by Damien Gayle Daily Mail
Anyone in the world could soon have access to a 3D printable gun through the internet thanks to a U.S. start-up which plans to distribute schematics for the weapons free of charge.
Defense Distributed, a company which wants to extend the U.S. Second Amendment rights to the entire world, hopes to test prototypes of the printable weapons by the end of the year.
‘This project could very well change the way we think about gun control and consumption,’ the organisation says on their website.
‘How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet? Let’s find out.’
Cody Wilson, a spokesman for the so-called ‘Wiki Weapon’ project, told guardian.co.uk that the organisation is only waiting on a license to allow them to legally manufacture firearms in the U.S.
They have already come up with two blueprints for plastic firearms, but now needs to test the designs to ensure they are safe to use when printed on less-expensive 3D printers.
‘These guns will be almost completely plastic, so melting and failing in your hand will be a concern,’ Defense Distributed says.
‘Only after testing a few dozen designs to failure will we discover the right limitations to be comfortable rating a WikiWep as safe for one use.’
It adds: ‘We want to minimize negative media about the safety concerns of untested firearms and the inevitable suggestions that governments should protect us from ourselves.’
The group so far claims to have developed two prototype plastic handguns. The first, called Wiki Weapon type A, is a training gun with no moving parts. It relies on an electrical solenoid to fire bullets but the rest of the weapon is 3D printable.
The more ambitious Wiki Weapon type B will have movable parts, but the organisation hopes to refine these to make it possible to print them on entry-level 3D printers that can be used at home.
They promise that blueprints usable in computer aided design programs will be available to download from their website ‘in the coming weeks’.
A third project allows users to print the regulated part of an AR-15 submachine gun, then build the rest from unregulated parts freely available in U.S. gun shops.