Whatever you think we should do about 3D printed guns, this isn't it

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Only download from trusted sources. There’s a lot of malware floating around out there.


“Not just any license either: under ITAR, the government has no objective standards that it has to follow, nor any timeline for responding to petitions, nor any judicial oversight for its decisions.”

Think DMV, but on steroids…



We will over react to the potential threat of people in other countries possibly 3D printing guns and yet still do jack shit about the real already existing threat of all the guns in our country.

Apparently the 2nd amendment has a better political lobby then then 1st amendment. Good work NRA and Conservatives…bravo.


And presumably only those versions with a second amendment.


This has potential ramifications for ALL sorts of technologies. Not just crypto and guns, but also many signal processing algorithms, FPGA code, radar and other imaging systems, multispectral imaging/chemical imaging/MASINT in general, some electrooptics, methods to grow certain crystals, many cool tech toys that The Man would like to keep for himself and not share. Even some flow cytometers are reportedly “dual use”.

All this tech rightfully belongs to We the People, the engineers of the world. Not to the governments, not to the old men in suits.

Fight it with vigor, and prepare P2P/Tor systems as a 4-gen warfare backup if the 3-gen open war is lost.


Privately fabricated untraceable guns are coming and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. And the way they are manufacturing them is kind of ingenious. The only part of a gun that is legally considered a gun is the lower receiver. There are many plants out there that will for a fee manufacture almost any shaped metal object you want–except for a lower receiver, which would be illegal. But people are designing the lower receiver cut into random parts that can then be re-assembled so that it is impossible for the manufacturer to tell that it is a lower receiver. In this way, a person could order a lower receiver for manufacture by sending in multiple orders with different random pieces or even ordering from multiple plants.


True. And not just guns - many more other technologies are getting out there. Would the opensource drone controllers be allowed to exist if The Man had any say in that, if the change didn’t come too fast and too grassroots?

I worry this is a pretense to rob us of many useful stuff that could bring all sorts of R&D costs down by orders of magnitude.

This is routinely done by various skunkworks labs that work on secret projects. The subcontracts are divided to smaller parts and compartmentalized and sent to different vendors, who don’t have enough information from any single part what it could be good for.

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Coming? “Have existed for decades” is more like it. Anyone with a basic metal shop can make a gun.


Note the implicit assumption in the headline- the age old assumption that we still should do something, even though nothing can be done that would actually work. That mentality is more relevant than any particular substance/item that society is troubled by. If you can’t have a ban that both actually works and works in a way that society is comfortable with, then the best course of action is don’t bother doing anything.


But “doing nothing” won’t fly in the current political atmosphere.

Can we offer something that would keep the status quo but feel to them (and much of the plebes and their media-stoked inane fears) as Something Being Done?

What exactly is the government afraid of? Exporting? It isn’t like every nation in the world doesn’t have the mechanical files to make an AR-15. Their own citizens making guns? There is no law against that, as long as you don’t sell it.

People have been making AR-15 lowers with Jigs and decent drill presses for decades. While downloading a file makes it easy, anyone with the skills to make models for 3D printing or CNC can get the mechanical measurements and create their own files.

THIS is the overall point.


Yeah, pretty much. The ‘gun part’ is the emotional trigger (giggle) to help enact stupid, stupid legislation.

And if you get caught with an illegal lower receiver I suspect you are already in a world of trouble.



tear the walls down, one by one…

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What an insight. I never would have made that connection.


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It’s better than that. There are plenty of places that will sell you an 80% finished lower receiver, which legally is just a hunk of metal, along with a jig and instructions how to finish it yourself. I don’t think you even need a mill, just a drill press and maybe an angle grinder.

There’s nothing magical about 3D printing that makes manufacturing usable firearms substantially easier than traditional CNC machining. It’s not like you feed it a blueprint and press a button and five minutes later a gun pops out.


The thing I hate most about Defense Distrbuted isn’t that they are wrong, or even dangerous; it’s that they are forcing the government to have a conversation about something they know almost nothing about, and are incapable of stopping.

There will be a lot of collateral damage caused by these bureaucratic abreactions, and whatever falls out I feel is largely on Cody’s shoulders.

The bad news is our legislators seem to be prone to making the same mistakes, over and over again.

The good news is our legislators seem to be prone to making the same mistakes, over and over again.


The forces that want to stop free technology sharing are already there and alive. (See that bastard senator who pulled down that one NASA archive because it could contain Sensitive Tech, and now there are no money/manpower for reviewing it so it stays down, I think.)

If I have enemies worth fighting against, these suits they are.


Any way of dealing with 3D printed guns is a terrible way of dealing with them. Anyone who’s not completely fucking technically illiterate realizes that a 3D printer is never going to be able to make better gun parts than someone with some very basic machine shop skills, an end mill, and a lathe.