The Lookout

‘World’s first 3-D printable handgun’ under fire

The Liberator (Michael Thad Carter/Forbes)

The creator of what's being called the world's first 3-D-printed handgun is coming under fire from lawmakers concerned that anyone with a 3-D printer and an Internet connection will be able to print an untraceable arsenal.

Cody Wilson, the 25-year-old founder of Defense Distributed, is expected to release his controversial blueprint for the gun—called the "Liberator"—online this week, according to Forbes.

The report immediately drew the ire of both New York Rep. Steve Israel, who called for a renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act, and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who called use of the technology “stomach-churning.”

“Security checkpoints, background checks and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser," Israel said in a statement on Friday. "When I started talking about the issue of plastic firearms months ago, I was told the idea of a plastic gun is science-fiction. Now that this technology is proven, we need to act now."

Defense Distributed announced plans to create the world's first entirely printable handgun last year. In March, the company obtained a federal license as a gun manufacturer.

"The Wiki Weapon project," as it's described on Defense Distributed's website, is "a nonprofit effort to create freely available plans for 3D printable guns."

“This gun can fire regular bullets,” Schumer said, according to the Daily News. “Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon, can essentially open a gun factory in their garage. It must be stopped.”

Wilson, a self-described “free-market anarchist” and University of Texas law student, is keenly aware of the controversy.

"You can print a lethal device," Wilson told Forbes last year. "It's kind of scary, but that's what we're aiming to show."

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