export restrictions re: firearms.
On their download site, DEFCAD, they are now showing the banner: DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.
The genie is out of the bottle….
My personal feeling is that while I can fully understand the geeky interest that went into this project, to distribute the files so that anyone in the world can print a functioning, undetectable firearm, and one that has no real legitimate usefulness in this world, was an incredibly irresponsible move. (Do we really want the reality of what searches will become like when they have to be looking for metal the size of a single bullet?! )