Gun industry expert discusses mainstream concerns surrounding 3D printed guns

Local News

After years of legal battles, a Texas company has been cleared by the federal government to post 3D printed gun designs online.

Opponents argue dangers of the firearms, while supporters view the tech as a modern equivalent of what’s already legal and available.

Gun control advocates are voicing concerns over 3D printed firearms. Their main concerns: Traceability and detectability. 

While gun industry experts say the printers are very expensive, the firearms aren’t durable and citizens have been making home assembled guns for ages.

Video 8 News NOW obtained from the ATF, shows how one of those plastic firearms disintegrated into pieces after one round was fired. 
    
David Stilwell of Gun Butler, LLC,  works on guns for a living.  According to him, the 3D models aren’t practical and doubts they’ll be popular.    

“It’s super uncomfortable to shoot,” Stilwell said. “It’s painful to shoot; it’s going to be expensive and inaccurate.”

With that said, Stilwell says making a homemade plastic gun is within your rights.

“My personal property is not in the stream of commerce. That is not a loophole, that’s called personal property,”  Stilwell said.  “That’s a right to own your own property, and you don’t own it if you can’t do with it what you deem necessary.”

The ability to assemble your own firearm using traditional materials and methods at home without a serial number isn’t anything new. But it may not be the best choice financially.

“Right now it’s cheaper to buy a gun than to make one,” Stilwell.

Stilwell educates buyers about how and when a piece of metal becomes a gun.

“One hole and all the weight of the law applies,” Stilwell said.

A coalition of gun-control groups filed an appeal Thursday in federal court to block the recent Trump Administration ruling that allows the Texas-based company to post blueprints online for creating 3D printed firearms.

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