3D-printed gun shot sparks new arms race

Cody Wilson takes the historic shot. Credit: © Defense Distributed
Cody Wilson takes the historic shot.
Credit: © Defense Distributed

Shots fired from Cody Wilson’s ‘Liberator’ have sparked a wider battle, following the US student’s successful test of the first fully 3D-printed firearm Sunday, with fears that homemade guns could flood the market.

Wilson, 25, has made the source code for the weapons available on his company website Defense Distributed, which has attracted thousands of downloads. “Currently Spain tops the ‪#Liberator download chart. Followed closely by USA,” he tweeted Tuesday. The YouTube video of the test has received almost 1.5 million views in 48 hours.

The breakthrough surprised experts who believed that the plastic printing material – undetectable for airport security – was not strong enough to support gunfire. “It’s an achievement with clever design features that play to the strengths of 3D printing,” US-based gunsmith Michael Guslick told Metro. “It proves that printing guns is realistic and has obviously generated a lot of interest.”

Wilson, an anti-government activist, who hopes to “kill the spirit of gun control,” has also attracted more than $20,000 in funding, largely from users of untraceable digital currency Bitcoin. “The movement has strong ties to Defense Distributed, sharing an ideology against state control and censorship,” a spokesman for London Bitcoin exchange told Metro. “The company has huge potential and unlimited support.”

Wilson has already indicated plans to produce assault weapons, and the potential has scared gun control advocates. “A felon can essentially open a gun factory in their garage,” said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives admits it has no way to stop Wilson, having already issued him a manufacturing and distribution licence.

But the technology is still expensive and inefficient. “The number of people with access to such printers is extremely limited,” said Michael Weinberg of policy think tank Public Knowledge. “There are better ways to acquire, make and distribute guns if you want to do that.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…