All the rejuvenated talk of banning all semi-automatic firearms, "high capacity" magazines ("progressive"-speak for standard capacity magazines), and private sales (and a mandate for "universal background checks" would be just that--a ban of private sales) ignores the fact that technology is on the verge of making such endeavors utterly irrelevant. When one can after all simply print these items at home, without asking the government's permission, "gun control" will have suffered its long and richly deserved death without dignity.
LiveLeak.com contributor "Buck O'Fama" has brought that day closer by successfully producing a copy of the Ruger Charger .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol, making the receiver on an inexpensive, small format 3-D printer. It should be noted that in some ways, this project is a far less ambitious endeavor than the first 3-D printed pistol, the "Liberator." That single-shot .22 is made entirely of plastic, shaped by the 3-D printer, except for the metal nail that acts as a firing pin, and a block of metal that serves no structural purpose, and is included only to comply with federal laws banning "plastic guns." This means that even the chamber, breech and barrel--the parts of the gun exposed to the greatest heat and kinetic stresses--are made of plastic. That being the case, it is hardly surprising that with 3-D printing of guns still in its infancy, the Liberator is less a useful firearm than a proof of concept.
The 3-D printed copy of the Ruger Charger, on the other hand, is composed only partially of 3-D printed plastic. Other parts were ordered from retail outlets. "Gun control" zealots should find little solace in that fact, though, because the part that was produced on the printer was the receiver, which according to federal law, is the gun, for all legal purposes, and the only part regulated by any federal gun laws, including bans on possession by felons, a requirement for serial numbers and background checks, etc. Actually, presumably because of the small format of the inexpensive 3-D printer used, the receiver had to be printed in two sections, which were then joined together using Krazy Glue--indicating that .22 rimfire is probably about the upper limit for this approach, in terms of power.
Before the gun ban jihadists gloat too enthusiastically about that limitation, though, they should be reminded that they had no problem telling New Jersey residents that they should be willing to accept the .22 rimfire as being enough to defend their homes, lives and families with, because a "smart gun," available only in that caliber, appeared poised to hit the market, triggering the state's 2002 law mandating that "smart guns" be the only handguns available in the state.
3-D printing of firearms is still in its infancy, but it's a precocious infant, and growing fast. And the gun ban zealots are increasingly coming to believe that "It's Alive."
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