Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Hardware Hacking Build Politics

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Makerbot Cracks Down On 3D-Printable Gun Parts

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:08AM (#42346543)

    remove something from the internet.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:08AM (#42346545) Homepage Journal

    However they feel about gun parts personally, being involved in distributing them could one day be a very bad thing. It's best to leave that to special-purpose sites.

  • Re:Tax evasion (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WillAdams (45638) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:18AM (#42346615) Homepage

    The National Firearms Act (27 CFR, Part 479) is only about:

      - fully automatic weapons
      - short barreled rifes and shotguns
      - silencers
      - ``any other weapons'' / destructive devices

    It does _not_ apply to typical pistols, rifles or shotguns.

    http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-5320-1.pdf [atf.gov]

    ``c. Firearm. The term “firearm” means: (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 5845 (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) a muffler or a silencer for any firearm whether or not such firearm is included within this definition; and (8) a destructive device.''

    Please note that felons are exempt from paying this $200 ``tax'' --- it's imposed only on honest, law-abiding citizens.

  • Re:Defense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:21AM (#42346627)

    Replace the first "don't" with "can't" and the statement is absolutely correct.

    "If you can't have a gun you don't have liberty and you're not free."

  • How Trendy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:25AM (#42346641)

    How very trendy of them.

    It seems that absolutely no one is above using this tragedy for getting attention for themselves and their own gain.

    It's like they say; a politician should never fail to take advantage of a disaster.

  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:28AM (#42346653)
    It's perfectly legal to manufacture a weapon for personal use. I can't cite a reference, since there's no law or regulation which specifically says you may. You'll have to cite something which says it's illegal, and you won't find anything.
  • Re:Defense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:29AM (#42346661)

    "Assault weapons" is a nonsense term. It's an appeal to emotion, not reason. "Ban the scaaaary guns!" You want tighter gun controls? Fine by me. But banning "assault weapons" is just cheap theater by politicians so that they can appear to be doing something instead of doing their best to not even think about causes or symptoms.

  • Re:Defense (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:32AM (#42346703)

    Replace "gun" with "nuke" and you see how absurd it goes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:33AM (#42346709)

    That isn't the case. The Federal government does not prohibit non-individuals from producing firearms for their personal use, and I'd posit that they can;t because they don't have the authority to do so. States can and some do. Others, such as Montana, have legislation specifically to protect individuals doing the above, even when those firearms are offered for sale inside the state of Montana and to other Montana residents.

  • by berryjw (1071694) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:34AM (#42346729)
    I don't blame anyone for worrying about liabilities, but Pandora's Box is open, there's no closing it now. The specs for many, many firearms parts are readily available, and anyone who wants to take the time to translate those designs to 3D, is going to be able to print them, and distribute the designs. I'm waiting for someone to notice they can print 3D magazines, of any capacity they want. Yes, this is another opportunity to learn that all we do for good, can and will be perverted to bad. Are we willing to throw out the whole 3D printing movement as a result?
  • by decora (1710862) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:38AM (#42346767) Journal

    before this latest school shooting they really did not care. there has been an AR-15 receiver up on thingiverse for more than a year.
    and there have been several school shootings in that time.

    thingiverse even conducted a poll a few months back, the subject was whether or not users wanted to allow weapons on the site. i dont know the result of the poll, but the practical effect was nothing - they left those items up.

    now all of a sudden they took them down.

    nevermind 30+ children died today in automobile accidents (statistical average).

  • by jythie (914043) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:39AM (#42346775)
    No, but they can remove it from the database they control and host. I do not get the impression they are trying to wipe the concept out, they have just decided that they will not allow such devices on their privately run service.
  • Re:Defense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:42AM (#42346801)
    'Assualt Weapons" are probably the most cynical bit of bi-partisan political theory I have seen in decades.... on the gun control side they are likely fully aware that such weapons make up such a tiny percentage of gun deaths per year that restrictions on them are unlikely to have any significant impact.. and on the gun freedom side they are likely fully aware that the way the ban (in the past) was written it was so easy to circumvent that manufacturers barely skipped a beat.

    So on the one side you have politicians supporting a bill that does nothing, and on the other side you have politicians supporting a bill that,.,. ahm.. does nothing. Yet it is a good way to energize their bases and score political points.
  • by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:49AM (#42346847)
    Car accidents are rarely accidents
  • by guises (2423402) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:49AM (#42346849)
    No, but you can remove something from Thingiverse. If your objective is dissociate yourself from the ideology, rather than eliminate the information altogether, than this is effective.
  • by JosKarith (757063) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @09:57AM (#42346911)
    Apparently you are a politician from your skill at taking two statements that don't contradict each other and trying to create an argument from them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:01AM (#42346957)
    I can't have a gun and I am essentially as free in my freedom of speech, hability to pursue happiness than most american. Actually more free since I may smoke pot without a problem, or even solicit sex for money and not be arrested. The only freedom I don't have is gun possession, and if you pretend that makes me NOT free, then youbeing forbidden to possess anything forbidden in USA, like say, an atom bomb even if you had the echnical possibility, or any myriad of forbiden substance, makes you NOT free. So really that sentence is utterly misleading. As for fighting against a governement, you are going to use against battle armored soldier or police... How ?
  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:14AM (#42347059)

    Seriously, how could it possibly be a good idea to let *anyone* print their own lethal weapon.

    Lets try this exact same question in another form.

    Why is it a good idea to prescribe medications that increase the risk of violent behavior?

    You see, it is believed that it is better to help large numbers of people even when it is at the expense of small numbers of people. If you need this in geek speak... "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."

    The only real debate is where the line should be. Absolute stances such as yours pretend that there is no debate, and are born of emotion rather than reason.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:15AM (#42347083)

    I don't blame anyone for worrying about liabilities, but Pandora's Box is open, there's no closing it now. The specs for many, many firearms parts are readily available, and anyone who wants to take the time to translate those designs to 3D, is going to be able to print them, and distribute the designs. I'm waiting for someone to notice they can print 3D magazines, of any capacity they want. Yes, this is another opportunity to learn that all we do for good, can and will be perverted to bad. Are we willing to throw out the whole 3D printing movement as a result?

    Maybe the argument that we all need to be having is: "Does prohibition of objects ever work?" Alcohol, Drugs, Guns, Porn, Books, etc?

  • by thomasw_lrd (1203850) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:16AM (#42347089)

    It's been a part of the USians culture since the beginning of our time. Our ability to own guns stems from our fight with England for independence. Yes, it is largely symbolic. No we can't really fight the government and win. But we have the option to do so, if we so choose. It would be going down in a blaze of glory. We would probably be utterly annihilated. But maybe not. I know a lot of soldiers. They wouldn't fire on the American people.

    You're right that you have more "freedoms" than we do. If we really wanted those freedoms, though, we would fight for them, and get them. You have to remember that a lot of the voting population in the US consider themselves a part of the Christian right. It is changing, and in a few more decades, I think that we will see more and more places legalize the use of recreational drugs. I'm not sure on the legalization of prostitution, it'll take longer, but I think it might eventually happen. Maybe in the next century.

  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:16AM (#42347091) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, how could it possibly be a good idea to let *anyone* smith their own sword.

    Seriously, how could it possibly be a good idea to let *anyone* carve their own spear.

    Seriously, how could it possibly be a good idea to let *anyone* sharpen their own rock.

    Seriously, how could it possibly be a good idea to let *anyone* defend themselves from attack.

    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!"

  • Re:Defense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:17AM (#42347099) Homepage Journal

    and on the gun freedom side they are likely fully aware that the way the ban (in the past) was written it was so easy to circumvent that manufacturers barely skipped a beat.

    Kinda, kinda not.

    The AWB banned guns both by name and by featureset. The problem was the featureset was even more stupid than the list of guns, concentrating on features that were mostly cosmetic, and in a few cases, were useful to both military and non-military (legal, peaceful) shooters alike. The features that distinguish a "military weapon" from something used for target practice and shooting bears were just ignored.

    So Bushmaster cranked out hundreds of thousands of stripped down AR-15 clones during the ban that weren't really AR-15s as you'd recognize them but were at least modular and had enough in common for enthusiasts of the concept to buy them, but they weren't semi-automatic versions of a military weapon by a long shot. Circumventing? Not really, this is what the framers of the AWB intended, more or less.

    The only case I heard of where the laws were actively circumvented were in the production of large capacity detachable magazines. Because older magazines were grandfathered in, Colt et al just manufactured millions before the ban, stockpiling them so they could be sold afterwards. Dirty, but unlikely to have affected the effectiveness of the AWB in any real sense.

    I think the "AWB was full of loopholes" meme is overdone. In reality, it was just a dumb law. It was aimed at getting military-style weapons off the streets. But there's nothing about "military style" that's relevent to effective gun control. It probably was effective at what it was designed to do, it's just what it was designed to do wasn't useful in any real sense.

    There was a decline in gun violence related to weapons covered by the ban during the AWB's existence. But gun violence as a whole wasn't affected. So the AWB wasn't circumvented, it was, actually, an effective ban of something that wasn't a cause of anything. Likewise, if Pepsi were banned tomorrow, you'd expect to see the proportion of people who are overweight because of the amount of Pepsi they drink to reduce dramatically. But the number of people who are overweight would probably remain the same, as Coke, RC Cola, not to mention MacDonalds, Burger King, chocolate, ice cream, and other causes of weight gain would remain legal.

  • Re:Defense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:22AM (#42347155) Homepage

    I love people like you, taking shit out of context. You know the bible tells you to go out and kill people in the name of god, why dont you use that?

    The Jeep was first built as a military vehicle. Calling a Grand Cherokee a military vehicle is as ragingly stupid as calling an AR15 a "military weapon"

  • by sycodon (149926) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:30AM (#42347231)

    There is no such thing as an "accidental shooting" either.

    1. Negligent.
    2. Intentional.

    There can be an accidental discharge. but if you are following the rules for guns, which have been around since the first gun, then it doesn't turn into a "shooting".

  • by Arker (91948) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:39AM (#42347353) Homepage

    Seriously, how could it possibly be a good idea to have a state so omnipresent and intrusive that it has to specifically "let" you do something before you are able to do it?

    In the real world, technology and technological objects exist just as surely as the sun and moon do, and the legislature is no more able to uninvent the firearm than they are to forbid the sun from setting or the moon from rising.

    Weapons exist and some people will have them regardless. Better for everyone to have them than for only criminals and thugs to have them.

    Ultimately the problem is not the technology, it's human behaviour. It was the same problem when we had flintlocks and the same problem when we had swords and spears and the same problem when we were bashing each others heads in with rough rocks. That is the problem we need to solve and victim disarmament laws not only dont help they are actively counterproductive, because they increase the rewards and decrease the risks for those who indulge in the problem behaviour.

  • by Eskarel (565631) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:49AM (#42347493)

    Every other western nation has seriously controlled guns and their level of gun violence is dramatically lower than in the US. Sure, people still get murdered, that's not going to go away, but it's a hell of a lot easier to kill 26 people in a short period of time with a gun than with a knife. Sure 5 year olds aren't going to put up much of a struggle if some monster comes in with a knife, but hey the adults can do something about that without having to fill our schools with more guns. This is the fundamental problem with guns, they are a significant force multiplier. So one dipshit who stole his mother's gun can't mow down an entire classroom, just as an example say, as a for instance. Not like lone dipshits ever kill dozens of people with guns, not like it hasn't happened at least 3 times this year.

    And no, more guns is not the god damned solution. In order to safely have guns of any kind in a primary school class they'd have to be locked away where none of the kids can get at them(which means a real safe not one of those gun safes a 3 year old can open) which means they aren't available for anyone to use for self defense. Otherwise you're just going to have 5 year olds with guns, which is a bad god damned idea.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @10:50AM (#42347503) Homepage Journal

    That's completely ridiculous. Accidents are avoidable, that's what makes them accidents. An accident is a mistake that leads to something bad happening. That's the definition.

    Meanwhile, crashes can be avoidable or unavoidable. The term is neutral.

    Are you sure you didn't get the story wrong and the usage changed because some crashes weren't avoidable?

  • by sycodon (149926) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:56AM (#42348351)

    1. Gun Cleaning accidents. Step one of cleaning any weapon: unload it and make it safe.

    2. Dropping firearms. Modern firearms do not do this, unless of course they have been modified... Negligently.

    3. Ammo Mixup. How is that anything other than being negligent?

    4. So dogs eat homework AND shoot their hunting partners. Firearms should be secured and made safe when you are not holding them.

    5. Kids playing with guns. Probably the textbook definition of negligence.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @12:09PM (#42348537) Journal

    Sure, people still get murdered, that's not going to go away, but it's a hell of a lot easier to kill 26 people in a short period of time with a gun than with a knife

    ...so, how many guns did Timothy McVeigh use? [wikipedia.org]

    I mean, if we're talking just about reducing killer efficiency here, they why haven't we banned/controlled fertilizer, diesel fuel, and rent-a-trucks?

    As another argument, consider that 9/11 involved box cutters and airplanes. The resulting outcry over that one gave us the TSA. Do you really want that agency (or one like it) having control over *anything* outside of an airport?

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:31PM (#42350493)

    "To see how free information wants to be, just wait till other naughty objects show up in thingiverse."

    It depends on what you mean by "naughty objects".

    Apparently, they had an existing rule against uploading parts for weapons. I would not have a similar rule if I were in charge, but I am not. Since they are enforcing an existing rule, not just some knee-jerk over-reactive new rule in response to the shooting, I have a hard time objecting to their actions.

    If it had been a new rule, however, I would have written a letter of protest to Makerbot. Policy decisions made as reactions to disaster have an extremely strong tendency to be bad decisions. That applies not just to corporate policies, but to law as well.

We can predict everything, except the future.

Working...