The nonprofit group that created the world’s first 3-D-printed gun on Sunday proved that the weapon could be fired.
In a YouTube video published by Defense Distributed, 3-D-printed gun creator Cody Wilson fires a single shot from “the Liberator,” which features interchangeable barrels to handle different caliber bullets.
On the first attempt, the pistol showed no damage after firing a single standard .380 round. A second attempt misfired due to a misalignment. After switching the barrel to handle a higher-charge 5.7×28 rifle cartridge, “the gun exploded, sending shards of white ABS plastic flying into the weeds and bringing the Liberator’s first field trial to an abrupt end,” according to Forbes.
A Computer-aided design (CAD) file that would allow others with 3-D printers to create their own handguns was made available for free on Monday.
“I recognize that this tool might be used to harm people,” Wilson told Forbes. “That’s what it is — it’s a gun. But I don’t think that’s a reason to not put it out there. I think that liberty in the end is a better interest.”
“Once the file is online, anyone will be able to download and print the gun in the privacy of their garage, legally or not, with no serial number, background check, or other regulatory hurdles,” Forbes‘ Andy Greenberg noted last week.
At a press conference on Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the technology “stomach-churning” and called to outlaw 3-D-printing firearms.
And Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) has already drafted a bill to do just that.
“Security checkpoints, background checks and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print their own plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” Israel said in a statement.
Watch this video from Defense Distributed, broadcast May 5, 2013.