The fear and loathing caused by Defense Distributed and their Liberator printed pistol gave me the sweetest of smiles back in 2013. The anti-gun crowd and the general mass media ate the story up. Story after story commented on how dangerous this 3D printed, single shot 380 was. Plenty of lies were spread about the gun being undetectable and easy to hide.
Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed published the CAD files to print the Liberator but hit a snag. and Mere days later the United States Department of State ordered that the Liberator’s plans be taken off Defense Distributed’s website. They claimed it was a violation of ITAR. However, once something is on the internet it’s their forever and the plans were still easy to find on Torrent programs and sites.
Defense Distributed Fights Back
Cody Wilson complied with the order but didn’t stop fighting. He sued the United States Government for infringing on his right to free speech. Their claim was that simply posting the plans to the Liberator was not the same as violating ITAR. The CAD file is no different than the Luty SMG manual being sold on Amazon. What the end user does with the file is on them.
Well, he won, and the Department of Justice settled with Cody and his co-plaintiffs. According to the Defense Distributed, they haven’t been resting on the creation of the Liberator. In fact, they’ve gone on to develop and design several more 3D printed projects they can now release legally. They have created a 3D printable AR lower, and plan to open up Defcad.com to user-submitted designs.
Will a website like this kill the gun control industry? It certainly won’t help them. If all their efforts can be undone with a downloadable CAD file then what can a movement really do? Will we see the rise of the 3D printer control groups?
It sounds laughable, but my favorite gun control activist/ gun smuggle Leland Yee went after background checks and 3D printer registration at one point. These people will do anything for control.
The Ghost Gunner
Another project Defense Distributed pursued was the Ghost Gunner. The Ghost Gunner is a CNC mill designed to mill 80 percent lower receivers and frames into complete guns. This small machine can be used without any prior experience and allows users to build rifles and handguns without ever having to deal with any government entity.
Defense Distributed has become heroes of the modern Pro-Gun movement. They have successfully blended the 1st Amendment, the 2nd Amendment, and of course technology to give us what could be a death blow to the modern gun control consortium.
As someone who’s been shopping and learning a lot about 3D printers my life maybe getting a little more interesting.