Regulating The Future

Posted: May 10, 2013 in News
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This is the .380 Liberator, created by Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, with a 3-D printer. Of the weapon’s 16 parts, 15 are printed from ABS plastic, with the only metal part being a common nail that does duty as a firing pin.

Mr. Wilson is a 25 year old law student who created Defense Distributed as a not for profit organization that develops and publishes open source gun designs, aka Wiki Weapons. Other than the newly created DD Liberator, also distributes files for printable parts that can be used in conventional fire arms like an AR-15 lower receiver, 30 round magazines for the AR-15 and AK-47 rifles (which they created after the talk of banning high capacity magazines), a Springfield XD-40 tactical slide assembly, a 5.56/.223 muzzle brake, and a 12 gauge .22 CB sub-caliber insert among many others.

Actually I should say they had all these files available, that is until yesterday.

Cody Wilson did an interview with Info Wars yesterday where he broke the news that he received a letter from the US Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, Enforcement Division (DTCC/END) that informed him that he may possibly be in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and also “requested” that Defense Distributed take down any of the files that they listed, including the Liberator.

The letter, issued by the US Department of State, says:

“DTCC/END is conducting a review of technical data made publicly available by Defense Distributed through its 3D printing website,, the majority of which appear to be related to items in Category I of the USML. Defense Distributed may have released ITAR-controlled technical data without required prior authorization from the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), a violation of the ITAR.”

(USML stands for United States Munitions List, and ITAR stands for the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.)

Interestingly enough Wilson was already scheduled to do several interviews on May 9th because of the success of his creation with over 100,000 downloads since the first test on May 5th. All this attention is undoubtedly what garnered the letter from big brother.

Forbes covered the story on May 5th;

He prefers to think of his Liberator in the same terms as its namesake, the one built for distribution to resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied countries in the 1940s. That plan was conceived in part as a psychological operation aimed at lowering the occupying forces’ morale, Wilson says, and he believes his project will strike a similar symbolic blow against governments around the world. “The enemy took notice that weapons were being dropped from the sky,” he says. “Our execution will be better. We have the Internet.”

Despite the fact that Donna Sellers from the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Bureau told the BBC that “the 3D-printed gun, as long as it was not a National Firearms Act weapon (an automatic gun, for example), was legal in the US.” Sellers stated, “A person can manufacture a firearm for their own use. However, if they engage in the business of manufacture to sell a gun, they need a license.” But the State Department may have found a way around the legality of the DD Liberator with this export law garbage. Defense Distributed has removed the files from their site as of yesterday because they are wanting to comply with the Pentagon as much as possible in hopes of changing their minds when they go to Washington to “ask for permission”

All of Washington’s efforts could very well be in vain since at least one person out of the 100,000 has uploaded the file to Pirate Bay. This could still be end the printable gun revolution, only days after the first such weapon was fired, effectively regulating the future.

If you want to see the letter in full for yourself you can find it and the article to go with it from


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