Literally (for once) weaponizing the First Amendment

The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it: even after opponents manage to talk a judge into issuing a prior restraint order on speech, gun blueprints are still online in widely available libraries and will remain so. And making a gun at home in the U.S. remains legal, as it has been all along, though subject to a recent law on those undetectable by scanner technology [Brian Doherty, David French/NRO, Declan McCullagh, Josh Blackman thread, Erica] And I only read Playboy for the articles about guns written by colleague Matt Larosiere (“Fully 3-D printed guns are still ineffective, probably less effective than firearms you can craft from hardware store scraps.”) Earlier on Defense Distributed “arms export” controversy here and here, and more from David Kopel and Cyrus Farivar on the lawsuit settlement. More: Trevor Burrus (“Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Against Blueprints for Homemade Muskets”).


  • “Fully 3-D printed guns are still ineffective, probably less effective than firearms you can craft from hardware store scraps.”

    1. Has anyone tried a fully 3-D printed plastic gun with black powder loads, which produce lower pressures than modern gun-powder?

    2. There are 3-D printers that work in metals (including steel) using a laser driven additive welding process available now. Has anyone tried making a gun with one of those?

    • And regardless of the current state of the tech, it improves… And the same files may print in better materials next week, next month or next year… But regardless of that, they are providing plans not guns . Additionally, this started over export restrictions which was a “thing”, now it’s just states trying to implement content based restrictions on speech. People can make weapons at home, get over it. You sell gasoline to just about anyone, ditto sugar, bottles? Plastic or glass? Chlorine for pools? Ammonia? Fertilizers? Sulfur? Nails? Wire? Internet connections which lead to basic and advanced chemistry texts?
      My 18 year old daughter drove about three blocks did a little shopping and came home with a shotgun, and it’s even pink. And we live in nowhere Wi, county population of less than 10k. Did she have a reason? Yes, Ravens were raiding our flock of baby birds, so they received a death sentence. All nice and legal, talked with DNR, local police and have film footage of the raven killing members of our flock. Don’t mess with a country girl. 😀
      Why would you have it any other way? Now if she can just catch that fox when she’s armed…

  • Matt,
    I do 3D modeling and design for a living. 90% of your 3D printers use ABS plastic. The black powder load would produce a lower temperature but would create enough heat that it would probably set the plastic on fire. The metal 3D printers use what is called “Laser Sintering”. The laser heats metal powder, fusing it together. The printed part is brittle and not very strong. If you fired one it would make a pretty good hand grenade.

    The 3D guns that are being talked about use machined metal barrels and other components that mount to the 3D printed parts.

    This is just more anti-gun hype.

    • Don’t you know yet that you can’t combat fear with facts? The anti-gun folks have never cared about facts.