Court case settlement clears the way for plans to print 3D guns

NOW: Court case settlement clears the way for plans to print 3D guns

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - A lawsuit settled by the federal government could make it easier to print your own gun.

Plans for printing a 3D gun will soon be available on the web.

It’s legal to print a gun, but not very many people know how to do it correctly.

One Texas gun rights advocate figured out how, and sued the federal government after they forced him to take the plans off the web.

Now those plans will soon be back up.

It is seen as an opportunity for some and a danger for others.

From baseball bats to beauty products, 3D printers can make just about anything, including guns.

“It’s certainly possible, it’s not difficult whatsoever,” said Kyle Jansson from the UW-Milwaukee Prototype Center.

Jansson says that with a little time and money, you can make your own gun at home.

“I would think it would work once, not ten times, maybe somewhere in between,” said Jansson.

And it will be even easier now that the plans will be posted online.

“Obviously we agree with the settlement in this situation,” said Nik Clark from gun rights group Wisconsin Carry.

“I think this is good for gun rights advocates, it’s good for gun owners, law abiding citizens,” said Clark.

But gun control experts are concerned.

“The message is really quite troubling,” said Anneliese Dickman from Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, or WAVE.

Dickman says allowing someone to make their own gun means people can bypass a background check.

“Requiring a background check for every single gun owner is what’s proven most effective in preventing gun homicides and gun suicides,” said Dickman.

But both sides admit it probably won’t make too much of a difference. Plastic guns haven’t proven to be very safe.

“I feel that it’s really a hand grenade until it’s proven to be a gun,” said Jansson.

He points out that firing a bullet through a plastic device can have dangerous results.

“Best case scenario you have a 10,000 psi super plastic that’s printed in the proper orientation, if you ignite that with 20,000 psi, it goes apart,” said Jansson.

He also says the Prototype Center would never print one.

Many printed guns right now only fire a round at a time.

The plans will be back online on August 1st.

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