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2013-05-19
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Registration of 3D Printers

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Gun control may soon be a very moot point. Take for example, the classic AR-15 (M4/M16 equivalent). You can buy nearly every component for this weapon via uncontrolled mechanisms today. The "controlled", if you will, component is the lower receiver which is stamped by serial number and ultimately considered the weapon. An American gunsmith has taken to technology and voila, printed himself a lower receiver from a standard 3D printer using resin. The lower receiver was mated with the appropriate components and a fully-functional AR-15 was born. The digital design to replicate the work exists on ThingVerse where people can expand on the work ... like add full auto?

As prices have dropped, 3D printers are more affordable and accessible which is accelerating the home printing craze. More people continue to develop open source CAD designs for improved performance. While the first models were AR-15 lowers (the regulated component) and reliant on existing metal parts for the remainder of the weapon, complete handguns have been produced entirely from the 3D printer. This newer development has led California Senator Leland Yee to propose the mandatory registration of 3D printers since they can be used to produce untraceable firearms. "Terrorists can make these guns and do some horrible things to an individual and then walk away scott-free, and that is something that is really dangerous." In a limited Reason-Rupe telephone poll of only 1003 subjects, Americans indicated they were in support of banning the production of firearms with 3D printers.



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