The State Department has demanded they be removed, but free blueprints for a handgun that can be made on a 3D printer already have been downloaded 100,000 times, its maker says.
Lawmakers have expressed dismay over the plastic weapons that use regular ammunition. But the company that invented it says it is an example of technology helping people protect their Second – and First – Amendment rights.
Defense Distributed's "Liberator" cannot be "seen" by metal detectors, and they allow anyone to basically set up a gun-production facility in his or her own home, Forbes reports
That's what worries lawmakers such as Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Both have called for bringing back the Undetectable Firearms Act, which bans any weapon that can pass through a metal detector without setting it off.
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The company's real goal, Forbes reports, isn't to create an undetectable weapon, but one that challenges restrictions to gun ownership.
Defense Distributed's libertarian founder Cody Wilson argues that attempts to ban the gun don't just hit on Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms, but on First Amendment rights as well, likening the plans to a form of free speech.
"Call me crazy, but I see a world where contraband will pass underground through the data cables to be printed in our homes as the drones move overhead," Wilson told Forbes last year.
The gun plans have been downloaded all over the world, but most have been in the United States. The vast majority of people downloading them are unlikely to ever print a single weapon since they would have to own an expensive 3D printer to do so.
And although the company said it would comply with the State Department's order to take down the blueprints, they will still be available on the Web. Someone has already uploaded them to filesharing site Pirate Bay.
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