Cody Wilson, of Defense Distributed, the company behind The Liberator, told the BBC that he is not concerned with the potential harm the gun could cause. He said, "I recognise the tool might be used to harm other people - that's what the tool is - it's a gun. But I don't think that's a reason to not do it - or a reason not to put it out there."
|The 3D-printed gun that Cody Wilson calls the "Liberator."|
Defense Distributed's goals, as displayed on its website, are the following:
To defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, through facilitating global access to, and the collaborative production of, information and knowledge related to the 3D printing of arms; and to publish and distribute, at no cost to the public, such information and knowledge in promotion of the public interest.
Though 3D printing is still a fairly nascent technology, its growth is expected to be widespread. Staples expects to offer them in stores next month. Anyone interested in building a gun, then, could go to Defense Distributed's site and download the CAD file to get started.
The worst part? It's legal. Donna Sellers of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told the BBC that "a person can manufacture a firearm for their own use" in the U.S.
The horror of 3D printed guns stands in sharp contrast to some of the more amazing benefits 3D printing could bring, including the ability to revolutionize medicine. Is it worth the risk?