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Ban Ban Pow Pow Essay

1461 words - 6 pages

Ban Ban Pow Pow
As 3D printers are becoming more prominent in the world today, it's met with many challenges, with one of them being the lack of strict regulation on 3D printed firearms. The inadequate supervision over 3D printing technology can potentially render any attempts at gun control law obsolete, as well as producing extreme effects on security (McCutcheon). Numerous scientific sources regards 3D printing as a technological breakthrough, supported by the numerous articles and news report in which that shows the wide range of capabilities within 3D printing, such as printing prosthetics, stem cells, and "a human liver that can last 40 days" (Ranaldi). However, when it comes to ...view middle of the document...

3D printed firearms are printed by parts and later assembled together to complete the design, "One of the most important pieces of a firearm is the “frame” or “receiver” (hereinafter “frame”), the
central piece that holds all of the other components together to form a working unit" (Haxel, 9). In order to make these firearms more cost efficient to produce, plastics, or polymers, are utilized to design the pieces for guns. However, plastic for parts such as gun barrels can reduce the gun's durability, and the bullet's range and accuracy. Such issues with material usage doesn't seem to be a major hindrance to the gun's effectiveness when, "on September 20, 2011, Thing #11669 was uploaded, the premier database for free user-generated 3D printer files,[it turns out to be] a digital blueprint for an AR-15assault rifle component" (Haxel, p. 8), which was later tested and successfully fired 200 rounds. Another noteworthy incident was the release of the Liberator, the 1st 3D printed handgun, on to the internet, before the government demanded to be taken down. Like the assault rifle, this single shot handgun was tested, and successfully hit the designated target at the distance of several meters. And like the assault rifle, the original copy of the Liberator is made completely out of plastic, making it undetectable by metal detectors.
Some disadvantages over 3D printed firearms includes its easy accessibility, the material used to create these guns are relatively undetectable, and counterfeited parts. The Congress has set out strict enforcements regulate the production, distribution and possession of firearms (Haxel, p.10). These regulations require anyone engaged in the business of manufacturing, importing, or dealing firearms to carry a federal firearms license. The federal firearms licenses require manufacturers to place serial numbers on the produced guns, so that the licensed arms dealers can keep all the records of their firearm transactions. The buyers are also required to report to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to gain approval to purchase firearms. However, “When a gun is separated into components, the only piece considered a ‘firearm’ for regulatory purposes is the central ‘frame or receiver’ ” (Haxel, p. 11), thus personal manufactured parts via 3D printing are legal to own and distribute for others to replicate without a license or a federal consent . According to 18 U.S. code 921, “Individuals who produce guns for personal use fall outside the major regulatory system; they are not required to be licensed, as they are not “engaging in the business” of manufacture” (Cornell University Law School). Without a license, the individual manufactured firearms can be distributed without a serial number, “private trades by individuals…do not invoke the NICS background-check system, and after guns undergo several secondary market transfers they become almost impossible to trace from...

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