Plastic Handguns?

Adaptation of photograph by Creative Tools, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Copyright © 2012 Creative Tools.

Adaptation of photograph by Creative Tools, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Copyright © 2012 Creative Tools.

Daisy Valentin, Columnist

What can a printer do with plastic? On May 4, 2013, the world’s first 3D gun was created.

Cody Wilson, a 25 year old law student, created the weapon using a 3D printer. He dedicated eight months to creating the gun which he calls the Liberator. The creation of the weapon was a part of a non-profit organization called Defense Distributed, founded by Wilson.

Before the Liberator was invented, only interchangeable parts of firearms were made from plastic, making this a huge breakthrough in technology. The weapon was printed on a Stratasys Dimension SST printer. The Liberator is almost entirely made of plastic, except for two pieces of metal which include the nail for the firing pin and a 0.380-caliber round. The firearm can also release other types of ammo.

Laws have started increasing because of fears of terrorist attacks and for safety precautions. The government has concerns about the 3D firearm falling into the wrong hands. A part of the biggest concern overall is the fact that since the weapon is made from plastic, it will be capable of going through a metal detector without being detected. New York Senator, Charles Schumer, is trying very hard to ban 3D firearms. On Sunday May 5, 2013, Senator Schumer said, “Passing the law would not only prevent people from making these parts, it would raise awareness on the issue…We’re facing a situation where anyone [a felon, a terrorist] can open a gun factory in their garage.” A 3D printer is capable of creating an assault weapon, what will it do next?