Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive
Gun Lovers Download Printable Gun 50,000 Times on its First Day — and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly is Alarmed
Untraceable gun alarms lawmakers and law enforcers. 'The Liberator' can be sneaked onto planes.
New York Daily News
7 May 2013
The first downloadable gun has gone viral.
The plastic firearm that can be churned out on a 3-D printer and easily assembled was downloaded at least 50,000 times Monday, according to the self-described anarchist who made it available for free online.
Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed, a collective of gun advocates, said the most downloads were done in Spain followed by the United States.
The prospect of terrorists getting hold of the guns by clicking a computer mouse chilled NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly to the core.
"It's something that obviously is a concern," Kelly said. "It's something that the federal government should look at."
Rep. Steve Israel (D-L.I.) is writing legislation to tighten the reins on the printable guns.
Kelly's biggest fear is that the gun — called the "Liberator" — will easily sneak past metal detectors and then onto commercial airplanes and into secure buildings.
"If that capability exists anywhere it can exist all over the country," Kelly said.
But Cody didn't seem to care.
"Policemen aren't paid to understand constitutional law or suggest policy," Cody told the Daily News after being informed of Kelly's comments.
He also didn't seemed concerned about the guns falling into the wrong hands.
"The U.S. government puts guns in the hands of terrorists — then waxes about the children," he said.
For now, printing out the gun's 16 components is not as easy Cody's group makes it sound; the high-tech printers needed for the job are super expensive and not readily available.
And some companies that own the machines are refusing to print out the guns on principal.
"We have checks and balances in place throughout the printing process to ensure that these items are not printed," said Elisa Richardson, spokeswoman for Shapeways.com, a 3-D printing company in Long Island City.
"Additionally, any files containing such content will be promptly removed and those respective users will be notified immediately," Richardson said. "Shapeways does not hold a firearms license, nor intend to."
To get around existing federal laws against undetectable firearms, Defense Distributed requires that a six-ounce piece of steel be inserted in the gun. The only other piece of metal in the gun is a firing pin which is a simple nail.
But law enforcement officials believe nefarious people are downloading the guns and will simply leave out the metal slab and not insert the firing pin until they're ready to attack.