Guns ‘printed’ with 3D printers are latest security scare after blueprints hit the Internet

Posted at 8:59 PM, May 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-06 22:04:58-04

(NEW YORK CITY) – It is called “The Liberator.” Perhaps more suitable would be the “Game Changer.”

On Monday, the Texas nonprofit “Defense Distributed” produced the downloadable blueprints for the world’s first 3D printable handgun.

Its creator Cody Wilson, a University of Texas law student, has been labeled by Wired magazine as one of the 15 most most dangerous people on the web.  He considers the gun part of a Wiki Weapon entry in which he provides web users with open-source gun designs.

Twitter has been a buzz with the news of the download.   Law enforcement is paying close attention.  A member of the NYPD’s 23rd precinct calling a gun made out of 3D printing, “crazy.”

The gun is fully operational and untraceable. All that is required are blueprints and a top-tier 3D printer.

Once news of the downloadable prints emerged, PIX 11 News went to a Staples in Midtown and asked a saleswoman if they had 3D printers in stock.  She said that they did not, but it could be ordered online and delivered by Tuesday.

The cost for a printer? Approximately $1,300 is a start.

One of the leading manufacturers in 3D printers is MakerBot.  A company spokeswoman shared with PIX 11 News some of the benefits produced by 3D printers  – such as the creation of replica fingers for children or assisting NASA in further space exploration.


Chris Milnes has two MakerBot machines in his home.  He says it’s all part of, “The new industrial revolution.”

Milnes has been involved in 3D business printing since last autumn. “It’s the wild west right now,” is how Milnes described the current state of 3D printing.

As for the concept that gunslingers can now create the digital equivalent of the zip gun?

“Scary. I’m not a gun advocate, I want less guns.  So the idea that anyone, in anyone of these bedrooms, could be making guns that have magazines with lots of bullets really sacred me.”

Sal Lifrieri  is a former Director of Security and Intellegence Operations Under Mayor Giuliani.  He summed up the death machine in two words,? “Incredibly deadly.”

Lifrieri is now the President of the Westchester based security firm, Protective Countermeasures.  The creation of a plastic gun has been a concern in the past.  The potential has always been there.

Now it’s a reality.

“While its not going to be as effective as a traditional weapon, it’s just as deadly, especially in short range,” said Lifrieri.

When ask how this will change law enforcement in terms of actually identifying this type of weaponry before it gets into a place where it’s not supposed to be?  Lifrieri made two observations, “There is no metal in it other than the firing pin, so it’s incredibly difficult to pick up on a magnetometer and secondly because it’s smooth bore, you’ll never be able to track the bullet back to the weapon.”

One Tri-State Detective who has covered a variety of cases in his decades of law enforcement said the weapon is the “dawn of a new era.”