U.S. Government Orders 3D Gun Designer to Remove Blueprint…Good Luck

Saturday, May 11, 2013
3D-printed plastic Liberator pistol (photo: Defense Distributed)

U.S. officials have ordered the company behind a new type of plastic handgun that uses 3D printers to remove its designs from the Internet. But that likely won’t stop the distribution of the information.


Defense Distributed, which created the single-shot “Liberator” weapon, put up the designs on its website—which were downloaded 100,000 times in just two days.


The State Department then ordered Defense Distributed to take down the blueprint, claiming its online availability may represent a violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.


Cody Wilson, the company’s founder and a University of Texas at Austin law student, said he would comply with the government’s order as best he can.


The problem, from the federal government’s point of view, is that Defense Distributed’s web pages are hosted by Mega, a New Zealand-based storage service created by ex-hacker entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, an outspoken critic of the U.S. government.


It remained to be seen if Mega will agree to remove the file from its servers. Even if it does, the blueprint has been downloaded numerous times, and people are likely to continue sharing it across the Web. In fact, it continues to be made available on The Pirate Bay.


Anyone wishing to build a Liberator needs only a 3D printer that can craft the firearm out of a special hardened plastic.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

US Government Orders Removal of Defcad 3D-Gun Designs (BBC News)

State Department Demands Takedown Of 3D-Printable Gun Files For Possible Export Control Violations (by Andy Greenberg, Forbes)

Plans For 3D-Printed Gun Downloaded 100,000 Times; State Department in Contact With Defense Distributed (by Emi Kolawole, Washington Post)


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