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3D printed gun fires first shot, lawmakers fire back

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   May 6, 2013 at 7:55 AM   |   Comments

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May 6 (UPI) -- The world's first working gun made with 3D printer technology was fired Saturday in Austin, Texas. The gun, called the Liberator, was developed by the controversial nonprofit Defense Distributed, which plans to release the weapon's blueprints online.

Defense Distributed is headed by Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas. Wilson, who describes himself as a crypto-anarchist, told BBC News his plans to release the design were "about liberty."

"I'm seeing a world where technology says you can pretty much be able to have whatever you want. It's not up to the political players any more."

Sunday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer held a press conference to introduce legislation against guns like the Liberator, calling the ramifications of untraceable guns "stomach-churning." The bill was drafted by Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, reports New York Daily News.

“Security checkpoints, background checks and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print their own plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” Israel said in a statement.

Defense Distributed’s version of the Liberator did not violate law because although 16 components were printed plastic, the 6-ounce firing pin was still made of metal. Schumer said it would be easy enough for people at home to create the design entirely in plastic.

"There is a demand of guns -- there just is," Wilson told the BBC. "I recognise the tool might be used to harm other people -- that's what the tool is -- it's a gun. But I don't think that's a reason to not do it -- or a reason not to put it out there."

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