LIBERATOR : The First Printed Plastic Gun

The world’s first 3D-printed plastic gun has been successfully fired in Texas, USA. The handgun, named The Liberator, was assembled from 17 separate printed components completely made from ABS plastic, with the exception of a metal nail used as a firing pin. The makers of the gun, who belong to Austin-based libertarian activist group Defense Distributed, now plan to publish the blueprints for the gun on the group’s Pirate Bay-style file-sharing site Defcad.

A video published online initially showed the gun being fired remotely by pulling a string attached to its trigger. The BBC later filmed the gun being fired by Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed’s 25-year-old leader, who said that gun control laws had become outdated in the face of new technology. “I’m seeing a world where technology says you can pretty much have whatever you want. It’s not up to the political players any more,” he said. The successful test firing came after a year of development by Defense Distributed, which a few months ago launched Defcad to host 3D printing blueprints for illicit items including weapons, drugs and medical equipment.

On the same day, New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced that he plans to introduce legislation that will ban the weapons because they can pass through metal detectors at airports and court houses without being picked up. ‘We’re facing a situation where anyone — a felon, a terrorist — can open a gun factory in their garage and the weapons they make will be undetectable. It’s stomach-churning,’ he said.