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Makerbot Cracks Down On 3D-Printable Gun Parts 528

Posted by samzenpus
from the right-to-print-arms dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes in with a story at Forbes about Makerbot deleting gun component blueprints on Thingiverse. "In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, the 3D-printing firm Makerbot has deleted a collection of blueprints for gun components from Thingiverse, its popular user-generated content website that hosts 3D-printable files. Though Thingiverse has long banned designs for weapons and their components in its terms of service, it rarely enforced the rule until the last few days, when the company's lawyer sent notices to users that their software models for gun parts were being purged from the site. Gun control advocates were especially concerned about the appearance of lower receivers for semi-automatic weapons that have appeared on Thingiverse. The lower receiver is the the 'body' of a gun, and its most regulated component. So 3D-printing that piece at home and attaching other parts ordered by mail might allow a lethal weapon to be obtained without any legal barriers or identification. Makerbot's move to delete those files may have been inspired in part by a group calling itself Defense Distributed, which announced its intention to create an entirely 3D-printable gun in August and planned to potentially upload it to Thingiverse. Defense Distributed says it's not deterred by Makerbot's move and will host the plans on its own site."
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Makerbot Cracks Down On 3D-Printable Gun Parts

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  • Re:Tax evasion (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:18AM (#42346613)
    You probably won't read this but I can only hope to educate someone else. It's a MOOT point, not a MUTE point. Seriously.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:28AM (#42346651)
    A QUEUE is when you line up for service. A CUE is a signal for someone to say their line.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:30AM (#42346677)

    Not true. You are allowed to make the serialized part (the lower receiver, in the case of an AR-15) so long as it's not for sale. I've milled several out of aluminum for custom target & hunting rifles with the full blessing of local law enforcement and BATFE offices.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:30AM (#42346679)
    Oh misinformation how i love you. It is legal to make your OWN guns (not full auto) - but it is illegal to SELL them. You can mill all the gun parts you want to keep for yourself (again, sans the NFA firearms). It becomes illegal when you try to sell it.
  • not exactly (Score:4, Informative)

    by nten (709128) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:30AM (#42346689)

    You only have to have a manufacturing license if you wish to transfer the created firearm to another party. You can make any firearm you want as long as it does not fall under the NFA (can not be easily modified to fire more than one bullet per trigger pull, is not intentionally quieted, etc.), and you do not give it to anyone else. There is a large market in 80% complete receivers. You buy a piece of metal then bend and drill it a bit with a vice and drill press and you have an AK receiver. Order the rest online with no checks. You can also get almost finished aluminium blanks for AR receivers and mill them as you said.

    You are correct in saying that most bad things people can do with a firearm are illegal. Making a firearm isn't a bad thing. Make as many as you like, just don't kill people with them.

  • Re:Defense (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:34AM (#42346727) Homepage

    Problem is Assault weapons ARE already heavily controlled. You have to have a Class 3 license to buy assault rifles.

    An AR-15 is NOT an assault weapon. It does not have select fire and is only a single shot semi automatic rifle.

    Calling these assault rifles it like pointing at a car and calling it a truck.

    here is one that will make you wig out. I can buy WITHOUT A LICENSE a fully automatic high rate of fire Gatling gun or machine gun. If it was made before 1986 It's legal to own without any permit or license.

    I can also build and own a FLAME THROWER without a license.

    Banning Semi automatic modular rifles will solve nothing. It was already proven that this does not work, it's why the previous ban was overturned.

  • by bmxeroh (1694004) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:37AM (#42346763) Homepage
    See my post above. Long story short, you're wrong. It is not illegal to manufacture your own firearm as long as it isn't a NFA regulated gun (full-auto, silencer, few other restrictions), AND you don't build it with the intentions of selling it. From the ATF website:

    For your information, per provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, an unlicensed individual may make a “firearm” as defined in the GCA for his own personal use, but not for sale or distribution. The GCA, 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3), defines the term “firearm” to include the following: (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive: (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.

  • by billybobbubbasmith (1079013) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:41AM (#42346793)
    it is in no way a felony for someone to make(Including print) their own firearm. the problem comes if you try to sell that firearm.
    from the atf website:
    For your information, per provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, an unlicensed individual may make a “firearm” as defined in the GCA for his own personal use, but not for sale or distribution.

    Individuals manufacturing sporting-type firearms for their own use need not hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs). However, we suggest that the manufacturer at least identify the firearm with a serial number as a safeguard in the event that the firearm is lost or stolen. Also, the firearm should be identified as required in 27 CFR 478.92 if it is sold or otherwise lawfully transferred in the future.


    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/firearms-technology.html [atf.gov]
  • Re:Defense (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:47AM (#42346819)

    > If it was made before 1986 It's legal to own without any permit or license.

    Bullshit. Pre-86 machine guns are regulated under the NFA and require extensive paperwork with the ATF, extra background checks, waiting periods that run 6 mo to over a year, tax stamps, chief LEO sign-off, and other requirements in order to own.

  • Re:Defense (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:04AM (#42346983)
    My girlfriend's father's Zastava M48 (a post-war Eastern European copy of the Mauser 98K) and my family's Lorenz rifled musket were both designed for military use. In fact, both are more powerful than an AR-15 (the first shoots 8mm Mauser, the second is .54 caliber). The only difference is, these guns don't look "scary"; wood furniture instead of plastic, no pistol grip (they both have bayonet lugs; in fact many mid-century military firearms such as Mosin Nagants are actually sold WITH the bayonet, and only cost about $100 depending on the market). Hell, a decent marksman with a bolt-action rifle could do a lot more damage than this kid did. This is all a knee-jerk reaction based solely upon looks, not capability.

    And actually, yes, there are numerous hunting variants of AR-15s. Most come with 5 round mags, have no front sight, and have a different barrel and furniture and don't look at all "tactical"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:14AM (#42347063)

    You are flat-out wrong. Automobile deaths have been steadily decreasing since 2005.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Defense (Score:3, Informative)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:23AM (#42347169) Homepage Journal

    Assault Rifles and Assault Weapons are not the same thing. The latter was defined by the AWB in 1994, and the former is defined by the US military, and others, as being, essentially, an intermediate-ammunition firing battle rifle.

    Moreover, the term AR-15 covers a firearm design pattern that includes M-16s and M-4s. So yes, some AR-15s are Assault Rifles.

    All AR-15s are Assault Weapons, that is, they're defined as such by the AWB. I don't mean the AWB says "Weapons that have the following features are AWs" and you can see that the AR-15 fits the bill, I mean the AWB defines the AR-15 as an Assault Weapon by name.

    There's a lot of controversy about the term, but it sounds like you've heard a somewhat confused explanation about them. For more information, check out the excellent Wikipedia pages on both terms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_Rifle [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_Weapon [wikipedia.org]

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:39AM (#42347357)

    The stupidity of the gun grabbers simply astounds me. They're all the moral panic of the drug war with all the security theater of the Patriot Act, and yet they would likely be against both. "Ooh, but guns are scary! Thank God some kids were murdered so we have a new excuse to bitch about them!"

    Your stance is OK as long as you are also OK with the firearms homicide rate in the US being 30 times that of Australia and 60 times that of the UK.
     
      List of countries by firearm-related death rate [wikipedia.org]
     
    Something needs to be done about the cowboy culture in the US as it is killing you off like a third world nation. I won't say that tighter gun control is all of the solution, but you have to start admitting how fucked up you are before you can even start to solve the problem.

  • by pongo000 (97357) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:04AM (#42347685)

    Every other western nation has seriously controlled guns and their level of gun violence is dramatically lower than in the US.

    Cite needed.

    Oh wait, I've got some cites you can use:

    Our most conservative estimates show that by adopting shall-issue laws, states reduced murders by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%. If those states that did not permit concealed handguns in 1992 had permitted them back then, citizens might have been spared approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies. To put it even more simply Criminals, we found, respond rationally to deterrence threats.
    Source: More Guns Equal Less Violent Crime
    by Professor John R. Lott, Jr.
    University of Chicago Law School

    This is one of the favorite arguments of gun control proponents, and yet the facts show that there is simply no correlation between gun control laws and murder or suicide rates across a wide spectrum of nations and cultures. In Israel and Switzerland, for example, a license to possess guns is available on demand to every law-abiding adult, and guns are easily obtainable in both nations. Both countries also allow widespread carrying of concealed firearms, and yet, admits Dr. Arthur Kellerman, one of the foremost medical advocates of gun control, Switzerland and Israel âoehave rates of homicide that are low despite rates of home firearm ownership that are at least as high as those in the United States.â A comparison of crime rates within Europe reveals no correlation between access to guns and crime.
    Source: Gun Control: Myths and Realities
    David Lampo, Cato Institute

    According to the study, published last year in The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, European nations with more guns had lower murder rates. As summarized in a brief filed by several criminologists and other scholars supporting the challenge to the Washington law, the seven nations with the most guns per capita had 1.2 murders annually for every 100,000 people. The rate in the nine nations with the fewest guns was 4.4.
    Source: Gun Laws and Crime: A Complex Relationship
    By ADAM LIPTAK, The New York Times

  • Re:Defense (Score:5, Informative)

    by OverkillTASF (670675) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:18AM (#42347865)
    You are stupendously wrong.

    "Assault weapon" is a term that was made up by the legislature, and is, very generally, a semi automatic firearm capable of accepting "high capacity magazines", with two or more (or was it more than two...) features from a list of: barrel shroud, bayonet mount, pistol grip, collapsing stock, etc. Cosmetic features. "Assault weapon" is a bullshit term, but it DOES mean something now, since several states have defined them, and the federal government did as well.. "Assault rifle", however, was a term coined in the military to refer to small caliber fully automatic rifles.

    An AR-15 of certain configurations is considered, legally, an "assault weapon" by several states and under the previous "Assault Weapons Ban". However, identically functioning and almost identically appearing AR-15's are not. "Assault weapon" is a buzzword made up by the anti-gun legislators because it puts fear into people. I even wanted to ban them before I actually got into the politics of firearms and understood what they were actually talking about. You do not need a Class 3 for an "assault weapon".

    An AR-15 is NOT an assault rifle. It is not fully automatic. Legitimate assault rifles (A term no one uses correctly, and a term that really has no use anyway) require a Class 3 stamp because they are fully automatic, and you can't purchase one that was manufactured after 1986, so the few that are out there are $20,000+ guns. But that's ok because poor people commit all the crime, so goes the anti-gun logic.

    You are way wrong on the machine gun. NO fully automatic firearms may be purchased by a civilian that were made after 1986. Period. No amount of paperwork fixes that. The class 3 stamp for full auto machine guns is necessary to purchase a pre-1986 machine gun. You can not purchase one made after 1986 (short of some weird stuff with being an FFL "sample dealer" or whatever)

    The important thing since all of this is so complicated... Is that Columbine happened during the federal assault weapon and standard capacity magazine ban, and Connecticut still has an assault weapons ban. There was no detectable drop in violent or gun crime when the federal ban was put in place, and when it expired, violent crime has ever since been on the drop. Gun control has been tried. It does not work in the United States.
  • by pongo000 (97357) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:49AM (#42348275)

    And to be fair: It doesn't make sense to compare murder rates by firearms between countries with varying levels of firearms control. A better comparison is overall murder rate. The U.S. doesn't even make it in the top 37 on a per-capita basis (Source: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita [nationmaster.com])

    Notice how many "Western" states there are in this listing, all with gun control policies far stricter than the U.S. Apparently, they are killing each other with items other than guns.

  • by pongo000 (97357) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:52AM (#42348311)

    In fact, the U.S. doesn't even make it in the top 100 when comparing per capita intentional murder rates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate). So one would be hard-pressed to argue that there is a positive correlation between gun control and murder rate (regardless of weapon).

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

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