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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Will the advances in 3D printing gut future weapon legislation?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26821points) July 16th, 2016

In another thread, someone alluded that so long as you use durable enough material a rifle, pistol, etc. could be manufactured with a 3D printer and have the same quality and tolerances of a piece fashioned the traditional way; in addition to that, there would be no serial numbers on the rifle, etc. Should the advances in 3D printing become that good (if it has not already) how would that gut future weapon or gun legislation in the future? Someone like David Cho who might be thwarted from purchasing a pistol if legislation somehow included backgrounds for psychiatric treatment, they can just 3D print up their own weapons, same with felons, or anyone else who would run into a roadblock purchasing a gun at a sports shop or gun show. If you do not know who is printing up their own weapons, how do you regulate it?

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7 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

there is nothing stopping people from making their own ammo and firearms from items purchased at walmart and your local hardware store right now.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

One can hope.

The Internet has given everyone a voice (for better or worse).

It will soon give us something more.

Something exists now, how soon can we get the state to regulate it?

CWOTUS's avatar

Probably, but it will take a long time.

As things stand right now, with simple tools that anyone with a home workshop and an ounce of mechanical aptitude may already own, or could acquire for around $500 or so, it is already possible to make a perfectly functional, reliable and durable rifle – which is also completely untraceable. You or I can buy a totally unregulated “80% lower receiver” for an AR-15 or AR-10 for less than $100, complete the final 20% drilling and milling (according to instructions that ship with the part), and then buy – also unregulated – pieces and parts of the rest of the rifle, from the trigger and firing pin to the barrel, magazine, scope and all other parts – and build our own rifles. No serial number. No licensing. No regulation at all – per BATF.

Meanwhile, it is still illegal in my home state to simply own that weapon (unregistered and unlicensed), yet the estimates of people who already own similar weapons in this state – in defiance of the law – range somewhere upwards of a half-million people. That’s in a state of some 3.5 million people.

Laws that cannot be enforced – which have no hope of enforcement – lead inevitably to defiance of those laws and of laws in general.

kritiper's avatar

Doubt if any 3D printer can accurately cast a rifle barrel of appropriate ID bore and roundness, not to mention the chamber and/or receiver itself.
The firing pin would not stand up to repeated use (or not work at all) if made of plastic.
The hammer might not be of needed mass to drive the firing pin adequately into the bullet primer.
If certain parts of a gun wouldn’t melt from rapid fire and/or bolt performance, friction, how could a plastic be melted to form the gun? (Rhetorical question.)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Doubt if any 3D printer can accurately cast a rifle barrel of appropriate ID bore and roundness, not to mention the chamber and/or receiver itself.
The firing pin would not stand up to repeated use (or not work at all) if made of plastic.
Advances in plastics the printer can use, or other more durable material, or even advances in plastics themselves could change all or some of that.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’ll just have to 3D print myself some body armor, and hope….

kritiper's avatar

^^ Still doubt it. Advances in the plastics themselves will not make the rifle barrel or receiver bores perfectly round enough to eliminate malfunctions.

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