In an attempt to circumvent proposed regulations that would make it illegal to share or distribute blueprints for any kind of homemade gun, Peter Alaric DeSimone has designed a completely legal 3D-printed alternative that shoots .40-calibre blowgun darts instead.
Because the term ‘firearm’ only covers weapons that fire a projectile through the use of an explosive charge, airguns, like DeSimone’s creation, are exempt from all federal regulations, including those designed to limit the availability of schematics and blueprints.
To print all of the gun’s various components takes about 12 hours, and you’ll need a larger 3D printer to accommodate the weapon’s main body which is produced as a single piece for added strength. Simple rubber bands are used to power the airgun’s piston mechanism which fires .40-calibre dart with a surprising amount of force. Adding poison to the darts to make them lethal is almost certainly illegal, but 3D printing your own to pop a few balloons surprisingly isn’t going to get you into any trouble with the law. This is not to say you should run out and buy a 3D printer so you can start churning out your own arsenal — but it’s a perfect example of how 3D printing is adding a new, and incredibly complicated, dimension to the debate over gun laws.