The never-ending talk of 3D printing guns continues to run rampant among owners of 3D printers, as well as legislators and gun control activists all around the world. While the idea of 3D printing a gun can seem like quite a scary scenario, sometimes we just need to step back, relax, and take a look at the entire situation. Guns can be fabricated with or without a 3D printer, and the guns that have been made on desktop 3D printers have been far from reliable. These weapons have proven to be dangerous to the shooter as well as anyone in the vicinity when it is fired. While legislators and gun control lobbyists try their best to make a spectacle over the dangers of 3D printed guns, the reality is that if someone wants a gun to commit a crime, there are much easier ways of either fabricating or purchasing a firearm.
It was just last month that we reported on the fact that the Liberator gun, designed by Cody Wilson, had made an appearance on 3D printing repository Thingiverse. After about 90 minutes of being up and readily available for anyone to download free of charge, it was removed by MakerBot, as a violation of their Terms of Service.
Earlier this week, however, the same designs have been made available by a user named “ooscar8” on 3D printing repository 3DShare. In a listing that refers to the gun simply as “Gun 8 mm printable,” it appears as though all of the 3D printable parts for the famed Liberator gun are there for the taking.
With 3DShare marketing themselves as the “reddit for 3D printing” and as a 3D printing repository where “anything goes,” this latest upload of these design files will certainly test that claim. We caught up with 3DShare founder and CEO Mark Joseph, to ask him if he plans on removing the design files from the site.
“We do not plan to remove the files until we are told there is a legal problem,” Joseph tells 3DPrint.com. “My opinion on what can be shared on platforms like 3DShare is not relevant in this discussion. We will listen to the community and the law makers in a democratic manner to make sure that any decisions are transparent and not the opinion of one person who runs a website.”
So it appears that for the time being, there will be no action taken to prohibit the distribution of these 3D printable gun files from the 3DShare website. At the time of writing this article, the design files had been downloaded just five times (update: 76 downloads at the time of editing), yet many more people viewed and liked the item.
In the meantime, the debate over whether or not the distribution of 3D printed gun files should be outlawed remains one that is sure to have many legal battles ahead. What do you think? Should 3DShare remove these files? Should the distribution of 3D printable guns like Cody Wilson’s Liberator be outlawed? Discuss in the 3D Printed Gun Hits 3DShare forum thread on 3DPB.com.