Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Are Corporations Cracking Down On Homemade Guns?

The use of 3-D printers to make homemade guns has become increasingly popular recently. The practice allows private individuals to manufacture untraceable guns in the comfort of their own homes.

Efforts to regulate homemade gun making have been totally unsuccessful, and the practice remains completely legal. But the industry still faces serious opposition – not from the government, but from private corporations.

In the past week alone, two companies announced their intentions to cut off supplies from would be gunmakers.

First, Fed Ex announced it would not ship a newly released gun-making device called the Ghost Gunner, citing legal uncertainty surrounding homemade gunsmithing. A company spokesman said: “We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated.”

Then, the 3D printing company MarkForged said it will not sell printers to anyone who intends to use them to make firearms. The company released a statement claiming that their terms of service “limit experimentation with ordinance to the United States Government and its authorized contractors.”

Cody Wilson, founder of the homemade gunmaking non-profit Defense Distributed, says that both companies are simply playing politics.  “They’re acting like this is [a] legal [issue] when in fact it’s the expression of a political preference,” he says. “The artifact that they’re shipping is a CNC mill. There’s nothing about it that is specifically related to firearms except the hocus pocus of the marketing.”

The decision by MarkForged to withhold their products from homemade gunmakers has prompted Wilson to offer a $15,000 bounty to anyone who would give him one of MarkForged’s newest machines.

He said: “Anyone who’s got access to one, any reseller, any individual or business or entity that can deliver it to me, I will give them fifteen grand. I’m going to get this printer. I’m going to make a gun with it. And I’m going to make sure everyone knows it was made with a MarkForged printer.”

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