The case against 3D-printed guns goes… nuclear?
3D plastic firearms in the bull’s-eye
What do a hydrogen bomb and 3D guns have in common?
More than you may think.
I’ll give Harris this much: they both explode.
“One famous case that raises — but does not resolve — the difficult issues here is The Progressive case from the late 1970s,” said Robert WT Martin, a Sidney Wertimer professor of government at Hamilton. “At issue was the proposed publication of a possible design for a hydrogen bomb. In this instance, a temporary injunction against publication was successfully maintained by the judge for many months. During that time, however, another publication printed information about another design and the government eventually dropped the case (and the original article was published).
I’d say that United States v. Progressive, Inc.‘s precedent does apply, legally and practically.
The Morland article made it into the wild, so the government dropped the case as being moot. DefDist’s files are also in the wild. I have them myself, and have for years.
And I’ll note that in the 39 years since the article was published, not single nuclear weapon has been detonated by a nongovernmental entity anywhere on the planet. Likewise, No crime committed with a plastic Liberator has been reported.
Where the cases differ is this: to the best of my knowledge, the first working nuclear weapon of any type was detonated just 73 years ago. Every nuclear weapon detonated has been a major government project.
But people have been making firearms themselves for nearly a thousand years. Commercial mass production is a rather recent development.
Successful firearms have been made from fairly simple castings, drilled out bar stock, common pipe, manually machined castings, CNC machined castings, and metal-powder deposition. That was never much of a problem.
Suddenly someone has come up with a plastic gun (except that it actually requires metal parts to function, and incorporates even more metal to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act), which doesn’t work well, is under-powered when it does work, and has a disconcerting tendency to explode. It’s too bulky and awkward to conceal worth a darn. It’s a single shot (even when it doesn’t explode). It’s inaccurate.
And suddenly homemade guns will cause the nuclear end of civilization as we know it.
[Lt. Bryan Coromato, public information officer for the Utica Police Department], who would like to see the guns regulated, noted that the 3D guns are on the newer side and he is not well versed on the subject
One, don’t spout off on the subject when you know nothing about it. Two, All guns are regulated, whether they come from an FFL’s factory, are assembled from plumbing supplies, or are 3D-printed. See above about people making guns for the better part of a millennium.
By the way, Mr. Harris:
According to published reports, Wilson already has stated he would ignore the judge’s order and said he has begun taking orders.
Wrong. Wilson said he would comply with the order, which specifically allows direct distribution within the United States.
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