Now that Cody Wilson and his merry band of libertarian gunsmiths have been given the green light to post their 3-D gun drawings online, the gun-control movement might take a minute before going into overdrive about the terrible threat which this poses to our lives and our limbs, and at least figure out what it really means. It doesn’t mean, contrary to some of the messaging floating around Gun-control Nation, that we will end up surrounded by all kinds of illegal, untraceable guns. It also doesn’t mean that after downloading a 3-D drawing, cutting and assembling the various parts, then fitting all these parts together means that – voila! – you now have in your hands a real, workable gun.
First of all, 3-D gun drawings have been floating around on the internet for years. The pic below is a drawing for the AR-15.
You’ll notice that I have drawn a circle around one part of the gun, the part known as the ‘receiver.’ This is the only part of the entire pile of parts which makes a gun, because it is the receiver on which is stamped the unique serial number, a number which is then registered by the gun’s manufacturer and follows the gun to a wholesaler, a retailer and a retail buyer, a.k.a., the gun’s owner. There are hundreds of companies making and selling all the other parts that go into the AR-15, none of those parts carry a serial number, none of them require any kind of licensing process prior to purchase, none of those parts can be traced at all.
There are also lots of people out there – machinists, lathe operators, tool & die makers, do-it-yourselfers – who can take a block of carbon steel, set their cutting machine to the proper specs and produce a homemade receiver as well. But here’s the point: you can build an AR-15 or an Abrams Tank, as long as you live in a state which has no legal barrier to buying or owning heavy ordnance like the 120mm shell fired from a tank. What you can’t do is sell or give your homemade weapons system, rifle or tank, to someone else.
Which happens to be the same law that applies to any and every gun that Cody Wilson would like to design. And frankly, the idea that a ‘mentally disturbed’ individual would go to the trouble of buying one of Wilson’s $1,700 cutting machines, then learn how to use it, then actually cut and then assemble all those parts before ever firing the gun – that’s absurd. As for all those criminals out there who can’t wait to manufacture their own guns, give me a break. Know how difficult it is to simply go out to the street and buy a gun?
And now we get to the most important a point that seems to be ignored by everyone in Gun-control Nation busily spreading the alarm about the threat posed by 3-D guns. The simple fact is: they don’t work. Cody Wilson stopped making his 3-D gun because the gun he designed, a 22-caliber thingie called the ‘Liberator,’ was, according to Wilson, successfully tested except that as far as anyone can tell, not only does the gun fail to shoot at all after 8 or 9 shots, but a weapons lab in England warned that the chances of the gun blowing up and injuring the shooter was more apt to happen even if the 3-D gun was only fired once.
Want to own a gun that can’t be traced? You don’t need to go through all the rigamarole, spend two grand and wind up with a piece of plastic junk. All you have to do is get your hands on any old gun and run the receiver’s serial number against a metal lathe. No serial number, no trace.
My friends in the GVP should stop worrying about plastic guns and get back to dealing with the real reasons why we suffer from 125,000 gun deaths and injuries every year.