Washington: The United States Government on Friday cleared gun rights activists to post plans for 3D printable guns online from August 1.
The feud between the two parties started in 2013 when a self-proclaimed ‘post right anarchist’, Cody Wilson uploaded plans for a 3-D printed handgun he called “The Liberator”, as reported by CNN.
The handgun was almost entirely made of ABS plastic, the plastic used to make Lego bricks, with the exception being the metal firing pin and another metal part in compliance with the Undetectable Firearms Act.
Wilson and his group, Defense Distributed, were directed by the US State Department to take down the plans, citing a violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which oversees exports in defense material, services and technical data, saying that people in a country that is not involved in weapons trade with the US could download the plans and print the gun.
Although Wilson complied, he said that the plans had been downloaded more than a million times and went on to sue the government.
As part of the settlement reached, Wilson and Defense Distributed have been cleared to upload their plans, files, and 3-D drawings and have been exempted from the export restrictions. The government has also agreed to refund Wilson’s legal fees to the tune of USD 40,000, along with some registration fees.
“We asked for the Moon and we figured the government would reject it, but they didn’t want to go to trial. The government fought us all the way and then all of the sudden folded their tent,” said Alan M. Gottlieb with the Second Amendment Foundation, which helped in the case.
When asked if the change of administration from Barack Obama’s to Donald Trump’s played a part in the turnaround, he replied with, “These were all career people that we were dealing with. I don’t think there was anything political about it.”
3-D printed guns, like the Liberator, have been dubbed as ‘Ghost Guns’ as they do not have serial numbers and thus are untraceable.
Although Wilson says that 3D printing guns are too expensive and not practical for most people, there are arguments that this move will make firearms more accessible for terrorists and other dangerous people.
“I think everybody in America ought to be terrified about that. The people who make them will be state actors or well-financed criminal cartels who have the ability to execute well organized criminal attacks in the United States and elsewhere,” Avery Gardiner, the co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said. (ANI)