As for guns … CAD/CAM files (the computer files that 3D printers transform into physical objects one layer at a time) for the .45 caliber M1911 or the 1911A-1 single-action, semi-automatic pistol have been online for years. In fact, you can find all kinds of CAD/CAMs for all kinds of gun parts, bomb parts, bazooka parts, rocket launcher parts and other deadly weapons online. These are computer files, like songs or movies or documents or images, they cannot be protected or digitally rights managed (DRM) any better than the entertainment industry has done with its intellectual property. A file is a file is a file, if someone wants to copy it – it will be copied. You can’t tell what the file contains unless you open it and, most importantly, there is no way to ban or prohibit the transfer of files. In this case, the genie is out of the bottle, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube, the ship has sailed – the files are out there.
Plastic guns? Seriously. How about guns printed in steel, guns printed in carbon fiber, guns printed in, you name it – there’s a 3D printer that can print in the medium.
Someone whined that I took down the file for the Liberator from my server without realizing what I actually did nor taking the time to actually comprehend the ramifications. Keeping a single file with a bright HERE IT IS SIGN pointing to my front door while there’s litigation going on wasn’t smart tactics. Seeding the file as a torrent and moving it to… several other places in interesting formats, meant the file was everywhere and nowhere.
You cannot stop that signal.
What gun banners also fail to realize is that it doesn’t require an $8,000 3D plastic printer to make a gun. Home Depot has the supplies you need, and if you have access to the most basic of machinery, any gun can be made
The area has long had a reputation for producing unlicensed, home-made copies of firearms using whatever materials are available - more often than not, railway rails, scrap motor vehicles and other scrap metal.
And that’s from uneducated goat herders living in the mountains. Imagine what someone can do with an internet connection and tools purchased at Harbor Freight!
There’s no way to stop bad people from getting guns. You can’t even slow them down. The best options are to keep people you know to be dangerous (aka, couldn’t pass a background check) in jail and allow the populace free access to the best tools for self defense.
Because there’s nothing you can do to stop the bad guys, why hassle the good ones.