(LIN) — A University of Texas law student has made history and headlines recently by successfully firing the world’s first 3-D printed gun.
The gun, called the “Liberator,” poses major questions and dilemmas in the country’s ongoing gun control debate, but that hasn’t stopped the self-described anarchist Cody Wilson from posting the gun’s blueprints online and showing a demonstration on YouTube, which has racked up more than 2.6 million views in just 3 days.
His company, Defense Distributed, has a three-point mission statement: To develop a fully printable firearm, adapt the current design down to a cheaper printer and to become the web’s printable gun wiki for printable plans.
“This project might change the way we think about gun control and consumption,” according to the website. “How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet? Let’s find out.”
Some lawmakers aren’t interested in finding out, and are quickly trying to parse together legislation that could ban plastic guns.
“Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who’s mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon can essentially open a gun factory in their garage,” says Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “And, the only thing they need is a computer and a little over a thousand dollars. No background check and you don’t even need to leave your house to make hundreds of these guns.”
What also leaves Schumer and others concerned is the inability for plastic guns to be detected by metal detectors.
While there is no law yet banning the creation of firearms, the Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act was introduced on April 10 and seeks to ban undetectable firearms, firearm receivers and ammunition magazines.
- ONLINE: View the full text of the bill
The bill, championed by both Schumer and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., also brings up the increasing popularity of 3-D printers and the ability to create firearms.
“These 3-D printers which print sort of 3-D plastic the way they spray ink on a piece of paper have a lot of very good uses. No one wants to abolish them. They make parts for machines that are out of circulation and the part has worn out,” Schumer explains. “ But now, of course, because you can make a gun and this group, this libertarian group printed it online which I think is a reckless act, it can create real danger as well. A felon, a terrorist, can make a gun in the comfort of their home not even leaving their home and do terrible damage with it.”
In the meantime, Wilson plans to continue to grow his website and mission.
“WikiWep is about challenging gun control and regulation. Economic or reliability advantages vs. traditional guns or gun production aren’t even at issue. We look to inspire and defend those who live (and are threatened to live) under politically oppressive regimes. Firearm Rights are Human Rights.”