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hardcore_gamer

So it has happened: A man gets 2 years for 3D printing guns

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It's still too expensive to buy a 3d printer, get the materials, and takes skill to use the 3d design. Its much easier to just go to the gun shop.

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Before the fad of 3D gun printing, my friend's pharmaceutical company made one and tested 3D printer guns. The barrel warps after one shot. I'm sure there will be better printing materials to use in the future that won't warp. Probably depends on the model of the gun too.

College students make 6 year old amputee's prosthetic arm for $350 instead of $40,000.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/florida-boy-6-prosthetic-arm-built-3-d-printer-article-1.1882546

UPS store will soon start offering 3D printing services.

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I doubt that he was jailed simply for printing the external body and cosmetic parts of a gun. If he actually assembled a functional gun, he'd also need an actual metal barrel, receiver, firing mechanism, ammo etc. and getting those is definitively illegal.

It's no different than if I carved a gun's butt out of plywood or took the parts from a paintball or airsoft gun (we're still in legal territory), and then somehow I found an actual barrel, firing mechanism and actual ammo to use with it (now we're in illegal territory).

Plus the moron advertised what he was doing online and attracted the attention of investigators, However, we're not told how much time elapsed between his video and getting arrested. A typical investigation requires months of collecting evidence, tracking purchases, discovering associates and suppliers etc.). It doesn't happen overnight.

Don't make 3D printing appear more capable than it actually is, while misreporting the most important legal aspects.

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Im a complete noob to 3d printing, but from what you're saying maes, if to build a functional weapon a metal barrel, receiver, firing mechanism and such need to be acquired separatedly, doesnt that not make it gun printing at all? All the 3d printer seems to be outputting is a sculpture. I thought every part needed to make a functioning firearm, sans ammo, could be printed.

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doomgargoyle said:

Im a complete noob to 3d printing, but from what you're saying maes, if to build a functional weapon a metal barrel, receiver, firing mechanism and such need to be acquired separatedly, doesnt that not make it gun printing at all?


Indeed it wouldn't, and yet this "detail" is left out whenever some 3D printing story needs to be sensationalized. You can't make a functional gun out of pure plastic -yet, let alone 3D printable plastic. Molded plastic....maybe a gun that can withstand 2-3 hits. Printed with weakly bonded layers with a plywood-like structure? No way.

doomgargoyle said:

All the 3d printer seems to be outputting is a sculpture. I thought every part needed to make a functioning firearm, sans ammo, could be printed.


Exactly. The man was not arrested because he 3D printed the general likeness of a gun with 3D printer plastic, if that was the case it would be illegal to own inert and toy/airsoft "weapons" as well.

He was arrested because he obviously had obtained other essential "real gun" parts -or was about to, only the investigators know whether he actually acquired or at least tried to.

In any case, 3D printing is just another way to make homemade improvised guns -there are countless of other ways, which all require some combination of the right tools, materials, and ingenuity. Obviously, 3D printing raises more concern than some old codger tinkering with a hand-operated lathe in his basement, because in theory with 3D printing "all you need is one click".

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Maes said:

Indeed it wouldn't, and yet this "detail" is left out whenever some 3D printing story needs to be sensationalized. You can't make a functional gun out of pure plastic -yet, let alone 3D printable plastic. Molded plastic....maybe a gun that can withstand 2-3 hits. Printed with weakly bonded layers with a plywood-like structure? No way.


Is that the reason why those little plastic guns that some thugs use to bypass metal detectors fire 2-3 hits at most? I thought even those guns had at least a few metal parts.

Maes said:

Exactly. The man was not arrested because he 3D printed the general likeness of a gun with 3D printer plastic, if that was the case it would be illegal to own inert and toy/airsoft "weapons" as well.

He was arrested because he obviously had obtained other essential "real gun" parts -or was about to, only the investigators know whether he actually acquired or at least tried to.

In any case, 3D printing is just another way to make homemade improvised guns -there are countless of other ways, which all require some combination of the right tools, materials, and ingenuity. Obviously, 3D printing raises more concern than some old codger tinkering with a hand-operated lathe in his basement, because in theory with 3D printing "all you need is one click".


This story doesnt seem to be about 3d printing at all then. Like when there's a violent incident and articles claim is because videogames. 3d printing is the next scapegoat!

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Technician said:

No surprise, they have strict gun control.


If I understand correctly, private gun ownership is pretty much non-existent there, right? Not surprised, coming from a country that censors all forms of pornography.

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Platinum Shell said:

If I understand correctly, private gun ownership is pretty much non-existent there, right? Not surprised, coming from a country that censors all forms of pornography.

It's funny how they entertain just about every fetish imaginable but their censorship is actually getting more conservative.

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How about somebody finally made a business of printing 3D body armors? That would be more profitable and globally legal anyway.

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This doesn't surprise me in the slightest in all honesty (the fact that someone would use such a device to construct a weapon). The most genius use of 3D printing I had found was used to create a prosthetic replacement jaw for some geezer. I thought it was a bit dodgy that the article said that the U.S can manufacture without a license and whilst it is quite funny that the British police were wrong on finding potential parts for one, it is quite a serious situation if you have the skill required to make a fully working gun from it. What makes me laugh though is that people say strict gun control but in my honest opinion I don't think it's strict at all in fact, I think it's rather sensible gun control and how it should be if you want to reduce gun related crimes again, this is my own take on this.

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Springy said:

it is quite a serious situation if you have the skill required to make a fully working gun from it


You'd be surprised how many people "have the power". Can you work a lathe? Can you work with a few basic DIY tools, including a common household drill and a handywork dremel? Can you find some steel pipes of proper diameter? Can you solder? Then in all probability you build some form of improvised firearm, if you put your mind to it. Metal workers are "prime suspects" of course, yet their is not a police-controlled trade.

Take for example this german gentleman: his oversized slingshots are way more dangerous (amply proven and shown-off in the man's videos) than anything that has been 3D printed, so far, he's not living into some backwater remote Texas ranch shooting from his porch, and yet I don't see him arrested by he -stereotypically- stern and anal German Polizei. Do ya?

The "problem" is that you cannot ban knowledge, elementary physics, chemistry, human ingenuity and tinkering, nor can you break every man's hands so that none but the Specialy Designated and Appointed Operatives (aka the King's Lackeys) can build and use weapons, like in the middle ages. Even then, you still needed someone to plow The Lord's Fields....

But I thought that these things were accepted as a matter of course ever since things like the "Anarchist's cookbook" or BBS-eras "G-files" or "philes" existed. A small trip round the youtubes will show you just how many dangerous improvised weapons are constructed by garage tinkerers and DIYers -including directed energy weapons aka lasers capable of inflicting permanent damage. Almost none of them waited for -or benefitted in any way from- 3D printing.

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To my knowledge Japan has completely outlawed firearms (and i think some other weapons too).

I'm pretty sure in the United States you can make your own homemade firearms from scratch. The only thing you can't do with them is sell them without a license to sell firearms. 3D printed guns tend to break very easily, sometimes a few shots fired from them is enough to break them.

Example:

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the_miano said:

To my knowledge Japan has completely outlawed firearms (and i think some other weapons too).

I'm pretty sure in the United States you can make your own homemade firearms from scratch. The only thing you can't do with them is sell them without a license to sell firearms. 3D printed guns tend to break very easily, sometimes a few shots fired from them is enough to break them.

Example:


looks like the doom chaingun.

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Wasn't there tests a while back which proved that guns made this way aren't durable and likely to fail at some point?

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Avoozl said:

Wasn't there tests a while back which proved that guns made this way aren't durable and likely to fail at some point?


Yes, they are pieces of junk.

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hardcore_gamer said:

I wonder what this will mean for the future of gun control around the world, if people don't even need to go to the store or meet a gangster to get guns.

Probably not much. If it's illegal to buy an unlicensed/unregistered firearm, making your own is likely to be just as illegal.

the_miano said:

3D printed guns tend to break very easily, sometimes a few shots fired from them is enough to break them.

That's hardly surprising, since the more affordable kit/hobby printers only work with plastics.

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The most you can currently do with a gun made -mostly- from 3D printed plastic, is making one of those "bulgarian keychain guns" or a very crude Derringer-type short-barreled, one or two-shot (quite literally) affair, provided you add at least a nail and a metal spring for the firing mech, assuming that you can make all other necessary parts, including the trigger, with 3D plastic.

A barrel made just with plastic might last for 2-3 shots if you overengineer it and go waaay generous with the firing chamber's thickness, or if you reinforce it with metal, somehow.

In any case, the results will be very crude. It may be borderline usable as a last-ditch self-defense or concealed assassination gun (just like Derringer pistols and keychain guns are meant to), but not a firearm you can take to the range, show off, and shoot 40000 rounds with it (an actual quality handgun can withstand at least that much).

And I surely wouldn't want to shoot from a gun whose useful integrity can be measured in the fingers of one hand (assuming that you don't lose any...)

the_miano said:

To my knowledge Japan has completely outlawed firearms (and i think some other weapons too).


If Babel (the movie) is to be believed, it's still possible to obtain hunting shotguns and even hunting rifles (a key of the plot was that the rifle used by the shepherds to "plink" the bus was a gift left from a Japanese hunter to their father). Basically, in ANY Western country but the US of A (and maybe Canada), the rule of thumb is this:

It's relatively easy to obtain a hunter's license and smoothbore firearms, which of course can only be shot under very specific circumstances (e.g. you must be in an area where hunting is permitted during hunting season only, it must be carried and stored in a specific way, etc.). In some jurisdictions, you can't even legally own repeating-action or single-shot rifles (e.g. Greece banned them during the Civil War, as they were no different than infantry rifles, and the restriction hasn't been lifted since).

What is VERY difficult unless you're a cop or work for the government, is obtaining handguns and semi-automatic or fully-automatic weapons. It's also near impossible to obtain a "self-defense" gun carry permit, again, unless you're a cop or a very powerful politician or businessman with the means to pull some strings.

However, no democratic state has so far implemented a total and unconditional ban on ALL firearms, with no legal way for a mentally stable and law-abiding citizen to obtain at least one kind of firearm, even if it's a low-powered Flobert suitable only for backyard plinking. Only dictatorships do that.

The relative freedom of the USA in this respect is just that, an almost entirely USA-exclusive phenomenon.

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Maes said:

What is VERY difficult unless you're a cop or work for the government, is obtaining handguns and semi-automatic or fully-automatic weapons. It's also near impossible to obtain a "self-defense" gun carry permit, again, unless you're a cop or a very powerful politician or businessman with the means to pull some strings.

citation needed. Actually, this is patently untrue in many European countries. It's easy to obtain a legal gun in my country and Norway or Finland are even fond of their gun culture, afaik. Btw, Breivik was attacking with legal weapons.

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dew said:

citation needed. Actually, this is patently untrue in many European countries. It's easy to obtain a legal gun in my country and Norway or Finland are even fond of their gun culture, afaik. Btw, Breivik was attacking with legal weapons.


I admit I'm not familiar with every EE's country gun laws (I know the Greek, Italian, Bulgarian, German and UK ones pretty well though) but I'd be honestly surprised if a regular citizen could easily obtain a self-defense gun carry permit anywhere in the EE. Notice the emphasis.

E.g. in Italy, it's possible to obtain a sporting handgun carry permit, which obviously allows you to purchase a gun, but also puts a lot of restrictions on how and where you're allowed to use it, and even on how you're allowed to carry it. A sporting license allows you to use your gun at a shooting range and....that's pretty much it.

If you try carrying a loaded gun on yourself with just such a permit, you'll be in for a world of hurt, if discovered. Even if you carry it in your car's trunk but it's not disassembled and separated from its ammo you'll get tons of legal trouble, if you're discovered.

Worse yet, if you use it for self-defense, you'll be in for a WORLD of shit, and probably be worse-off legally than your attacker.

Getting a self-defense gun permit, one that will allow you to carry a concealed, loaded handgun on you at all times and USE it, if needed, is nearly impossible to get, unless you convince your local PD that you really need that kind of protection (easy shortcut: being a cop or other kind of law enforcement official). Even if you're a rich businessman or politician, they'll first recommend you a bodyguard or assign you a policeman, rather than arming you.

Even in that case, if you end up using it you'll still be under investigation and possibly get in trouble, if the investigators believe that "you could have also avoided using it". But I'm digressing.

Greece is even more restrictive: it's not even possible to own blanks and blank shooting pistols (for fear of modification), and obtaining even a sporting permit for a handgun is nearly impossible, and will be enough to get the police a bit too curious about you. However, MPs get a "free" handgun self-defense carry permit by default *rolleyes*

A hunting shotgun however is really easy to get, as hunting is widely practiced, but hunting rifles are outlawed (even wild boars are hunted with buckshot and slugs at CQ...yikes!)

So, could you please be a bit more specific as to what kind of "gun ownership" you're referring to? Long firearms? Smoothbores? Handguns? For what purpose? Sporting? Hunting? Self-defense? I'm curious to see a summary for CZ.

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Let me wiki that up for you. Self-defense is a valid reason for obtaining a gun, concealed carry is allowed, the state is not allowed to require a good cause, restrictions are stated by law, there is a strict registration policy (posession of an unregistered gun is a crime, afaik) and gun owners are tested for theoretical knowledge, shooting skills and proper health condition. Sporting and hunting is very common, dare I say traditional. Gun type limitations... eh, read up on it yourself.

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The majority of states in the U.S allow for concealed/open carry without the need of a permit. However, I live in NJ and it is a "May Issue" state for a concealed carry permit. To apply for one, you have to sign/read a 30 page application packet. You then have to see a psychiatrist then take a mandatory concealed carry seminar. You would then have to get fingerprinted/registered by the state for concealed carry (although to obtain a firearm in the state of NJ, you already need to undergo fingerprinting for a firearm purchaser card.... I don't understand why more fingerprinting is necessary). The application would then have to go to chief of police in your town/city for approval, then to a state prosecutor, and finally to a judge....

Even if you are a law abiding citizen with no history of crime/felonies or severe mental illness, you are probably NOT going to be approved for the permit. They would only give these permits out to people who are either police officers, politicians, or people who are connected to either the police or politicians.

In NJ it is a little bit easier to get a rifle legally than it is to get a handgun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_New_Jersey

I can probably purchase a kit online to build an AR-15 from scratch with an 80% complete receiver than it is to purchase one with a serial number legally.

I hate NJ gun laws, and I can't wait to move out of this bullshit state.

EDIT: The other few states that require a permit for concealed carry (such as NY, California, even District of Columbia) may require you to demonstrate a "Need" for a concealed carry permit. Stating "self defense" along with "it's my constitutional right" or "I am not a felon" might not be valid reasons.

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dew said:


Read up on it, and the general gist of them is not really any different than in e.g. Italy. Notice the explicit separation of licenses in classes, in increasing order of "danger" and, presumably, difficulty in obtaining: A (collecting), B (sporting), C (hunting), D (professional) and, the ultimate, E-type of license (self defense). There are no mentions on how easy it is to obtain a self-defense carry, though, which is also at the core of concern.

dew said:

Self-defense is a valid reason for obtaining a gun


It may sound like a just and noble thing to a layman, but think about it for a moment. What constitutes self-defense? Is it a universal right in CZ? If so, is everyone entitled to own an "E" class permit (assuming that all medical and ability qualifications hold)?

And, most importantly, what situations make you eligible to obtain an "E" class license? Can you e.g. obtain it with no particular reason "just in case"?

In Italy and Greece, you definitivelly cannot: you need to provide the police with a convincing story of why you need one (and why conventional police protection or hiring security would not be options, in your case).

Even if you have what you think is ample reason (e.g. you received a death threat over the phone or even openly to your face, you regularly transport valuables, you survived an attempted robbery or hit on your life), the police will need to actually investigate and confirm that the threats are real (just your testimony won't do, obviously), and even if they are certain, they would rather follow the case themselves and have you press charges (if applicable) or give you useful "protection tips" or steer you towards private security (e.g. "don't carry valuables by yourself, use a valuables' security service"), than issue you a self-defense license.

There are several reasons for that, political, social, bureaucratic and criminologic, but in general if you're a nobody, don't expect a speedy and prompt release of a permit as soon as you go to the police and say "I'm feeling threatened!". The core issue here is that the police (and the state) prefer doing things themselves, and avoid putting deadly force (or in general, authority) in the hands of private citizens, whenever possible.

Don't mistake the ability to obtain another kind of license relatively easily (e.g. B or C) for the ability to freely carry a gun and defend yourself, as many do, when they obtain a hunting license to get a shotgun for "home defense".

If in CZ none of this applies and any law-abiding nobody can really obtain a class "E" license "just because" with minimal hassle, then it's really an anomaly not only in the EU, but even worldwide: even in the gun-crazed USA, you cannot obtain a concealed-carry self-defense permit so easily.

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Heh. I didn't know it was so rare. I don't think we have any serious gun violence too. Our most typical gun crime is a drunk hunter (as in organized jaegers) on a boar hunt discharging his shotgun into a bush, because "something moved" and it turned out to be an elderly lady gathering mushrooms. Or gang-related ambushes involving illegal automatic weapons. People don't really get guns for self-defense even though it's a pretty simple process.

I don't think the self-defense reason, shall-issue or concealed carry are the "villains" of any gun culture, even USA's poor and crazed one. Medical checks and strict registration do wonders, if you ask me. There's a psychological test involved and from what I've heard, it's braindead simple to pass with a pinch of rational thinking, but somehow questions like "Would you use a gun if someone made you angry?" are effective for filtering out dangerous idiots. They will say yes. Don't sell guns in a grocery store seems like a reasonable measure too, but don't tell Murcans that.

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dew said:

Medical checks and strict registration do wonders, if you ask me. There's a psychological test involved and from what I've heard, it's braindead simple to pass with a pinch of rational thinking, but somehow questions like "Would you use a gun if someone made you angry?" are effective for filtering out dangerous idiots. They will say yes. Don't sell guns in a grocery store seems like a reasonable measure too, but don't tell Murcans that.


In NY there is the Safe Act which is supposed to prevent people who are taking certain psychiatric/non psychiatric medications from owning/purchasing firearms.

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The 3D printing technology looks pretty promising though I think I'll purchase my gun via official channels.

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