Defense Distributed Gets Federal License To Make And Sell 3D-Printed Guns

ar-15 receiver

Defense Distributed, the Austin, Texas-based group dedicated to making the world’s first fully-3D printable guns, has received a federal license to manufacture and sell firearms. Great, just what the world needs. People making AK-47s with an Epson.

The big thing (the license) allows me to do is that it makes me manufacture under the law—everything that manufacturers are allowed to do,” Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson told Ars Technica. “I can sell some of the pieces that we’ve been making. I can do firearms transactions and transport.

OK, so the license doesn’t really allow Billy Bob to print off a Bazooka, but it certainly allows the technology to progress to new levels. Wilson and his colleages have experimented with printing prototypes of guns such as a semi-automatic AR-15. The license now enables Wilson to distribute the guns he prints and sell them.

As previously reported by WallStreetInsanity, Wilson’s goal is to create a wiki repository for firearm blueprints and gunsmithing knowledge. The CAD file for the AR-15 lower receiver—the part of the firearm that houses the operating parts—is available for download on the Defense Distributed Web site and through BitTorrent. The data is legally available to download. So while Wilson will be legally required to keep records of all the guns he makes and sells as a dealer, he is not required to track how many high-tech Bubbas and LeRoys decide to do-it-themselves.

Like WSI’s Zachary Freeman said, “What’s the point of ‘assault weapons’ bans if you can now just torrent a gun alongside a copy of Avengers?” There’s plenty of Second Amendment arguments occurring on both fronts right now, but its seriously doubtful that any Constitutional framers ever considered an individual’s right to print and bare arms. Plus, who wants to be on the wrong end of a shot gun made with a cartridge that was low on ink?