3D printed gun could be out by year's end

Instead of putting technological know-how towards bringing about a post-scarcity society where need is eliminated through Star-Trek esque replicators, gun nuts at Defense Distributed are fighting for America’s right to keep and bear arms – claiming a prototype for the 3D-printed plastic weapons may be ready before the end of this year.

Spokesperson Cody Wilson told the Guardian that his company is just sitting on logistics, time, resources, and money – and is just now waiting to get the nod for a federal firearms licence, a permit required for building weapons in the US. 

Although the company that was planning to lease its printer, Stratasys, repossessed the device, two Texan – where else? – companies offered their space for ballistics testing, while there is another firm that is now renting a 3D printer to Defense Distributed, although the spokesperson refused to name it.

Defense Distributed itself is applying to beome a nonprofit, describing itself as charitable public interest publishing – basically distributing weapons blueprints online for free, while a research company called Liberty Laboratories plans to build and trial the guns. Another will manage the finances.

The Guardian reports that as soon as Defense Distributed gets its federal firearms licence, the group is going to build prototype weapons as soon as possible, on the back of up to five blueprints independent designers submitted to the company. 

Along with the libertarian, gun-touting vision of Defense Distributed, scientists at the University of Glasgow boasted earlier this year that it may also be possible to print your own drugs not too far in the future.