3D-Printed Gun Files Can Be Shared without Legal Penalty

Megalith

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The Justice Department has reached a settlement with gun rights activist Cody Wilson, who was confronted by federal authorities in 2013 when he uploaded 3D-printable CAD files for the “Liberator,” a working plastic gun. Wilson sued, arguing that the First Amendment protects his constitutional right to share the 3D files as free speech.

The legal battle has gone on for three years. But according to Wired, two months ago, the Justice Department decided to quietly offer Wilson a settlement to end his lawsuit. Under terms of the deal, the US government has agreed to change its export rules on military firearms, allowing Wilson to publish his 3D files, without fear of legal penalty.
 
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CRaschNet

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Why do people believe this precedent legally allows you to print your own guns legally? It doesn't. It just allows him to share the files and you to have them. It doesn't protect you from manufacturing a firearm.
 

tunatime

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Why do people believe this precedent legally allows you to print your own guns legally? It doesn't. It just allows him to share the files and you to have them. It doesn't protect you from manufacturing a firearm.
Im fairly sure it is legal to build your own guns as long as you don't sell them and its not an full auto and can be picked up by an x ray
 

Flogger23m

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Why do people believe this precedent legally allows you to print your own guns legally? It doesn't. It just allows him to share the files and you to have them. It doesn't protect you from manufacturing a firearm.

As long as you don't sell it and it doesn't violate the NFA, you can build as many as you want, plastic or not.
 

Croak

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As long as you don't sell it and it doesn't violate the NFA, you can build as many as you want, plastic or not.

This. Can't be a prohibited class (that includes "short barreled rifles" or "short barreled shotguns", bores over .50 caliber if it's not a muzzle loader, a few other things, and of course no full-auto). It also doesn't free you from the burden of state-specific regulations on possession, classifications, registration, etc.

And if you lost your 2A rights (felony or whatever) you're still prohibited from possessing firearms, homemade or not.
 

nilepez

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The Justice Department has reached a settlement with gun rights activist Cody Wilson, who was confronted by federal authorities in 2013 when he uploaded 3D-printable CAD files for the “Liberator,” a working plastic gun. Wilson sued, arguing that the First Amendment protects his constitutional right to share the 3D files as free speech.

The legal battle has gone on for three years. But according to Wired, two months ago, the Justice Department decided to quietly offer Wilson a settlement to end his lawsuit. Under terms of the deal, the US government has agreed to change its export rules on military firearms, allowing Wilson to publish his 3D files, without fear of legal penalty.
not a surprising decision. Pretty sure that the same was found for things like the Anarchist's cookbook and I suspect you could put out a book on how to build a nuke and it'd be legal. I'm pretty sure that there have been books on how to synthesize illegal drugs.
 

MickeyBailey

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Why do people believe this precedent legally allows you to print your own guns legally? It doesn't. It just allows him to share the files and you to have them. It doesn't protect you from manufacturing a firearm.
Where would you get the files from without this ruling? Can everyone design a 3D printed gun from scratch?

Im fairly sure it is legal to build your own guns as long as you don't sell them and its not an full auto and can be picked up by an x ray
You can sell them as long as your intention when constructing the firearm was not to sell it (one cannot "be in the business of manufacturing firearms" without a federal license, which seems unconstitutional to me as well).
 

mdburkey

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As long as you are making a gun for you own use, you ensure that it has the required amount of metal to be detectable in a scanner, you are not otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm, and the weapon itself is not otherwise in violation of the NFA, then it is perfectly legal to do so (through any means such as milling, stamping, 3D printing, whatever). Additionally, as long as said weapon remains in your possession, it does not have to be serialized or recorded. If at some later time you do decide to sell or transfer a weapon originally made for your own use, you may do so, but the BATF does require that the firearm be serialized at that time and that such information about the weapon itself be recorded by you and kept for reference (not the information about the transferee, but about the weapon). The transfer itself would be considered no different than any other in-state, person to person firearm transfer, with the same restrictions and requirements. In considering whether or not the firearm was actually originally manufactured for your own use, time of possession may be considered a factor (i.e. if you decided to sell a gun you made for yourself a few years later, then it is likely that everything would be fine; if you sold a gun you supposedly made for yourself a week after making it, you likely weren't actually making it for yourself).

Where things may get more nebulous and touchy later would be in cases where the plans are for an NFA regulated weapon. While the plans themselves might be technically legal to possess, it remains to be seen whether possession of the plans, STL files etc, and a CNC machine capable of manufacturing said firearm might be considered "constructive possession" in the eyes of the law.

These statements are with regard to FEDERAL law only, each state may have their own additional regulations that come into effect.
 

katanaD

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not a surprising decision. Pretty sure that the same was found for things like the Anarchist's cookbook and I suspect you could put out a book on how to build a nuke and it'd be legal. I'm pretty sure that there have been books on how to synthesize illegal drugs.

yep. was a book on how to make hash in my jr high school library
 

wizzi01

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As long as you are making a gun for you own use, you ensure that it has the required amount of metal to be detectable in a scanner, you are not otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm, and the weapon itself is not otherwise in violation of the NFA, then it is perfectly legal to do so (through any means such as milling, stamping, 3D printing, whatever). Additionally, as long as said weapon remains in your possession, it does not have to be serialized or recorded. If at some later time you do decide to sell or transfer a weapon originally made for your own use, you may do so, but the BATF does require that the firearm be serialized at that time and that such information about the weapon itself be recorded by you and kept for reference (not the information about the transferee, but about the weapon). The transfer itself would be considered no different than any other in-state, person to person firearm transfer, with the same restrictions and requirements. In considering whether or not the firearm was actually originally manufactured for your own use, time of possession may be considered a factor (i.e. if you decided to sell a gun you made for yourself a few years later, then it is likely that everything would be fine; if you sold a gun you supposedly made for yourself a week after making it, you likely weren't actually making it for yourself).

Where things may get more nebulous and touchy later would be in cases where the plans are for an NFA regulated weapon. While the plans themselves might be technically legal to possess, it remains to be seen whether possession of the plans, STL files etc, and a CNC machine capable of manufacturing said firearm might be considered "constructive possession" in the eyes of the law.

These statements are with regard to FEDERAL law only, each state may have their own additional regulations that come into effect.

I am going to need a cite on the required amount of metal law.
 

dgingeri

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A friend of mine put together a hand made gun using a small pipe, a cap for the pipe, and a .22 LR cartridge, and fired it at a squirrel, missed and hit someone's house. (This was before I knew him.) Since he was a minor, he didn't face too much punishment for it, but they still let him know that since he was 15, they could have charged him as an adult, and he could have faced 10 years in prison for manufacturing a weapon. He still spent most of his high school days on probation over it.

As mdburkey said, it is sill up in the air as to whether having the full capability of making one would warrant charges of "constructive possession".
 

MickeyBailey

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I am going to need a cite on the required amount of metal law.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undetectable_Firearms_Act

Smells unconstitutional to me.

A friend of mine put together a hand made gun using a small pipe, a cap for the pipe, and a .22 LR cartridge, and fired it at a squirrel, missed and hit someone's house. (This was before I knew him.) Since he was a minor, he didn't face too much punishment for it, but they still let him know that since he was 15, they could have charged him as an adult, and he could have faced 10 years in prison for manufacturing a weapon. He still spent most of his high school days on probation over it.

As mdburkey said, it is sill up in the air as to whether having the full capability of making one would warrant charges of "constructive possession".
What jurisdiction? It's perfectly legal to make your own non-NFA firearms in the US.
 

04SVT

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As long as you don't sell it and it doesn't violate the NFA, you can build as many as you want, plastic or not.


This.

However some states have more restrictive laws in place.

You can build whatever you want however, as long as you don't sell it or serialize it.


Right from the ATF: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/does-individual-need-license-make-firearm-personal-use

No, a license is not required to make a firearm solely for personal use. However, a license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution. The law prohibits a person from assembling a non–sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as well as firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or x–ray machines. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF.

[18 U.S.C. 922(o), (p) and (r); 26 U.S.C. 5822; 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105]
 

MickeyBailey

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This.

However some states have more restrictive laws in place.

You can build whatever you want however, as long as you don't sell it or serialize it.


Right from the ATF: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/does-individual-need-license-make-firearm-personal-use

No, a license is not required to make a firearm solely for personal use. However, a license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution. The law prohibits a person from assembling a non–sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as well as firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or x–ray machines. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF.

[18 U.S.C. 922(o), (p) and (r); 26 U.S.C. 5822; 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105]
Some states require serialization and you CAN sell the firearms (after serialization), you just can’t make the firearm with the intention of selling it (you can’t be “in the business of manufacturing firearms”)
 
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