Group to debut handgun you can print at home

A University of Texas law student says he finally has the printable 3-D gun developed, and plans to release the design files next week.

By Kim Peterson May 3, 2013 3:57PM
Caption: cutaway view of a .22 single shot plastic firearm
Credit: Via caboose: University of Texas law student has spent months developing the design for a handgun that people can make at home using a 3-D printer.

Cody Wilson intends to release the blueprints for the gun next week, according to Forbes. The gun, which he's calling the "Liberator," can be printed out in 16 plastic pieces and assembled. It shoots standard handgun bullets. The gun in the photo to the left is not the Liberator, but a different 3-D printed gun from Wilson's nonprofit group, Defense Distributed. You can see photos of the Liberator at Forbes' website.

Two pieces of the Liberator can't be printed out: the metal firing pin and a 6-ounce piece of steel in the body required by the Undetectable Firearms Act. That law bans any gun that could pass through a metal detector without setting off the alarm.

But it wouldn't be too tough to find a way around those metal requirements. The gun doesn't need a serial number, either, and could be printed out without a federal background check.

It's pretty obvious why Wilson has become what Forbes calls "one of the most controversial figures in the 3-D printing community."

So is Wilson's invention a threat to Smith & Wesson (SWHC) or Sturm Ruger (RGR)? Hardly. It's just a fringe hobby, but one that's already getting the attention of lawmakers worried about weapons getting into the wrong hands.

You can buy a home version of a 3-D printer for as little as $1,000, reports The Economist, while industrial printers cost around $15,000. The Economist has a solid writeup on 3-D printing, a technology it says could "rewrite the rules of manufacturing in much the same way as the PC trashed the traditional world of computing."

Check out this video that explains the technology behind 3-D printing a little more.

More on moneyNOW

May 3, 2013 4:19PM
Don't let Feinstein read this or she's likely to say "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn all your 3D printers in."
May 3, 2013 4:41PM

Turn in your Semiautomatic Rifles, Turn in your Hand Guns, Turn in your Long Guns. The POLICE / government will take care of you, "WHEN THE BAD GUYS ARE AT YOUR HOUSE."

May 3, 2013 5:32PM
Once any type of technology exists, two things will happen. 1) someone will develop a more sophisticated version of it and 2) someone will use it for criminal/destructive/nefarious purposes. The only way technology of any kind will be destroyed is if ALL technology is destroyed by some technological device.
May 3, 2013 4:59PM
People want guns to protect themselves from a possible tyrannical government but unless you can buy drones or hell fire missiles you don't really have a chance. 
May 4, 2013 1:37AM
Pelosi is so butt hurt right now...
May 3, 2013 7:44PM
I would not shoot it without extensive testing. I seriously doubt that it can hold up to the heat and pressure. You can make metal guns with inexpensive desktop CNC machines that will do everything a gun should, and safely. You can make a functioning gun with hand tools or the tools found in many hobbyist's shops. If the object is to make a covert gun, see "zip gun." There was already a gun called the Liberator. It was metal and useful. I fear this "tech" will just lead to trouble with no actual benefit except to the guys using it to promote themselves. FYI, you can make a single-shot shtgun out of rolled up newsapers or magazines. You can make a single shot disposable gun out of PVC or CPVC. You can make a contact firing "powerhead" out of pipe. This appears to be a solution looking for a problem. Kinda cool, though.
May 3, 2013 11:32PM
How many background checks do I have to go thru to get this one?
May 3, 2013 9:09PM
May 5, 2013 6:51PM

Let's see....You've got a gun made out of LEGOs, mine is made from Hardened steel...


May 6, 2013 9:30AM

A "well regulated Militia" is the right of a State to protect itself..With it's own powers.


The "right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"...

Pertains to the Citizens and Individuals..


You are correct, there is "no arguement", pretty simple and easy to understand..

It was written specifically that way, for a reason.

May 6, 2013 5:50AM
You knew it was only a matter of time before this was going to happen.  This first design may be a little crude but if it functions then expect them to become more & more sophisticated as the printer technology advances.  Eventually you'll probably be able to print out guns comparable to an AR-15 or Sig-Sauer P226 & no law banning them will ever stop that dike from bursting.  If you can download bomb-making instructions & child pornography from the internet you'll always be able to get printer downloads for guns.
May 3, 2013 4:55PM
It's just like the CSI: NY episode where some guy made a gun from a 3D printer, but it was faulty and wouldn't work after one shot.
May 3, 2013 11:05PM
Kick ****. I've been following defense distributed over the last few months. They've definitely got some cool concepts and designs. However, when 3-D gun printing really takes hold  I'm sure the feds will be on it in no time. I know the ATF already monitors him closely; They're probably just waiting for something to try to nail him on even though he currently isn't violating any laws.
May 6, 2013 9:15AM
It is an interesting concept from a purely technical view.  I'm not sure how many shots you could get before it failed with the current type of resin used in these things, but as technology improves so will printed guns.  Someone will do it.  If not this guy then someone else.  On the downside I'm sure that whoever is thinking of sneaking a gun past a security checkpoint as part of a larger plan is already more advanced that this guy.  Getting the bullets themselves through a metal detector is another hurdle, though.  But wait until the first assassination or hijacking done with one & you'll see the feds scramble to try & lock it down.  But the genie is already out of the bottle & you can't get it back inside unless you let the government take total control of the internet.
May 6, 2013 9:37AM
Oh, just ban everything and get it over with.
May 3, 2013 6:52PM
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
Maybe if the government defined what constitutes a well regulated militia we could avoid a lot of these problems
May 6, 2013 8:45AM
Democrats own Guns just like Republicans own Gun. This notion that a certain party doesn't believe in Gun Ownership is pure bull. Now you can say certain people don't believe in Gun Ownership, that would be true. You could say some people believe in owing a gun but limits on the types and ammo you use, that also would be true. Some folks just prefer to misinform and say this group or that group doesn't want you to own a gun. It's fits a given Agenda and it certainly helps propel record gun and ammo sales.

This notion that the government is going to come and take your guns is misinformation also. All we ever hear is that the military is mostly backers of Republicans. So how would that mean the government will take your guns?  Clearly they would not and it just more scare tactics by certain folks who thrive on misinformation. Someone stated it best, you don't really have much of a chance when the military has far more advance weapons. So if they really wanted to get you regardless of party, it's not much you could do to stop them. However, they don't want you. They are YOU!

May 6, 2013 9:59AM
When folks try to break the 2nd Amendment into two parts, that can mislead to what it actually states. We all know what it says.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Well Regulated Militia applies to the entire sentence. The saving graces or not, depending on your stance is the X Amendment.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Jul 10, 2013 10:53AM
So what if a gun gets past metal detectors? That's not a problem until bullets can too.
May 6, 2013 4:42PM
Well regulated means you can still have a gun from a federal standpoint to up to a point. When it comes to states, the ball game changes, state to state. The Supreme Court has hardly decide the issues of the 2nd Amendment. 

1939 United States versus Miller
2008 Supreme Court revisit District of Columbia versus Heller
2010 Decision McDonald versus the City of Chicago

Not once has that changed the "Well Regulated Militia" as some might suggest. Not even close.

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