Gun-rights activist Cody Wilson releases blueprint for 3D guns making access to weapon easy for felons, minors

Gun-rights activist Cody Wilson releases blueprint for 3D guns making access to weapon easy for felons, minors
Cody Wilson (Wikimedia Commons)

Cody Wilson is a name associated with creating the world's first fully-functioning 3D hand-printed gun. For years, Wilson has advocated and fought for gun-ownership rights and now, for the third time, has made the blueprint for his invention now available to the public, Wall Street Journal reported.

Wilson had proposed the menacing idea that using his online blueprint for the digital DIY tool, anyone can create a lethal weapon at home. Anyone could download the files from his website, to make a gun using a 3D printer or a computer-automated milling machine. 

Wilson has been battling it out with the federal government over the rights to release the materials related to making his 3D gun. A federal court in Seattle had banned him from giving his plans away for free, and Wilson only interpreted it as a business motive. Deeming his service as "Netflix for 3D guns", Wilson is offering access to his file and the material to make 3D weapons for an annual fee of $50. He insists that he has abided by U.S foreign export controls, using a digital verification tool to make sure that legal files are being downloaded.

Critics have heavily censured his actions. The blueprints, they say, will be easily accessible to felons, minors and mentally ill people to make 3D weaponry that may as well be untraceable for law enforcement officers. This could potentially foster another class of criminals and illegal activity. The federal gun laws generally permit the manufacture of guns for personal ownership upon the background check of the user.

The critics implied that Wilson is essentially steering away from said federal gun laws. The State Department is currently keeping a close eye on Wilson's new effort.

Kelly Sampson of Brady: United Against Gun Violence, a gun-control group, said, “The biggest concern with 3D-printed guns and the technical data for them is that they’re not traceable". 

“It’s a huge loophole and opportunity for people who would otherwise be unable to access firearms to be able to do so," she added.

Wilson is the founder of Defence Distributed, a Texas-based organization that first uploaded the designs to make 3D printed handguns called 'the Liberator,' in 2013. The material used to make the gun is called ABS plastic, the same used in making Lego blocks. 

The US government ordered the company to take down the designs that same year and Wilson sued the government in 2015. According to him, the court that issued the order was trying to suppress his personal rights to the freedom of speech. He expects people to download his 3D gun design blueprints to not necessarily manufacture weaponry but "as a form of internal resistance."

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