As bizarre as it sounds, 3-D printed gun making just got a little bit more mainstream.
Cody Wilson, the man behind Defcad.org, a non-profit online library of 3-D printable gun blueprints, has obtained a Federal Firearms License, which allows him to manufacture and sell guns, according to ArsTechnica. Now, instead of just providing free access to the blue prints for weapons so consumers can print and make them at home, Wilson can sell the gun parts he’s been making himself.
Wilson’s aim to design, test and disseminate the blueprints for 3-D printed guns has proven controversial. The company that leased him a printer to make the weapons sent a team to his house to seize it in October, citing the questionable legality of Wilson’s endeavor. At the time, Wilson didn’t have a firearms manufacturing license, though he maintained his actions were legal.
Wilson, a University of Texas law student, has also been an outspoken critic of gun control laws. His company made the first ever 3-D printed magazine for an AK-47 assault rifle earlier this month and named it after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a gun control advocate. He told Popular Science magazine in December that his project, which lowers the barrier to entry for becoming a gun owner or maker, is “an immanent critique of Second Amendment-ism.”
“The presumption that it’s just a bad idea to own a gun, that we have to subject ourselves to all of these things and jump through all of these hoops to own a firearm--it doesn’t work that way with speech, it doesn’t work that way for the Fifth Amendment, the Fourth Amendment,” he said.
Despite the controversy, Wilson doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. He announced plans earlier this month to launch a search engine for 3-D printed gun parts that traditional 3-D printing sites shy away from, according to Slate. Unlike Defcad.org, this new search engine venture will be run for a profit. Wilson told Slate earlier this month that he wants to raise $100,000 in 30 days to launch the site.