Defense Distributed has successfully made and tested a gun printed with a 3D printer and intends to make the 3D printer plans available for free.  I’d expect some recoil and blowback at the very least (and not from the gun itself)!

Text on their website says DD “is a pending 501(c)(3) status nonprofit corporation in the state of Texas”.  That’s some odd wording as it sort of implies DD is waiting on TX to grant it 501(c)(3) status when that status is actually awarded by the federal government via the IRS.  I’d imagine that status will not be granted as I don’t think the feds are going to look too favorably upon DD’s goals.  The Obama Administration supports sensible gun control laws.  What DD intends to do is easily argued as insensible   According the the ATF, DD has an FFL.  (But it seems that they acquired it only after the company that was leasing them a 3D printer took the printer back because DD didn’t have an FFL.)  If the feds want to shut DD down, they can refuse to renew the FFL when it expires after its three year term.  DD activities can also be argued to run afoul of many of the laws of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

I suppose DD is going to take a free-speech defense and claim that distributing their 3D printer plans is an exercise in First Amendment rights.  I’d expect the feds to claim DD is yelling fire in crowded movie theater.  I don’t feel DD is going to be able to use the Second Amendment as a shied to avoid the responsibilities required in exercising First Amendment rights.  But then again, bomb making plans are readily available on the internet, so this should be an interesting debate/fight.

DD claims to “defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court”.  Well, it’s not like that right is in any way being denied to Americans, so the feds can argue that DD is going too far and that their motives are more anarchic.  After all, Cody R. Wilson, one of the principals behind DD, says he’s an crypto-anarchist.  The feds don’t those guys either!  Look at Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Aaron Swartz for proof.  Also, it can be also said that while DD might feel it is solely defending civil rights, it’s also making and distributing firearms.  Claims to being solely a civil rights organization will fall on deaf ears.  But whatever, DD will probably just then pivot away from a non-profit, civil rights stance and just become a for-profit manufacturing company if it’s not one already.

If the feds can’t shut DD down with existing laws, I’d imagine that news one will be made to close loopholes DD exploits.

Who’s in favor of a plastic gun anyway?  What would you use it for other than to get it past a metal detector?  I can’t imagine a plastic gun is going to be very reliable (i.e. safe) or have a long life span.  And it’s damn ugly!