Homeland Security: 3D Printed Guns May Be Impossible To Stop

    May 24, 2013
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

The government is concerned about the proliferation of 3D printed guns. That much was obvious when the State Department demanded Defense Distributed remove the blueprints for the first 3D printed gun – The Liberator – from its Web site. Now another government agency is warning law enforcement about the potential dangers posed by 3D printed firearms.

Fox News reports that the Department of Homeland Security has issued a bulletin on 3D printed guns to law enforcement agencies around the nation. It says that 3D printed guns in their current state may be “impossible” to stop. The DHS continues by saying that it can’t regulate the guns because it can’t regulate the file sharing that’s putting the gun’s blueprints in peoples’ hands.

Like other agencies, the DHS is concerned that people will use 3D printed firearms to get past metal detectors. Their main concern is that large events will be harder to police since magnetometers, which are used to find metal weapons, will be useless against 3D printed weapons.

An anonymous law enforcement official told Fox News that the only solution to the potential threat is to pat-down every single person attending any large event. He ends by asking if America is ready “for pat-downs at every event.”

Near the end of the memo, the DHS says that Congress can pass laws banning 3D printed weapons. The agency admits that it probably won’t stop the creation of 3D printed guns though:

“Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these digital files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files.”

We’ve seen over the past few weeks that people are already experimenting with the Liberator and making it better. Some are even making 3D printed bullets. The DHS does have some legitimate concerns, but it’s hard to say just how much of a threat 3D printed guns pose at the moment. It seems that hobbyists and gun smiths are the only ones interested in the technology for now. Besides, the liberator isn’t much of a gun, and is still prone to exploding.

  • Jack Betz

    Maybe impossible to stop. DUH, once information is out it cannot be stopped. “A gun in the hands of a free man frightens and angers the autocrat, not because he fears the power of the gun, but, rather, the spirit of the man who holds it.”

  • J

    I’m all for the responsible use of guns. But when the bureaucrats bring in legislation that renders the people defenseless, then power to the people, such as the Obama madministration is doing, then the people have to do what ever they have to to protect themselves from autocratic legislation that seeks to strip the individual from their basic human right of freedom.

  • http://Mabuzi.com Kevin

    I dont understand why this is making such big headlines as no-one has been shot yet.

    So either corporations are looking to control this technology using fear(where do see this tactic) or interest groups like gun sellers been cut out of the loop.

    There are far more beneficial applications than bad ones.

  • Dakota Dazenports


    Can anyone tell me where I can get this 3D printer. I’m 14 years old and my pals and I want to print some guns. I think it’s cool. We have a metal detector at school, but I don’t think these guns will set it off. My peeps and I need guns to protect ourselves as school from the bullies. This is going to make it easy for us to protect ourselves. We promise not to shoot our teachers so no worries….!

  • eric

    pat downs at every event would be a waste of time. the ones intending on getting weapons in wont take traditional entrances and if they do they’ll just prop a back exit open once inside.

  • Bob

    What’s the big deal about a printed gun? If I want a new gun I can just drive a couple miles to several gun stores and buy a real gun, without buying a printer and worrying about some piece of plastic that’s likely to blow up in my hand.