Elected representative calls for ban on 3D printed guns.


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Justin
December 10, 2012, 10:30 AM
Via a story at Boing Boing (http://boingboing.net/2012/12/09/congressman-calls-for-ban-on-3.html#disqus_thread)

Well, that was predictable: days after a 3D printed gun fired a few rounds, Rep Steve Israel has called for a ban on of Wiki Weapons. The congressman points out (correctly) that all-plastic 3D printed weapons would not be easy to spot using traditional methods, such as metal detectors.

It turns out that Steve Israel (D, Huntington) is just calling for a renewal of the "Undetectable Weapons Act."

http://www.meetthe112th.com/latest-news/rep-steve-israel-urges-congress-to-renew-wiki-weapon-ban/

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smalls
December 10, 2012, 10:45 AM
The congressman points out (correctly) that all-plastic 3D printed weapons would not be easy to spot using traditional methods, such as metal detectors.

I wonder how accurate that plastic barrel is?

Our education system has failed tremendously. Well, I guess you can't teach sense.

hq
December 10, 2012, 10:46 AM
Has anyone even tried to inform Mr. Israel that weapons like this don't exist and most likely won't in the foreseeable future? He might as well campaign for banning Star Wars handheld blasters.

smalls
December 10, 2012, 11:12 AM
Has anyone even tried to inform Mr. Israel that weapons like this don't exist and most likely won't in the foreseeable future?

They do. Sorta. A few people have made lowers from 3D printers. I think I saw that someone on another forum had a few hundred or a thousand rounds of .22 through one. Then there's the one in 5.56 (?) that only lasted 6 rounds.

Obviously there is some advancement needed to make useable firearms out of them, though. And obviously they aren't completely constructed of plastics. There are barrels, bolts, pins, springs, etc.

hq
December 10, 2012, 11:33 AM
They do. Sorta. A few people have made lowers from 3D printers.

Yes, lowers, but as far as I've understood, we're talking about a complete firearm. The distinct lack of non-metallic barrels, bolts and slides regardless of price range is an indicator that Mr. Israel is addressing a problem that doesn't exist.

Even the most modern carbon fiber barrels have a fairly thick steel lining. All it takes, of course, is one invention that'll replace steel, but considering how much effort and money has been put to developing one during several decades, the likelihood of it happening anytime soon is slim. And when that happens, it still has a long way to trickle down to 3D home printing reality.

Mr. Israel might as well be concerned about the legality of light sabers and Star Trek replicators, without sounding the slightest bit more ridiculous than he does now. :evil:

MachIVshooter
December 10, 2012, 12:03 PM
All it takes, of course, is one invention that'll replace steel, but considering how much effort and money has been put to developing one during several decades,

Oh, there are several other materials that can work for barrels. But they're still metals, and will still set off any detector.

It is theoretically possible to make a firearm that is completely polymer, but we're talking about a one or two shot liberator-type gun using a very low pressure cartridge and having pretty much zero accuracy. There are high impact resins that could take the abuse a time or three. However, these are high tech thermoplastics that require very expensive and precise manufacturing processes, not something that you can squirt out on a rep rap. Build a barrel out of the ABS or nylon coming out of a 3D printer, expect to dig it out of your body in small pieces.

Of course, all the speculating about how it could or couldn't be done kind of ignores the fact that it's still unlawful to possess any firearm that can pass through a metal detector anyway. Furthermore, continued renewal of the UWA won't affect 3D printed firearms in the least, since they'll still need many metal parts. It's clear that this Steve Israel knows nothing of firearms or the state of polymers and ceramics technology.

smalls
December 10, 2012, 01:30 PM
Yes, lowers, but as far as I've understood, we're talking about a complete firearm. The distinct lack of non-metallic barrels, bolts and slides regardless of price range is an indicator that Mr. Israel is addressing a problem that doesn't exist.

You're absolutely right, he is.

Why is he doing this?

It's clear that this Steve Israel knows nothing of firearms.

Pretty much sums it up.

What really infuriates me is that he is trying to pass legislation on a (non)issue that he hasn't even researched, or even has a basic understanding of.

mg.mikael
December 10, 2012, 01:33 PM
What's the point of a law banning 3d printed guns, when there's no possible way to enforce such a law in the first place? At most I see it being symbolic, because in the real world it would be a logistical and technical nigthmare to actually have control over every single item being 3d printed. That's something the lame-brain politican should have thought of first.

Cosmoline
December 10, 2012, 01:40 PM
You can make a lower out of newspaper and glue. And it might last longer than the one they printed did.

Carne Frio
December 10, 2012, 02:22 PM
So, are we next to register all 3D printers ? Or only
automatic and semi-automatic printers ? How about
black powder printers ? (Or is that racist ?)

Skribs
December 10, 2012, 02:27 PM
I know this guy isn't media, but to any media sources who agree with him: If you want to regulate 3D printers, don't be upset when someone else says they should regulate your 2D printers.

hq
December 10, 2012, 02:40 PM
My first color copier was "regulated" back in early 90's. A set of keys, a multi-page agreement of terms and conditions and an interview at Canon headquarters, them asking me to explain what I'm going to use the copier for.

Back in those days some people were horrified that this new, dangerous technology enables people to copy money in COLOR, and overreacted accordingly.

M-Cameron
December 10, 2012, 02:58 PM
ah yes, i can see it now....an unprecedented storm of nerds with crappy and expensive plastic weapons committing atrocities with 'undetectable' weapons that arent really undetectable......

....man, im glad our elected leaders are utilizing their time and tax payers money to battle this menace.

i mean, after the last crime committed with a 3d printed gun, we really aught to crack down on this epidemic!.........oh wait!

ATBackPackin
December 10, 2012, 03:25 PM
Sounds like maybe would should ban our elected officials from watching movies because obviously they cannot determine fact from fiction. The fact that this person would react this way without knowing that there will actually still be metal parts to the gun is pathetic. Not to mention a very good reason why our country is going in the direction it is. However, for arguments sake, lets just say you could be a reliable firearm without any metal or high density materials.......................wouldn't the rounds still be made of metal?

M-Cameron
December 10, 2012, 03:39 PM
Sounds like maybe would should ban our elected officials from watching movies because obviously they cannot determine fact from fiction. The fact that this person would react this way without knowing that there will actually still be metal parts to the gun is pathetic. Not to mention a very good reason why our country is going in the direction it is. However, for arguments sake, lets just say you could be a reliable firearm without any metal or high density materials.......................wouldn't the rounds still be made of metal?

they have made polymer cased bullets (most notably the tround (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dardick_tround)).....however that still leaves the projectile and the primer.

i dont see any reason you couldnt have a plastic bullet....now would a plastic bullet be as effective as a lead bullet.......well no, not even close....but it could still be potentially fatal.

that leaves the primer....now i havent researched materials too deeply.....but i dont know of any material off hand that you could make a primer out of that is non metalic.

EOD Guy
December 10, 2012, 04:29 PM
It has been illegal for years to make a firearm that won't set off a standard metal detector. Why does the wheel have to be reinvented?

M-Cameron
December 10, 2012, 04:47 PM
It has been illegal for years to make a firearm that won't set off a standard metal detector. Why does the wheel have to be reinvented?


because some two-bit politician wants to make a name for himself and get his face all over the news.

nothing new, as stated before with the color copiers......they just take new technology and make it to be "the new evil technology wich has no legitimate use other than crime"......

WardenWolf
December 10, 2012, 04:50 PM
Not all metals will set off a common metal detector, at least in small quantities. It would be theoretically possible to make or reinforce critical components with low-detectable metals. However, these metals can be prohibitively expensive, like gold. It's just not a viable option.

gym
December 10, 2012, 07:07 PM
The problem lies in the fact that all of these politicians are more concerned about making headlines rather than actually reading past laws and restrictions already placed on weapons and weapon reproductions. It's like when xerox came out with laser printers, and everyone was in an uproar about counterfitting our currency. it was so bad that they actually had to modify the printer. Meanwhile no one had the paper or the safety strips then anayway.
It's just a headline grabbing politician, who knows so little about how things are made that he should work at Hasbro.
someone should do utube video with AR's stacking up on the floor as the printer banged them out in different colors.

Prince Yamato
December 10, 2012, 08:39 PM
He might as well campaign for banning Star Wars handheld blasters.

Phaser guns are already illegal in New Jersey. I kid you not.

Tommygunn
December 10, 2012, 08:45 PM
Phaser guns are already illegal in New Jersey. I kid you not. :what:
What the--- !?

No one even knows WHAT A PHASER IS!!!!!
By which I mean "how it works."

Ragnar Danneskjold
December 10, 2012, 08:55 PM
Just because the tech to "print" a fully functional firearm from synthetic materials doesn't exist now, doesn't mean it never will. This law would get the jump on us all and ban the future tech before it's been developed.

MachIVshooter
December 10, 2012, 08:58 PM
If you want to regulate 3D printers, don't be upset when someone else says they should regulate your 2D printers.

A lot more harm has been caused with the 2D variety, that's for sure.

but i dont know of any material off hand that you could make a primer out of that is non metalic.

My dad died when I was 11, and my mom hated guns. When I was 13, I secretly made a muzzle loading pistol from a heavy pellet gun barrel by brazing a nipple on one end. The action was modeled after a cap gun I took apart, and the whole thing was assembled on aluminum bar stock with clamps and other fasteners. For ammo, I would pull the bullet from a .22 LR round and swage it to .177" in a steel block I drilled. I'd use the powder charge from that shell, and I crushed the case rims to get the priming compound out. I tamped that compound into a plastic cap gun cap, and this was my percussion cap. It worked, except that I'd sometimes have to dig little pieces of red plastic out of my fingers. So I shrouded the hammer. Of course, being a stupid kid, I decided that being able to punch through a 6" chunk of pine with my swaged bullets wasn't enough, and started upping the charge. Luckily, the hammer deflected the nipple away from me when the brazing let go! This didn't stop me, of course. I just tapped the back of that barrel and was back in business with a drilled-through piece of grade 8 bolt.

I must've played with that thing for a year until a friend and neighbor bought me a Remington Viper in exchange for some work I did, which stayed at his house until I was 18.

Not all metals will set off a common metal detector, at least in small quantities. It would be theoretically possible to make or reinforce critical components with low-detectable metals. However, these metals can be prohibitively expensive, like gold.

Actually, gold picks up very easily. Metal detectors work on conductivity; The better a conductor the metal is, the easier a detector will pick it up.

barnbwt
December 10, 2012, 10:45 PM
Phaser guns are already illegal in New Jersey. I kid you not.

Sheesh, why don't they ban the T-virus and flux capacitors, while they're at it :rolleyes:. Or just "Bad Things"; I'll bet that would be popular with the folks back home.

No one even knows WHAT A PHASER IS!!!!!
By which I mean "how it works."
Soooo, they could basically ban anything they feel "constitutes a phaser"--which is an undefined entity. Sounds like a law out of The Trial by Franz Kafka (or a Catch-22, for the more modern set:D). Isn't law fun?

TCB

k_dawg
December 13, 2012, 09:48 PM
Don't let him know about the 'duck tape cannon' made by Mythbusters!!!

Ragnar Danneskjold
December 13, 2012, 10:02 PM
Soooo, they could basically ban anything they feel "constitutes a phaser"


They're thinking ahead, just like with this ban.

Hunks of steel that use gunpowder to fire lead projectiles from a brass casing are NOT going to be the most popular weapon forever. Just like stone knives weren't. Neither were bronze swords, or steel ones. Or bows and arrows. We tend to have a very skewed vision of the world and the future in that we seem to believe that the future will always mostly resemble the life we're living now. Except that's never the case. That ancient Greeks would have thought the weapons we buy at Cabelas now are the tools of the gods. A 12th century archer might think your 1911 is witchcraft.

Weapons built entirely from what we currently think of as "plastics" could very well be commonplace in the future. Out idea of what a "plastic" is will probably be totally off 100 years from now. Just as electricity used to be the fist of Zeus and now it's something we use in everything from cell phone batteries to cars, energy could very well become a practical weapon many years from now. And my AR15 will be the equivalent of an English Longbow in the eyes of history.

These laws are dangerous because right now no one really cares. Who cares about banning something that doesn't exist yet? Not many. But later on when these things start to become possible, the laws preventing everyday people from making, possessing, or using them will already be in place. They're playing the long game, and we're letting them do it.

Isaac-1
December 14, 2012, 05:31 AM
The thing is they may have a point here, imagine a time not too far in the future when 3D printers become somewhat common and the technologies mature. After all it seems these 3D printers are improving at an incredible pace every year, and they have only been around for a handful of years, so any year now we might see the home 3D printer capable of printing a functional firearm. Don't laugh, instead remember how shocked you were the first time you saw a home computer printer that could print photo realistic images, just a year or two before everyone thought that tech was decades away, then it was out there in Wal-Mart for $199 (sure the ink cartridge sells for $75, but that is just a small detail).

ShamboPyro
December 14, 2012, 05:16 PM
So, are we next to register all 3D printers ? Or only
automatic and semi-automatic printers ? How about
black powder printers ? (Or is that racist ?)

No, heavens no. Only the ones with adjustable power cords, pistol grips, and bayonet lugs. :)

Motega
December 14, 2012, 05:39 PM
In China the madmen use knives- and over there kids are a favorite target. The carnage is just as devastating. One of my favorite threads is the guy building an AK from a sh*t shovel... and if someone wants to build a pipe bomb they don't need a 3d printer. There will always be homicidal lunatics... that's an argument for MORE guns in our hands, not fewer. Here in NJ if you have even seen a marriage counselor and don't divulge it on your application for each firearm they can deny you on mental grounds, that's a little overboard (a lot overboard), but I'm definitely for some background checks.

ApacheCoTodd
December 14, 2012, 06:18 PM
I gotta wonder. Would one - if so inclined - (1)ban the technology, (2)the activity or (3)the product.

or

1 - I have the ability - but don't taze me dude! I'm not gonna use it.

2 - I'm running the program - but don't taze me dude! I'm not gonna complete the process.

3 - I guess this is one of those 3Dprint thingees - but don't taze me dude! I didn't make it, can't make one and am only holding it for a friend.

barnbwt
December 14, 2012, 09:01 PM
so any year now we might see the home 3D printer capable of printing a functional firearm

I suppose S&W will eventually go the way of the Record Label and Print Publisher if cheap, open source guns (or bootlegs) become makeable in the cottage. I wonder how different (if any different) congress' response would be to this than the illegal music/file download they're either botching or overreaching on? I also wonder what happens when the unfortunate folks in ghettoes plagued by violence, suddenly gain force equality with their tormentors (by which I mean criminals, not the government ;)).

I have a number 4:
Yeah it's a gun, and I have the file for it (as a backup for replacement parts), but don't taze me, it wasn't orignally printed out by me but by a manufacturer, and I paid for (but lost the reciept to) the digital image from the manufacturer! :confused:

What a tangled web we weave...

“Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”

we are not amused
December 15, 2012, 12:59 PM
In a way, I am laughing like crazy! After all, the whole point of a 3D printed gun is to get around gun bans. If 3D printing becomes sophisticated enough to make whole guns, and I believe it will someday, (after all, metal 3D printers now exist) all it will take is the right computer program, (information) and out pops a gun. No government permission necessary. It may take a while, but then only a short time ago, 3D printers were "Star Trek" phantasies.

This is what really freaks out the control freaks. After all information is very hard to control for long.

Neverwinter
December 16, 2012, 10:33 AM
In a way, I am laughing like crazy! After all, the whole point of a 3D printed gun is to get around gun bans. If 3D printing becomes sophisticated enough to make whole guns, and I believe it will someday, (after all, metal 3D printers now exist) all it will take is the right computer program, (information) and out pops a gun. No government permission necessary. It may take a while, but then only a short time ago, 3D printers were "Star Trek" phantasies.
Right now, the primary point of a 3D printed gun is to get around bans. Improvements in 3D printing could affect the direction of commercial production of firearms, at which point bans on 3D printing of guns will be a legal impediment on technological innovation.

Are citizens of that future going to repeal the prohibition if advancements head that way? Who knows.

hAkron
December 16, 2012, 10:52 AM
Guns don't kill people. Rapid prototype machines kill people

(This joke is based on my assumption that a rapid prototype machine is the same as a 3D printer, if I'm wrong thrn please disregard).

barnbwt
December 16, 2012, 01:35 PM
Guns don't kill people. Rapid prototype machines kill people
Only once they become self-aware...

"Robots building Robots? Now that's just stupid"
--Will Smith in I Am Robot :D

BTW, another, better quality and much stronger option for RP than the 6-shot wonder posted earlier (appears to be an extrusion built prototype; very weak bead adhesion and lots of voids in the model) is nearly available. This box uses UV laser light to build very high resolution surfaces with cured epoxy in layers. It's supposedly as strong as an injection molding (as opposed to lightly-welded plastic)
http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0183/2285/files/printer-1.png
Ironically called the "Form 1" 3D Printer--Pre-orders from 3300$ are planned to be filled next April (I just might be saving my pennies...)

PS(who would have thought these guys could raise 2+ million bucks off kickstarter?)

TCB

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