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3D-printed Gun CAD Files Pulled from Web

By - Source: Forbes | B 48 comments

After only a few days online, the blueprint's for Defense Distributed's 3D-printed gun have been taken down.

Earlier this week, Defense Distributed released the blueprints for its 3D-printed gun, posting them to its website, DefCAD.org. Today, that site hosts a notice explaining that the aforementioned files have been pulled at the behest of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls.

 

According to Forbes, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson yesterday received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance asking that he remove the files relating to the "Liberator" as well as nine other 3D-printable firearms components hosted on DefCAD. Wilson, a 25-year University of Texas law student, told the site that while it might be hard to remove the files from public access (they have been downloaded thousands of times), Defense Distributed will do its best to comply.

"We have to comply," he told Forbes. "All such data should be removed from public access, the letter says. That might be an impossible standard. But we’ll do our part to remove it from our servers."

Indeed, the message currently present on the DefCAD homepage reads:

"Defcad files are being removed from public access at the request of the U.S. Department of Defence Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information."

The letter from the State Department cites potential violation of gun export laws (specifically, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations or ITARs) as the reason for the take down request and said Defense Distributed should treat the data as ITAR-controlled until it receives final determinations from the Department. But compliance from Defense Distributed doesn't mean the files have completely disappeared. Like Wilson told Forbes, it may be impossible to completely remove the files from public access. TorrentFreak reports that The Pirate Bay and many other file-sharing sites are already hosting the files. Not only that, but TPB says it's happy to have them and has no intention of taking them down.

The DefCAD site is currently being slammed with traffic. We could only gain access a handful of the times we tried to load up the site. That said, Defense Distributed is working on mirrors for downloads so keep checking back.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    wanderer11 , May 10, 2013 8:51 AM
    Ah, yes "pulled from web". After 100,000 people downloaded it there is no way to get rid of it. It is already up on TPB. Resistance is futile.
  • 19 Hide
    cptnjarhead , May 10, 2013 8:47 AM
    A truly free society is inherently dangerous by nature and its citizens should be responsible for their own actions and safety.
    Citizens who are educated, armed and free are more dangerous to the government trying to control them, than the people who elect them.
    Study the constitution, educate as many people who will listen.
  • 13 Hide
    internetlad , May 10, 2013 9:15 AM
    all issues with printing firearms aside, this is pretty clearly an exercise in futility. Zip guns/homemade one-off pistols have been available for as long as firearms have been. At it's core you can have a tube, capped off at one end with a wick or blast cap igniting gunpowder in the back and shrapnel in the front as a homemade blunderbuss.
    All you need to really make a zip gun is a nail, a tube of applicable size, and possibly a sabot to house the round, it's not difficult. At the end of the day the bullets are the big problem, and they're readily available, and not especially expensive.
    All this is, is a civilized zip gun. They will never fully remove this or any other homemade weapons from existence. Where there is a will, there is a way. Regulations can be attempted, but at the end of the day, they're just throwing tax money down a rathole, fighting a war that cannot be won.
Other Comments
    Display all 48 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    catswold , May 10, 2013 8:21 AM
    This article just points out the futility of going after the weapon. Go after the criminal--profile criminal behavior and when you nail them, send them up for long sentences--that's how you reduce crime, not by restricting access to firearms for the law-abiding citizens.
    Besides, why all the bed-wetter hype? This is nothing more than a novel--and for now, exceptionally expensive--means of doing what criminals have been doing for decades, making zip-guns.
    You can make a better, far cheaper zip-gun just by visiting the hardware store.
  • 19 Hide
    cptnjarhead , May 10, 2013 8:47 AM
    A truly free society is inherently dangerous by nature and its citizens should be responsible for their own actions and safety.
    Citizens who are educated, armed and free are more dangerous to the government trying to control them, than the people who elect them.
    Study the constitution, educate as many people who will listen.
  • 9 Hide
    cptnjarhead , May 10, 2013 8:49 AM
    A truly free society is inherently dangerous by nature and its citizens should be responsible for their own actions and safety.
    Citizens who are educated, armed and free are more dangerous to the government trying to control them, than the people who elect them.
    Study the constitution, educate as many people who will listen.
  • 23 Hide
    wanderer11 , May 10, 2013 8:51 AM
    Ah, yes "pulled from web". After 100,000 people downloaded it there is no way to get rid of it. It is already up on TPB. Resistance is futile.
  • -3 Hide
    cptnjarhead , May 10, 2013 8:59 AM
    A truly free society is inherently dangerous by nature and its citizens should be responsible for their own actions and safety.
    Citizens who are educated, armed and free are more dangerous to the government trying to control them, than the people who elect them.
    Study the constitution, educate as many people who will listen.
  • 8 Hide
    koga73 , May 10, 2013 9:00 AM
    "Citizens who are educated, armed and free are more dangerous to the government trying to control them, than the people who elect them."
    War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.
    As an educated, armed, free citizen I am less dangerous than the government yet I have the power to stand together with other educated, armed, and free citizens in the name of tyranny and defense of the constitution.
  • 13 Hide
    internetlad , May 10, 2013 9:15 AM
    all issues with printing firearms aside, this is pretty clearly an exercise in futility. Zip guns/homemade one-off pistols have been available for as long as firearms have been. At it's core you can have a tube, capped off at one end with a wick or blast cap igniting gunpowder in the back and shrapnel in the front as a homemade blunderbuss.
    All you need to really make a zip gun is a nail, a tube of applicable size, and possibly a sabot to house the round, it's not difficult. At the end of the day the bullets are the big problem, and they're readily available, and not especially expensive.
    All this is, is a civilized zip gun. They will never fully remove this or any other homemade weapons from existence. Where there is a will, there is a way. Regulations can be attempted, but at the end of the day, they're just throwing tax money down a rathole, fighting a war that cannot be won.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , May 10, 2013 9:16 AM
    Nothing is ever erased from the internet. Where there is one, there are hundreds to take its place.
  • 8 Hide
    toadboy , May 10, 2013 9:25 AM
    @yannigr: You're obviously ignorant of history which has shown that when citizens are disarmed, they are at the mercy of their government. The unfortunate cases of private misuse of weapons that costs lives is nothing compared to the MILLIONS of lives lost to tyrannical governments who destroy their own -- unarmed -- people.
    We keep and bear arms for many reasons, including self defense, hunting and recreational shooting, but the most critical reason is as a last line of defense against tyranny. Those who would take away that right fail to understand that the USA wouldn't have existed to provide the freedoms they now take for granted had the people not been able to carry out an armed revolution.
    Gun ownership is higher than ever in the USA, but gun deaths and violent crime are down 29% since their peak in the 1990s (see official FBI crime statistics). Guns are not the problem any more than spoons make you fat.
    In addition, more people die from car accidents than guns in the USA every year (see FBI and CDC statistics). If you're truly concerned about saving lives, you should be campaigning for the following:
    1.) Cars be mechanically limited to 10 MPH.
    2.) Crash helmets required for all passengers.
    3.) Safety harnesses required for all passengers.
    4.) Fire extinguishing systems required for all vehicles.
    5.) Limited capacity fuel tanks.
    The above measures would save FAR more people than any gun control measure. So why don't people push for this? Because it's inconvenient to those who appreciate the use of cars for their needs. Somehow, we all accept the risks (and resulting deaths) of driving cars, but there are people who fail to see that the benefits of an armed populace far outweigh the risks, which happen to be LOWER than things most of us do everyday -- like driving a car. Think about it.
  • 4 Hide
    toadboy , May 10, 2013 9:26 AM
    Yikes. Apparently you can't break paragraphs or make lists in a Tom's comment. Sorry about that...
  • -8 Hide
    shadowfamicom , May 10, 2013 9:27 AM
    You know I am not saying that someone would have not done this eventually. But I really feel that this guy is just a big D*ck for putting this out there while 3D printers are still not fully in the public consciousness. Giving the 24/7 news cycle and congress something to panic over, and giving 3D printers a bad name.
  • -6 Hide
    the1kingbob , May 10, 2013 9:57 AM
    I would like to know who is responsible for the weapon when some fool overheats it and it explodes. The maker of the designs may expect some lawsuits as time goes on.
    I don't like the idea of anyone being able to download a gun with no background check. (i.e. Violent offenders, some mental disabilities, or minors) At least you can't download a bullet. That is some kind of prevention I guess.
  • 2 Hide
    xenol , May 10, 2013 10:23 AM
    Is it scary this thing is now going to be on the web? Sure, but keep in mind...
    - There were no accounts the Liberator (what this gun was based off of) was used as an effective weapon... if as a weapon at all. The Allies believed it to be more useful as a psychological warfare tool.
    - Even if it was used as a weapon, it was used to get a better one.
    And the gun's effective range is pitiful anyway (at most 10 meters or so). You could make something more deadly with a steel tube and a nail from Home Depot.
  • 3 Hide
    SmaugTD , May 10, 2013 10:49 AM
    The thing is, you can make the gun all-plastic. But as ammunition can not be made by 3d printer as plastic bullet would melt into the chamber.
  • 4 Hide
    SmaugTD , May 10, 2013 10:53 AM
    3d printer capable of printing a gun costs around 8000-10000$, as the Interpol commented, criminals are getting far superior weapons for better price.
  • 3 Hide
    itchyisvegeta , May 10, 2013 11:04 AM
    " Many deaths would have been avoided if guns where not so easy to reach, and many lives of people who could not control themselves in that bad moment, would have not being destroyed."
    Funny how people who make this argument completely ignore all the times guns have saves people's lives in self defense scenarios, let alone simply preventing crime (happened to me once). Regardless of the good guns do in our country compared to the bad, we still have a 2nd Amendment, where massive gun control shouldn't even be considered until they repeal that. A government that can get past that Amendment, can get past any part of the constitution, including your 1st Amendment rights.
  • -6 Hide
    hasten , May 10, 2013 11:23 AM
    How in the world is a reasonable comment like "plastic guns could have dire consequences' (paraphrased) getting 10 down votes? This isn't a debate over whether a person can own a firearm, this is a whole different world.
    Using simple reasoning you could deduce it does not matter that a 3D printer capable of creating this weapon costs 8k-10k. One person can buy said printer and create thousands of these weapons at minimal cost and distribute firearms capable of bypassing security to whoever wants to purchase them. The end user doesn't need the printer.
    I have no problem with people owning firearms (I do myself), although I think that the "protect yourself from tyranny" logic is a bit far fetched in a modern western society, and am not sure what it has to do with this story. Lets be reasonable with what our preferred news outlet is trying to feed us. That said, the possible implications of a working all plastic weapon is a very scary thought and does not belong in the "gun debate."
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