3D printed guns have caused some US legislators to try to regulate 3D printing, but the extension of the Undetectable Firearms Act has managed to exclude the technology from any regulation.
The law was established in the 80s as a means of preventing plastic weapons from passing through metal detectors and used in important and/or crowded places.
With the law’s potential expiration coinciding with the publication of Defense Distributed’s 3D-printed Liberator pistol, 3D printing and the Undetectable Firearms Act became forever linked in people’s minds. Over at Public Knowledge, Michael Weinberg has a fairly objective outline of what these two things have to do with one another, what they don’t have to do with one another, and how the Undetectable Firearms Act turned out in the end.
Mr Weinberg concluded that: “I am completely for the ban of undetectable firearms, but I am also for much greater gun control in the United States. I worry that, by signing such a bill, Congress and the White House can claim that they’ve done something about gun control, without actually doing anything, despite public demand for universal background checks and a study put out by the American Journal of Medicine that provides evidence suggesting that high gun ownership is linked to increased gun-related deaths. But, then again, I guess that that’s just my own gripe and not an objective opinion that would result in greater public safety for all.”