"3D-printed gun lawsuit ends after 3+ years—in gun publisher’s favor"

Original article.


For those not in the know or who don’t remember:

The federal civil suit began more than five years ago when Cody Wilson and his group, Defense Distributed, published designs for the “Liberator,” the world’s first 3D-printed handgun.

Things have come to a conclusion and it is not the one I expected:

Defense Distributed, the 3D-printing gun activist group, has secured a settlement with the Department of State that will enable it to legally distribute its CAD files of firearms on its DEFCAD website, putting an end to a years-long lawsuit.

The settlement is surprising, at least to me:

The settlement, which was signed in April but only took effect in late June, says that the DEFCAD files in question are “approved for public release (unlimited distribution) in any form and are exempt from the export licensing requirements of the [International Traffic in Arms Regulations].”

The State Department has also agreed to pay Defense Distributed’s legal fees, which total nearly $40,000.

The group says it will resume publication on August 1, 2018, more than four years after its files were first removed.

There is no word it the article (That I’ve spotted anyway) about how legal it is for private citizens to use the plans to make one of these weapons though.

I was confused to begin with about why such a big deal was being made about all this since, if you have a reasonably well equipped workshop and enough money you could make yourself all kinds of firearm from pipe guns right up to subractive 3D printed stuff using CNC (if you’re lucky enough to have CNC in your workshop) - But, I think that is the point: You’d need tools and know how to manufacture many of the ‘homebrew’ weapons that came before 3D printing but now thanks to 3D printing you need significantly less resources, knowledge and skills to make an albeit not very durable but still very lethal weapon.

Interesting times.