Files posted online to 'print' working handgun

Computer files to create a handgun almost entirely from parts made with a 3D printer went online, alarming gun-control advocates after it was successfully test-fired by its inventor.

The single-shot .380-caliber Liberator bears a vague resemblance to its namesake, the FP-45 Liberator pistol that the United States developed during World War II to be air-dropped to French Resistance fighters.

Computer-aided design (CAD) files for the Liberator appeared on the website of Defense Distributed, a non-profit group that promotes the open-source development of firearms using 3D printers.

"We'll build the trigger first... Next, we'll build the hammer subassembly ... Next, drop the hammer into the frame...," reads the accompanying set of instructions, which come in English and Chinese.

"Finally slide the grip on the frame and insert the grip pin. Your Liberator is now ready to go!"

For the Liberator to conform with US firearms law, the instructions call for an inch-big chunk of steel to be sealed with epoxy glue in front of the trigger guard, so that the weapon can be spotted by metal detectors.

The only other non-plastic part is a tiny nail that acts as the firing pin.

Business magazine Forbes posted a video of the Liberator being remotely test-fired outside Austin, Texas last week, with a yellow string tied to the trigger of the toy-like white-and-blue handgun.

"The verdict: it worked," Forbes reported, adding however that the Liberator exploded ("sending shards of white ABS plastic flying into the weeds") when its inventor Cody Wilson attempted a second test using a rifle cartridge.

"I feel no sense of achievement," the 25-year-old University of Texas law student told Forbes. "There's a lot of work to be done."

CAD files for gun parts have been available on the Internet for some time, but the Liberator is apparently the first entire weapon ever to be fabricated almost exclusively with parts created with 3D printing technology.

Supporters of tougher gun laws in the United States -- where there are nearly as many guns (an estimated 300 million) as there are people (about 315 million) and more than 30,000 gun-related deaths a year -- expressed alarm.

"Stomach-churning," said Senator Charles Schumer of New York. "Now anyone -- a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon -- can essentially open a gun factory in their garage. It must be stopped."

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Steve Israel, also from New York, is sponsoring an Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act to outlaw plastic homemade guns.

"Security checkpoints, background checks, and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser," he said in a statement.

No longer prohibitively expensive, 3D printers can now be bought for about the same price as a top-end laptop computer. Brooklyn-based MakerBot, for instance, markets its desktop Replicator 2 for $2,199 with delivery in a week.

After the December 2012 massacre of 20 children at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, MakerBot took down CAD files for semi-automatic rifle parts that gun enthusiasts had posted on its open-source 3D printing library.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options