HOUSTON — Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed shut down his website Tuesday after a federal judge sided with multiple states that filed lawsuits arguing the posting of 3D printed gun schematics could help criminals and terrorists manufacture such weapons.
The website is censored, but after thousands upon thousands of design files were downloaded.
“I already uploaded the plans, the ship has sailed, it’s public domain information now,” Wilson said.
Once out on the net, putting that genie back in the lamp is impossible.
For several gun enthusiasts at Shiloh Shooting Range in Houston the controversy is silly.
“It’s no different than being able to look up blueprints for a house [...] my firm stance is that somebody that’s prohibited from owning a firearm they’ve got so many easier ways to get it, through theft, or black market that the untraceability thing that’s um, I don’t want to say a ‘scare tactic’ but it’s not something that really applies here,” General Manager Jeff Sanford said.
As President Trump and the NRA have both pointed out, manufacturing or possessing a gun that is undetectable through a metal detector has been illegal since 1988.
However, many of the designs that were up for download have metal components, just not serial numbers. It’s already legal for eligible owners to make guns without a serial number in the privacy of their own home, it’s just not legal to then sell that gun.
“I’ve been building rifles since I was 15 years old,” Greg Garrett said.
It took Garrett four days to make the rifle in his hands, and he says that trying to fight against technological advancement with more laws isn’t going to get us anywhere.
“Here’s a challenge to our lawmakers, write a law that will make a bad person into a good person, will change what’s in their heart or what’s in their head. If you can do that then let’s start talking about chipping away at our rights,” Garrett said.