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
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.