banning 3D-printed firearms altogether
Since Defense Distributed’s Liberator is currently the only 3D-printed gun with widely available blueprints, that’s the one the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) decided to test out. In fact, it made several different versions of the weapon: some used plastic produced by Visjet and others were made of the stronger acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic, the stuff the single-shot gun’s CAD file actually calls for. And the verdict? According to Earl Griffith, chief of ATF’s firearms technology branch:
The bottom line is, the penetration results demonstrated that the Liberator is a lethal weapon. The .380 bullets fired from the Liberator penetrate sufficiently to reach vital organs and perforate the skull.
But it’s not just the guy on the other end who should be worried; if the person holding the gun doesn’t have any real experience/any idea what he or she is doing, they could be going down just as easily. As you can see in the videos, the gun made of Visijet’s plastic couldn’t handle the pressure, blowing up the second they pulled the trigger. Imagine all the flying plastic shrapnel shooting into someone’s face — it’s not pretty.
Though the Liberator may be the only 3D-printed gun available on a wide basis currently, it’s not going to stay that way for long. The ATF needs to figure out some way to regulate the problem before these easily undetectable weapons become just as easy to print as a term paper — for everyone’s sake. [Huffington Post]