The Growing Presence of 3D Printing: Home Brew Firearms


minutemenIn the wake of the Newtown shootings, much has been made in regards to citizen’s rights to bear arms and the role of the NRA (National Rifle Association).

But now enter another element into the fray: 3D Printing.

As was recently blogged here at the Shockwaverider Blog some time ago, “The Revolution Will Be Printed”, the role of 3D printing in gun manufacturing is a not so widely known fact: many gun manufacturers are already using 3D printing to manufacture a number of firearms owing to cost considerations and efficiency. But with the costs of 3D printing machines dropping and the growing prevalence of 3D printing machines becoming more accessible to the general public, we can expect to see a new era between governmental regulatory control of firearms and those who are the stanch proponents against such notions (i.e., the NRA).

In point of fact, some Staples outlets are now offering 3D printing as part of their regular services: bring in the plans you want to have created, the material necessary to make it and come back later on in the day and viola!  You got your thingy you wanted made.

3D printing is changing the landscape under the ground with which the NRA stands; it will soon be economically and technologically feasible for an average user to simply make their own guns rather than go out and purchase such – and with that, eliminate the middle man: the gun manufacturers.

Let’s face it: many of the more commonly found guns – such as the Glock or the legendary AK-47 – are made to be simple as (for any gun enthusiast with tell you) the simpler the gun is, the less likely it will jam or fail.  At the same token, however, this also suggests that such guns can be easily made / replicated on a more private level via 3D printing services.

What’s this all mean for the NRA and their friends the gun manufacturers?

As we discussed again in another post on the subject of 3D printing (“Fun With Home Brew Pharmaceuticals and 3D Printing”) we compare the making of home-brew pharmaceuticals to that of moonshiners: sure, some folks dig the corn liquor, but you’ll always have those with a taste for aged single malt scotches (as one example).

Problem is, with gun manufacturing, it’s not the same. Now, anyone can literally – through the use of a 3D printer – arm themselves with the state of the art military grade weapons: get the plans and go to town.

We can now expect the NRA to come knocking on the doors of the government – albeit quietly behind the scenes – asking – nay, begging – to have some sort of governmental regulation on this usage of 3D printing.

Gee, the last thing the NRA wants to see is people not only owning their own guns, but being able to make their weapons and ammunition. After all, such notions could be considered as anti-american – if not communist: the very notion of people being able to make their own weapons and ammunition, indeed,…!

For more on this, check out this very cool article: http://pandodaily.com/2013/01/12/3d-printers-could-force-the-nra-to-beg-for-government-regulation/

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