Progressives Are Clutching Their 3D-Printed Pearls


It’s perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearm. However, it’s illegal to sell such a gun to anyone else without first obtaining a manufacturer’s license from the ATF. And since 1968, any gun that’s manufactured for sale must have a serial number. And since the plastic gun nonsense of ’80s (over those evil Glocks like the ones now carried by the FBI), it’s been illegal to manufacture and sell a gun that won’t set off a properly calibrated security metal detector. We’re talking serious felony time for breaking these laws

It doesn’t take much google-fu to learn those facts, but facts are inconvenient. They can get in the way of a good rant, one like the op-ed from the San Francisco Chronicle containing these lines:

Homemade firearms aren’t new, but a basement gunmaker generally isn’t allowed to sell such weapons. With unmarked, self-made plastic weapons, that limitation won’t exist at all.

Uh, no.

As noted above, any unlicensed “manufacturer” commits a felony by selling any firearm regardless of how it was made.

No new laws further abridging the First and Second Amendments would be effective. The technology of 3D printing and the availability of inexpensive computer-controlled machine tools aren’t going to go away. The CAD files for many existing firearm designs are already in circulation on the Internet on servers beyond the reach of the American legal system. The battle has already been decided, and free speech and technical innovation have won.

3 thoughts on “Progressives Are Clutching Their 3D-Printed Pearls

    • As usual, the proggs have lost the plot. 3D printed guns are currently mostly silly, though the tech is progressing. They are certainly not an exceptional threat.

      CNC milling is where it’s at.

  1. It’s not illegal to sell a gun you made at home. It’s only illegal to make them with the intent to sell. If I build a rifle for myself and my buddy Bob stops by next year and says “hey, sell that to me!” I can do so legally(subject to the restrictions of my state).
    If you DO sell a weapon you built, BATFE would LIKE you to put on a serial number but it’s not required unless you are a licensed manufacturer.

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