Government Moves Against 3D Printed Weapons

By Deane Barker on December 9, 2012

Rep. Steve Israel urges Congress to renew ‘Wiki Weapon’ ban: Remember the Wiki Weapon project, where a group is trying to 3D print a working gun?  I predicted that the government would be uptight about this:

[…] government tries to regulate physical things by concentrating on their “choke points.”  With a gun, it has to be made by someone, and sold by someone else, so the government regulates at those points.

But with 3D printing, the choke points go away.  When anyone can make a gun, you don’t just have a couple hundred manufacturers and a couple thousand retailers to worry about – now the guns can come from anywhere, and this simple fact makes them more or less impossible to regulate.

Predictably, the government is now officially uptight, though their uptight-ness supposedly stems from the fact that these weapons are plastic, not metal:

“It is just a matter of time before these three-dimensional printers will be able to replicate an entire gun,” Israel said at a news conference at the security checkpoint at Long Island MacArthur Airport. “And that firearm will be able to be brought through this security line, through the metal detector, and because there will be no metal to be detected, firearms will be brought on planes without anyone’s knowledge.”

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