Rep Steve Israel trying to score points with 3D printed gun hysteria

Michael Weinberg from Public Knowledge sez "Last week, Rep. Steve Israel introduced a bill designed to regulate firearms that cannot be found by metal detectors. The bill makes a passing reference the 3D printing, which is fine. But the rhetoric that Rep. Israel is using to promote the bill is both muddled and overblown, and focuses almost exclusively on 3D printing. He sent a letter to his fellow Members of Congress titled 'Co-Sponsor Legislation to Ban 3D Printed Guns.' This is a problem."


  1. Muddled? Overblown? Try standard operating procedure. These are politicians were talking about here.

  2. The most horrifying thing about modern governments is that, almost without exception, the people who make the laws are the least informed about the things they’re legislating.  Anybody with even the tiniest shred of actual knowledge about firearms can tell you that there will not be a functional “plastic” gun any time in the foreseeable future.  No non-metallic material currently known to science is capable of acting as a breech for a functional firearm*.  The pressures involved are enormous, and no plastic, ceramic or composite can handle it.  If you had ten million dollars, you still couldn’t build a gun without metal.  Certainly nobody will be running one off in a basement 3D printer any time soon.

    This isn’t just hysterical exaggeration, it’s downright WRONG.

    * Unless it only needs to work once, or you don’t mind a “handgun” the size of a shoebox.

    1. If you’re sneaking a gun past metal detectors, odds are you do only need it to fire once – you’re probably going to use it for threat/assassination and not “killing spree”. (Anyone looking to do a kill spree is going to start with the guards at the security checkpoint, anyway.)

      If you need a second shot, you just bring two of your undetectable guns; one shot to show it works, and the terror of the second gun will keep everyone else in line. (Well, as well as terror does, anyway.) Also, unless the gun fails in a visibly obvious way, people will assume you have more than one shot from the gun.

  3. The proper response to the printed gun controversy, although the NRA would never allow it, would be to require serial numbers and purchase restrictions for other parts of the firearm. It’s unlikely that anyone can print a barrel.

  4. I think the tone of the blurb is more overblown than the letter it describes. 3D printed guns will be a problem in the near future, so it’s good that this man addresses them now and tries to do something about them.

    1. Do you have experience with firearms?

      If you did, you’d realize that it doesn’t take much to have them blow up in your face: Chamber/receiver/barrel weakness, ammunition loaded too ‘hot’ or barrel imperfections can all cause your ammunition or firearm to turn into a short range grenade. dangerous more to the operator than what it is being fired at.

      This hysteria is retarded. Just like when Glock started selling polymer pistols back in the 80s. Don’t believe me; search Google for “Glocks and metal detectors.” Hysterical, frothing, and most importantly unthinking “Think of the children!” blather from those that know not, and don’t care enough to learn even a little bother me. Especially when they are making decisions that affect everyone by setting precedent and law.

      As a general note to everyone: You can make your own firearms right now as a federal firearms non-licensee by filling out an ATF form 1 (Application to make and register a firearm) and submit money, fingerprints and a photograph. You must be allowed to own firearms in the first place (No felony and/or domestic violence convictions, Must be a US Citizen, must never have been dishonorably discharged from the military, renounced your citizenship. You must be 21, and not legally insane or a drug addict. That is, if you want to move it across state lines afterwards or transfer it to another person.

      If you don’t want it to be movable across state lines or sell it (ever.) you can make firearms all day every day as long as they meet the criteria to not be a “national firearms act” firearm (Short barrel or overall length shotgun/rifle, grenade launcher or machine gun.) and remain yours alone. You wouldn’t even have to put a serial number on them.

      As always, talk to a lawyer before you proceed or if you don’t believe.

      1. We get the drill.

        The political rhetoric is overblown.  The concomitant and tangential challenge to the benefits additive manufacturing can bring are awful.  The win for established manufacturers if they can put additive manufacturing down in infancy is obvious.

        But there is an issue here:  people will print off arsenals.  The manufacturing will improve.  It will be impossible to trace.

        I don’t particularly fancy living in a world where gunslingers can have any weapon they want, any time.

        1. There is a guy making .50 gyrojet ammo.
          One of the problems with the old gyrojet ammo was quality control.  
          Modern manufactured gyrojet ammo, expensive and rare is better than the old stuff was and improves the performance (from what the Gyrojet owners have to say about it…) I dont have $20-50 a shot for ammo or $3-5k for a Gyrojet so I will take their word for it.

  5. The same people who don’t see a downside to kids getting shot up at the Sandy Hill School are definitely against their not getting their money from people 3D printing their own guns.

    That’s what the politician’s issue here is. He’s not getting money from a 3D printer manufacturer.

    If he was, he’d shut the hell up like a good little piggy at a trough.

  6. Do they have plastic bullets now? Wait! No! As a child of 70s Belfast I am well aware they have plastic bullets, I mean do they have ammunition cased in non-metallic substances? Or is that small enough to avoid detection?

    I guess a simple zip gun could be made from a chemically ignited, kevlar-braiding-reinforced  “plastic”-barrelled “musket” firing a stone or high-density plastic round. Regardless you’re not going to make it with a 3D printer and it won’t be spraying bullets.

  7. In New Zealand last week we had concerns voiced about 3d printing of guns and drugs (!).  This was from the same Maurice Williamson whose great marriage-equality speech is making the rounds of the internet.

  8. I wish these manufacturing heroes the best in their fight to bring 3d-printed guns into the world against the interference of our oppressive government. I think we can all agree that the biggest problem we face in America today is our terrible shortage of guns. High-powered firearms are simply too difficult to obtain for the average citizen. Only when people have the ability to print out assault rifles as if they were Groupons will we finally be able to assure ourselves that there are enough guns around to ensure our safety.

  9. For everyone who is worried about 3d Printed guns as being too easy to make, I would submit that regular guns are still easier to get and build.

    The prime example is the STEN.  It can be built with hand tools (minus the rifled barrel) in a garage.  The blueprints/templates for it have been freely available for 70+ years.
    If the psycho wants to go on a spree, a rifled barrel is not all that important.

    1.  Hmm, I was wondering whether anyone is making sten guns off the WWII designs, but then I googled and one of the first hits is Stormfront. Jeez.

      1. I have two Semi Auto Stens.
        It is actually much harder to make a sten into a legal semi auto rifle or pistol than to make a fully auto sten.
        Both of my stens were legally manufactured as semi autos by a licensed 07 FFL and have serial numbers on them.  I have a pistol permit for the semi auto pistol and filled out a form 4473 for the rifle.

  10. i’m sorry but i don’t understand what “The bill makes a passing reference the 3D printing” means…

  11. How can we begin to solve the problem of 3D printed guns when we can’t keep 2D guns out of our schools?

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