back to article Appeals court nixes online blueprint sharing ban on 3D-printed 'ghost guns'

A federal appeals court in America has overturned a district court order preventing plans for 3D-printed guns from being shared online. In a ruling [PDF] on Tuesday, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction obtained in March 2020 by 22 states and the District of Columbia that blocked a State Department rule …

  1. Magani
    Unhappy

    Obviously more guns needed

    At 120 guns per 100 people, the US obviously needs to up the production of firearms by letting folks manufacture their own.

    1. sev.monster
      Happy

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      As a bloody Yank, I agree with you 100%. Thanks for speaking the truth.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      I'm glad you approve of me making my own. It can be a fun hobby ... but I strongly recommend learning a little bit about metallurgy before trying it. Or poo-pooing it, for that matter

      3D printed plastic guns aren't firearms, they are clubs at best, suicide machines at worst.

      1. StargateSg7

        Re: Obviously more guns needed

        Using a CHEAP Bay-bought Chinesium-made 3D printer to make a gun is just ASKING for trouble!

        You need about 1/10,000th of an Inch (0.00254 mm) of machining accuracy in making a GOOD 3D printed gun (i.e. typical 9mm or 0.45 pistol) that won't blow up in your face and AT LEAST use 4140 or 4150 grade Carbon Steel for the upper (i.e. the main bullet-firing parts) to ensure longevity and strength.

        You need GREAT quality CNC machine gear and the knowledge and shop-experience to follow all the small details needed to get a finished product. ANYONE CAN make a 3D printed gun from plans found on the internet, but SHOULD you if you don't have great quality CNC machines and high quality base material and some decent shop skills? NO! Just don't if you still want to keep your hands' and face intact!

        I would actually suggest making yourself a high-quality cross-bow and/or compound bow and arrow kit! It's a LOT safer and easier!

        If you have some solid hunks of metal laying around, you COULD make yourself a real but miniaturized CANNON which I think is safer too! Firing a solid steel ball using cotton and gunpowder is just as deadly for the target and the BOOM a cannon makes is quite satisfying in itself!

        Me? I would rather use the parent company's 20 Megawatt Chemical Iodine/Oxygen LASER to burn really BIG HOLES in things in mere hundredths of a second! Plus it has an unlimited range going to the moon in only 1.25 seconds! I could also wipe out an ENTIRE ARMY in a few tens of seconds at 20 Megawatts pulsed using advanced vision recognition targeting!

        v

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Obviously more guns needed

          You don't need a GOOD one to KILL someone.

          Probably don't need the caps lock either...

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Obviously more guns needed

          But there are loads of videos on YouTube of people printing guns and firing them.

          1. StargateSg7

            Re: Obviously more guns needed

            It is as easy-as-pie to MAKE a rudimentary gun (i.e. a device that fires a solid or hollow projectile) but i't a whole'n'other ball of wax to make it fire consecutively in safe and sound manner for a reasonable period of time!

            Again, I like our modern equivalents, LASERS, MASERS and Particle Beam weapons which are basically UNSTOPPABLE by even the thickest and strongest armour once a certain energy level has been reached!

            A 20 Megawatt LASER has no defence against it. It can slice through 200 feet (60 metres+) of solid steel or solid rock! People are INCINERATED TO CLOUDS OF ASH in mere seconds even with full body armour on them!

            It is the ULTIMATE weapon after Nuclear Bombs and Quantum Dynamic devices!

            And with multiple summing of the monochromatic waveforms, I can get energy levels into the Gigawatts,

            enough to TOAST ENTIRE COUNTRIES in mere minutes!

            x

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: Obviously more guns needed

              "It is as easy-as-pie to MAKE a rudimentary gun (i.e. a device that fires a solid or hollow projectile) but i't a whole'n'other ball of wax to make it fire consecutively in safe and sound manner for a reasonable period of time!"

              Good thing you can't kill anyone with the first shot.

              The obsession with firearms is s badly misplaced...

              1. hoola Silver badge

                Re: Obviously more guns needed

                I believe that most firearm incidents are at close range so practice, accuracy and consistency are not that critical.

                If it successfully fires a couple of times that is enough to cause an awful lot of damage.

            2. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: Obviously more guns needed

              A 20 Megawatt LASER has no defence against it.

              Yes, if we did figure out how to build one then it'd be quite effective. Existing systems have outputs measured in kilowatts though.

              I'd also suggest that "no defence against it" is wrong. Lasers are inherently line of sight weapons, which means that they have to share the battlefield with things such as artillery that don't require line of sight and so can shoot from ranges greater than the curvature of the earth would allow you to target. Even if a laser can fry artillery shells then the opposition are just going to increase the number of shells being fired until they saturate your defences and blow away your laser emitter.

              If that didn't work then 20 megawatts is quite a lot of power; as in 1/30th of the output of a very stationary nuclear power plant. If you add several units to deal with my artillery shells them i'm going to start blowing away your power lines/plants and your ultimate weapon is going to be a bit of a flop, and your plebs are probably going to get a bit upset at all of their lights and heat being knocked out.

              1. StargateSg7

                Re: Obviously more guns needed

                They were firing 20 Megawatt LASERS in 1987 already during SDI (Strategic Defence Initiative aka Star Wars) ICBM defence systems research. (How do I know this? -- relatives worked on it and that portion is now declassified!)

                20 megawatts is only 42 piston engines from older 2010-era lorries (i.e. Ford F-150 trucks) networked together and about $10,000 USD worth of normal 91 octane gasoline (petrol). Here at BC Hydro, I am paying 10 cents a KW/hr and that 20 Megawatts is had from typical Run-of-the-River dams which we bulk lease.

                LOTS of Hydro Electric power here in British Columbia. 20 Megawatts is NOTHING here!

                We could TRY to use mirrors to move and re-direct a 20 megawatt LASER, but having the SAME problems the original SDI researchers had where the laser would punch through the orbital reflecting mirrors (Ooops! Did I just say that publicly? -- Orbital SDI laser reflector/re-director mirrors in 1986-to-1992?), you are correct it is line-of-sight only for now!

                BUT since I have that REALLY FANCY 65,000 objects per second PER GPU fully autonomous vision recognition system I designed and coded, we can obliterate whole armies AND shells-in-air or ICBMs in mere microseconds!

                meh!

                Just another day at the office!

                v

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Obviously more guns needed

                  Ah, some fine kookery from one of our resident kooks to liven up Monday.

                  "As soon as I find a HOLLOWED-OUT VOLCANO for lease in BRITISH COLUMBIA you will all be forced to RECOGNIZE MY GENIUS."

                  On the other hand, it's hard to pick between SSg7's 20 bazilliawatt laser and the coming flood of 3D-printed assault rifles being mass-manufactured by terr'ists and gangbangers for Fake Threat to Ignore o' the Day.

                  I'm not a fan of guns, any more than I'm a fan of chainsaws; they're both tools, and dangerous ones,1 and it would be good to keep them away from idiots and assholes but that's largely infeasible. But 3D printing does not seem likely to greatly aggravate the gun problem in the US, and forbidding it will almost certainly not help anything in any significant way. Regulations controlling the sale of such guns might help somewhat, at least in making them even less economically attractive than they already are.

                  1JFTR, at this time I own one chainsaw and zero guns. That could change; there are critters about the Mountain Fastness, including some rabies and plague vectors, among other possible reasons for wanting a firearm.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Obviously more guns needed

                    "That could change; there are critters about the Mountain Fastness, including some rabies and plague vectors, among other possible reasons for wanting a firearm."

                    Do me a favo(u)r? Even if you grew up with guns, and are quite familiar with them from another life, PLEASE have all adults and teens take a hunter safety course before bringing firearms into a previously unarmed home. It won't hurt, and it might help.

                    Yes, all the adults here on the Ranch re-take the course every couple years, just because.

                    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: Obviously more guns needed

                      "PLEASE have all adults and teens take a hunter safety course before bringing firearms into a previously unarmed home."

                      The obvious counter would be ANY test, any at all, can and inevitably will be gamed to ban gun ownership by the back door, simply by making the test nigh-impossible to pass. If people are willing (with proof) to game voting eligibility tests, eventually forcing a ban on voting eligibility tests via the Voting Rights Act and the 23rd Amendment ban on poll taxes, what's to stop a tyranny from saying if you want to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights, just pass this looks-easy-but-really-impossible test?

                      It's rapidly becoming a "we just can't have nice things" problem where the medium is UNhappy.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Obviously more guns needed

                        It's not a test. It's a course.

                        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                          Re: Obviously more guns needed

                          What point is a course without a test to prove you learned what you're supposed to learn on the course? Meaning a course is essentially a test, which can always be gamed.

                          1. jake Silver badge

                            Re: Obviously more guns needed

                            Go take the one in your area. Come back and report.

                            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                              Re: Obviously more guns needed

                              Actually, a friend of mine took one recently. And a neighbor recently became a police officer.

                              Both had something in common: tests at the end to prove they learned what they were taught.

                              And guess what? Tests can change over time, including for political reasons. If a test or any other criterium exists, it can be altered to fit certain desires, including political ones. Like I said, voting eligibility tests were notorious for excluding people certain others didn't want voting. What's to stop that happening with a gun certification test?

                              Put simply, if there's one reason lots of Americans put their faith in their guns, it's because they DON'T put their faith in the government. The United States was founded on DISTRUST of government, and that will never go away.

            3. winters solace
              Trollface

              Re: Obviously more guns needed

              A 20 Megawatt LASER has no defence against it.

              a mirror to bend the beam away from you

              1. Peter2 Silver badge

                Re: Obviously more guns needed

                Mirrors don't actually work against high power lasers.

                About 50 years ago when the Americans were playing around with that chemical based airbourne laser somebody wondered what'd happen if you used a mirror, so they tried it.

                And I don't just mean any old mirror as in a nanometer of reflective stuff behind a bit of glass. No siree, they took it seriously and did it properly. A whacking great block of aluminium which was polished to be perfectly reflective with a proper heatsink on the back.

                It lasted a fraction of a second. While 99% of the energy was reflected initially, the remaining 1% was enough to cause distortions on the surface at which point 2% gets through, then 4% and so on, with each step taking a minute fraction of a second.

                1. 42656e4d203239 Bronze badge
                  Pint

                  Re: Obviously more guns needed

                  >>Mirrors don't actually work against high power lasers.

                  Have a beer. Too many people think a shiny suit is a good defence against high intensity light....

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Obviously more guns needed

                    > Too many people think a shiny suit is a good defence against high intensity light....

                    Worked for Daft Punk, ain't been killed by lasers yet.

                  2. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Obviously more guns needed

                    However the SLOW blade penetrates the shield...

                2. StargateSg7

                  Re: Obviously more guns needed

                  Like I said in my earlier comment, we kept punching right through the orbital mirrors! 20 Megawatts is only 42 or so petrol engines worth of energy BUT that amount of energy still punches through EVERYTHING -- mirrors included -- We solved that issue BUT we ain't using mirrors ....... ;-) ;-) ;-)

                  We're doing it the old fashioned way to redirect LASER and MASER pulses -- PLENTY OF TEMPORARY MASS !!!!

                  and for those of you in the know, I think you get our drift ..... !!!!

                  ...

        3. Dr Scrum Master

          Re: Obviously more guns needed

          I seem to remember that the steering columns from Morris Minors were a major component in suitably effective firearms manufactured and used in Malaya.

      2. BebopWeBop
        Devil

        Re: Obviously more guns needed

        I did once have a copy of the 'Anarchists Cookbook' - purchased secondhand in the US when visiting as a teenager.* Perusing it, and with a decent knowledge of A Level chemistry it seemed pretty clear that it had been written by people wishing to accelerate Darwinian selection. Not that some of it was not useful for a controlled bang.

        * note to the inevitable listeners in I have it no longer - this was the late 70s.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      "At 120 guns per 100 people" - really? Keep drinking that Kool-Aid. Maybe if you count all the weapons owned by the military as well as all firearms that have been owned in the past (regardless of current state of usability - or not) you might conceivably come close to a 1:1 ratio but each gun-owner would need to have something like 15-20 guns each given the number of people who do NOT own any at all.

      On an IT angle, what about all those nations on the planet that are NOT the United States of America? How exactly does that nice Mr Biden intend stopping the rest of the world - especially those parts with access to the Dark Web - sharing designs? I think that should be of more interest than exactly how many guns there are.

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: Obviously more guns needed

        Well, there is at least a fairly plausible source for that number. There are also some fairly interesting statistics that should stop anyone from being able to claim that "guns don't kill people" (if they were trying to make any sense at all).

    4. Danny 14

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      Anyone stupid enough to start firing home made plastic printed firearms deserve all they get.

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Obviously more guns needed

      It's not as if it's going to make much difference, especially if no one teaches them how to make the bullets.

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Question

    I have not looked at the drawings or the bill of materials for these guns but knowing something about metallurgy I wonder about how the parts are heat treated so they have the correct properties so they are safe for the user. History is littered with stories of firearms and artillery blowing up because of metallurgical issues with the available alloys of the period.

    Another issue is the tolerances of parts as that was an issue back in the day with early breech loaders. Breech loading firearms were not particularly safe or reliable until the development of brass cartridges in the 1860's/1870's. Part of the problem was poor sealing of the breech allowing gases to leak into the user's face.

    Outside of metal working hobbyists who might do this to say they did it I do not see this being a practical way for most to obtain a reliable gun. But our various members of our native criminal class are not known to let little details lack facts get in the way of their narrative.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Question

      If someone handed me a 3D printed firearm to pull the trigger with, I'd use it as a club... much safer

      Having prior knowledge from a previous life of high performance steelwork, most vital gun parts are made from hi-tensile steel and indeed some from nickle superalloys.

      Just run through the forces involved in lobbing a bullet downrange using newton's laws of motion, and you can get some rather high figures around the breech... have a failure there, and rather than the bullet go downrange, you get the bolt coming out and smashing you in the face.

      But then again, some idiot will download the plans.. print one out, put a round in it and die.... darwin is appeased by such sacrifices..

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Question

        Off the top of my head, I recall that a ww2 era lee enfield was designed to withstand a pressure of something like 50,000 psi when fired.

        Fifty thousand pounds per square inch of pressure.

        Personally, I get a plumber in to deal with water pipes pressurised at like 50PSI because I don't want the risk of coming home to my home having been converted to an impromptu swimming pool. There is no way any sane person who is unqualified should be producing anything designed to resist pressures that are over one thousand times greater when that pressure is generated within 4 inches of your head.

        I mean, hello darwin award..!

      2. Justin Clements

        Re: Question

        Exactly, and there's a reason you don't put a 357 in a 38 Special.

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Question

      My GrandFather (RIP) was a member of a historical recreation group known as the "Mountain Men". They dressed up in the leathers & furs of yore, camped in primative wigwam/yurt style tents (hide walls & hand carved wooden poles rather than modern synthetic materials & shock corded carbon fibre stuff), hunted their own food, & used primative weaponry as their GreatGrandFather's might have done. One of those weapons was a muzzle loader & the role my GrandFather had was of blacksmith creating said item.

      He said making it was fairly simple -- essentially just a long tube sealed at one end & open at the other -- but the forging of the tube was the tricky bit. You had to make the walls thick enough to not crack/explode from use, you had to make sure the interior walls were smooth so excessive roughness could cause the shot/gasses to deform/explode the tube at those points, & all done by hand. No lathes, no preform templates to go by, each one was essentially one of a kind. Even if you could somehow mass produce them, like creating ten tubes & ten stocks to assemble all in one go, the tubes were unique from forge to forge with differences in heat, metalurgy, etc.

      I watched him build one. It took him nearly six months just to cast the tube. The stock was much easier & only took a week to carve & fit. Watching him take it to the back yard, fill it with black powder & shot, then lock it in a vice for the actual firing, I asked why he did that last bit. "Because that bastard could blow up in my hands if even a tiny impurity or failure is in the mix."

      Sure enough, the damned thing went kaboom & torched the vice. The fact that the two of us were hiding behind a hay bale at the time was what kept us from getting shrapnel in the head.

      All of this is to say that while it may LOOK easy, it might even SOUND easy, if even a primative muzzle loading version can't be garanteed not to blow up in your face, there's no way in hell I'd trust a 3D printed version to not do likewise. Sure it might have better tolerences & materials handling, but the more technical something becomes then the more likely it is prone to failing.

      If something made by hand, assembled by hand, & barely above flinging poop at someone can go boom, the technicly advanced, requiring 3D printing, micrometer tolerances, futuristic doohickey is just taunting Murphy to catch one in the head. =-J

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Question

        It would have been SO much quicker if he'd had a 3d printer though.

      2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Question

        "& used primative weaponry as their GreatGrandFather's might have done"

        Their GreatGrandFathers were using advanced weaponry.

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Question

      I'd rather buy legitimate firearms. They are not that expensive (laptop prices) and they are safe & reliable. For example, a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch has an MSRP of about $1000 new, and you can get them discounted or used for a lot less.

  3. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Why bother with 3D printing

    Full CAD/CAM drawings of the AK-47 have been available online for years. I would much rather trust an AK-47 machined from blocks of steel than a 3D printed gun using the low strength materials available to 3D printers.

    Leave the 3D instructions online to apply Darwin's rule to the idiots who try to build and use such a gun.

    Icon for what happens to people who try to use a 3D printed firearm =========>

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

      I think the point of a 3D printed gun would be to produce a very realistic replica, however it would get you shot just as well as if you we brandishing the real thing.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        "I think the point of a 3D printed gun would be to produce a very realistic replica, however it would get you shot just as well as if you we brandishing the real thing."

        Probably the motivation for removing the plans from the munitions list. "AI" that matches everyone as a suspect is only the first step, "arming" the population with guns that don't shoot is further progress.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

      Because

      1) Few people have lathes and other metalworking tools. 3D printers are a lot cheaper too. I got my 3D printer for US$1000. I can't even get ahold of a lathe to even buy one, even if I could afford it,

      2) it's far, far easier to 3D print something than machine it. I can easily draw something in OpenSCAD and have a printed thing a couple hours later. I can operate a drill press. I might be able to do simple stuff on a lathe. That's about the limit of my machining. I can't weld anything.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        The printed 3D gun shown in the article pales in comparison to weapons that can be assembled following a quick trip to the hardware store plumbing department. And they (the plumbing parts guns) will be far stronger than some plastic contraption.

        The 3D printed gun was produced as an exercise in demonstrating the futility of regulating firearms manufacturing. Not so much to produce a useful gun.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        "it's far, far easier to 3D print something than machine it."

        Care to demonstrate how easy it is? Up to and including firing it?

        I hope not, because actually firing a gun with a receiver (the only part that needs to be serialized & tracked) made on your cute little 3D printer will do you an injury, and possibly even kill you.

        The same part made on my Bridgeport, using the same CAD file, will function.properly. However, the Bridgeport costs a trifle more than just purchasing a receiver from a flea market. Or a complete working firearm, with ammo, which is available in the seedier part of the big city near you, world-wide.

        Guns exist. Criminals have lots, in (nearly?) every country on Earth. Passing laws will not change this fact, because criminals by definition don't give a shit about laws.

        Firearm control laws are feel-good legislation. All they do is placate the voters into thinking politicians are "doing something about it". They are certainly doing something ... they are angling to get re-elected.

        The only thing that will help this social problem[0] is education. Unfortunately, the politicians are all anti-education .... can't allow the proles to learn to think for themselves. now can we? If they somehow manage it, we'll all be out on our ears in the next election!

        [0] Yes, a social problem. Hardware almost never clubs you over the head by itself, it requires a human at the controls.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why bother with 3D printing

          Firearm control laws get weapons out of circulation and control access to them in future. Countries with decent firearms regulations have orders of magnitude less shootings than the US.

          Here in Australia, gun crime happens, but the rate is very low. In most cases it is gang on gang violence. The legislation and buy back after the Port Arthur massacre removed vast amounts of firearms from circulation. Due to the firearm laws, criminals who try to get weapons often end up getting themselves arrested as they talk to the wrong person.

          I am much more comfortable in a country where there are a few guns in circulation belonging to criminals, than in a country where any nutter can walk into a corner shop and buy an assault rifle. My chances of encountering somebody with a firearm here are incredibly small.

          As noted in this article there were 45 mass shootings in the US in a month.

          https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/16/politics/mass-shootings-america-guns/index.html

          In that same timeframe the combined total number of mass shootings in otherwise similar English speaking countries UK, Canada, Australia, NZ was zero.

          Gun control laws work. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves.

          1. Danny Boyd

            Re: Why bother with 3D printing

            Guns are not the problem in US, people's attitude is. In Israel, for example, percentage of gun owners is higher than in US. How many mass shootings have been there in Israel in a month? I'm not even mentioning Switzerland, where all adult men have to have battle-grade (not castrated versions "for civilian market") firearms and load of ammo safely stored in their houses.

            Guns don't kill, people do. Outlaw the guns, and only outlaws will have them.

            You admit, in sunny Australia gun crimes still happen despite strict gun control. Gang on gang, eh? That's because gun control laws only concern law-abiding citizens, they are nothing to the gangs. You want to have gangs the only armed force in your country? I truly hope you never get in their way, because you'll have to defend yourself and your family with a broom or a soup ladle.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              The gangs are not the only armed force. We also have the police and armed forces. The bikie gangs that occasionally take pot shots at each other concern me a lot less than somebody losing their shit and gunning down 30 people with an AR15, or the 3 year old that finds their parents gun and shoots their sibling.

              Not only do the gun laws restrict total gun ownership, they also control what weapons criminals have access to. Pretty much the only weapons they can get their hands on are pistols and maybe a double barrel shotgun. It is virtually impossible to get any sort of semi auto rifle or shotgun.

              Believe what you want, but I am safer from gun violence here than you are in the US. Statistics back this up and also the simple fact that neither I, or anybody I know even think about guns on a daily basis. They are just not something that factors into life here.

              On the other hand, my sister in law lives in Texas. Her husband runs a BMW dealership. A few years back, an ex employee with a grudge turned up and murdered the receptionist and a mechanic before blowing his own brains out in the car park. It barely made the news. If any gun violence happens anywhere in the country here it is headline national news for days simply due to the rarity of it.

              Looking at the statistics for the countries you mention. Firearm related deaths per 100,000 population per year:

              US: 12.21

              Switzerland: 2.64

              Israel: 1.38

              Australia: 0.88

              So yeah you may be substantially safer in Israel or Switzerland than in the US, but they still have more gun deaths than Australia.

              Simple fact. More guns = more gun deaths.

              1. Danny Boyd

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                You are right, you are safer in Australia than I am in US, at least from gun violence. But not because the gun control laws are stricter in Australia. It's because there are more criminals and psychos in US. As I said, the people's attitude.

                Criminals and psychos will find a weapon, gun control or not. If they can't find the gun, they'll find a knife and behead somebody. Look what's going on in France.

                The point I'm trying to convey is, normal law-abiding citizens will not attack other citizens with guns (knives, machetes, ropes). Imposing strict gun laws disarms the law-abiding citizens, not criminals or psychos. And leaves the law-abiding citizens defenseless.

                And don't kid yourself that "gun laws control what weapons criminals have access to". Criminals don't buy arms in a neighborhood gun shop. They have access to stolen or smuggled automatic arms. They are criminals.

                Fortunately, Australians are pretty much laid back and are not inclined to resolve their problems with violence exceeding a good fist fight in a local pub. Thank God for this, not for strict gun control laws.

              2. Danny 14

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                To be fair, you need to worry about wildlife in Aus. Just about all wildlife is geared to killing you. You are more likely for a spider to bite you on the arse in the toilet then being shot by a madman.

                1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  There hasn't been a death from a spider bite in Australia since (from memory) 1972.

                  Anti-venom is available all over the country now.

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                    Is there an anti-venom for GSW?

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  They need more guns in Australia, then. Tiny ones, like spider sized.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                    "They need more guns in Australia, then. Tiny ones, like spider sized."

                    Well, then, it's a good thing they have them. Look up the Aussie Mini-Mite and Tini-Mite cartridges, made by necking down .22 rimfire cases to .177 ...

                    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                      Oh, come on. Most spiders can barely lift one of those cartridges, much less hold, aim, and fire the gun.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                        The Honorable Commentard has obviously never seen Australian spiders.

                        Besides, the smaller ones can always ask for help from passing drop bears.

              3. very angry man

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                Who the fu#k are you?

                If any gun violence happens anywhere in the country here it is headline national news for days simply due to the rarity of it.

                NO IT FU%KING DOSE'NT!

                It's morons like you living in you cotton wool houses, don't want to hurt your feelings , want to kick the bullshit out of them.

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  Name checks out.

            2. Filippo Silver badge

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              Switzerland and Israel are small countries. They also both have extremely unique historical and cultural traits that are not really seen anywhere else. Basically, you've cherry-picked the most outlying outliers there are.

              I'm not saying you should ignore them, but you can't just pick them while ignoring Australia, UK, Japan and almost all of western Europe. If you put all the experiences with gun regulation in these countries together, even with the outliers, it's pretty clear that strict gun control makes the average citizen safer.

              1. Stork Silver badge

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                At least for Switzerland, it is _very_ difficult to get license to carry a handgun - and I do believe that most of US gun killings are with handguns, not rifles or shotguns.

                Similarly, Canada has a lot of hunting weapons in circulation, without the same gun crime rates as a bit further south.

                Part of the problem is likely that when someone with a gun (whether criminal, civilian or police) expect an opponent to be armed too, (s)he is more likely to pull the trigger.

                An in the US, the guns are out there. It is not going to change any time soon.

              2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                You can't say that! Has gun control made those who have died int he UK due to knives safer? No.

                It is just cultural for the most part. Europeans are more used to being controlled than Americans. You've been controlled by Monarchs for centuries, why should you feel more controlled by elected governments.

                When guns 1st started to be controlled in the US in the 30's you can see that it has had absolutely no effect on crime. NONE! Anyone who tells you otherwise is a LIAR!

                Gun laws only take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens! They do not take guns out of the hands of criminals. As far as children and guns, if you do not secure your guns from yours or other children in your home then you need to be charged and go to jail.

                In the US we need real mental health reform and real effective crime fighting procedures (i.e. stop and frisk, it WORKED!), we do not need more gun control laws that leave honest citizens defenseless against criminals in a time when the left wants to remove police!

                1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
                  Pirate

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  Amen to that! We've already got enough bullshit gun laws here (922r compliance immediately springs to mind), we don't need more. A few LESS laws would be a welcome change, actually.

                  And why are "we" only worried about controlling guns, instead of worrying about WHY these shooters thought it was OK to go kill a bunch of people for no good reason? That's just treating the symptoms, not the disease.

                2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  > Europeans are more used to being controlled than Americans

                  America banned alcohol a century ago. A century ago in Britain, laudanum had not long since been banned,

                  You're talking about a country where crossing the road at a non-designated point is illegal and where you aren't allowed to drive faster than 55mph.

                  I suggest you watch less TV.

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                    "You're talking about a country where crossing the road at a non-designated point is illegal"

                    Flat wrong. The USA as a country does not have any jaywalking laws. Period. (Pedestrian regulations on the wheres, whens and hows of jaywalking may, or may not be contained within an individual state or city's traffic laws. Many states have no such law.)

                    "and where you aren't allowed to drive faster than 55mph."

                    Flat wrong. In 1972, the 55 MPH "National Maximum Speed Limit" came into effect. It was widely ignored from conception. In April of 1987, it was lifted to 65MPH on rural interstate highways if allowed by individual states. Later the same year, in December, the law was changed to also allow non-interstate rural highways to have a 65MPH limit, should that state decide to do so. 80 percent of the states lifted their limits from 55 to 65 before 1988 was over. Various other laws were passed raising the barriers to the so-called NMSL, until it was finally repealed entirely in 1995.

                    Here in California, the maximum speed (by law) on rural highways is 70 MPH. However (by experience) the de facto maximum speed limit is about 80-85 MPH ...much faster than this will probably get you pulled over, a lecture on the evils of speeding by the cop, asked to "drive safely", and then you'll be allowed to get on your way with no citation. Over 90 or 95 will get you a speeding ticket. Over 115 (or thereabouts) might get you arrested, depending on how stupid you were being about it[0]. Again, this is my experience; YMMV.

                    I suggest you watch less of. DearOldTelly. It lies to you.

                    [0] I was out on I5 heading South in my Taurus SHO one afternoon mid-week. I gassed up in Los Baños, and pulled over for a pee at the Buttonwillow rest area a little over an hour later. I had seen almost no traffic the entire ~140 mile stretch. As I walked back to my car, a CHP officer stopped me and commented that their spotter aircraft had clocked me at over 135 MPH ... and that I should probably slow down, as there was quite a bit more traffic around Bakersfield and South that day. After a little idle talk about the differences between our cars (he was in a CHP 5.0 Mustang), I thanked him, and carried on.

            3. Adelio

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              Conscription exists in Israel for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18 who are Jewish (both genders)

              that means that most of them will have had professional training on the use of weapons.

              I do not think you can say the same for most Americans,

              Just pop to Walmart and get a passle of guns. Do you know how to use them? no. Are you a fit and able person to use them responsibily? No, of course not. They have then 2nd Ammendment that gives them the goddam right to own and use guns even if they are idiots.

              Gun ownership is NOT a right, it should be a priveledge and you should have to be passed as reliable AND have had sufficient training to use them properly.

              and selling firearms should have the same rules wether it is a private or commercial transaction.

              I live in the UK, we have approx 65 gun deaths a YEAR for 67 million people. America has 37,000 gun deaths for 350 million. I would suggest that American needs to tighten up the rules on owning and using firearms. YOU DO NOT live in the WILD WILD West, Yehaw.....

              1. Danny Boyd

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                Dear Adelio, you, like AC above, quote the "gun death" rates. What percentage of them are suicides? In US, I heard, it's pretty high. It is understandable: when a person decides to commit suicide, they look for the easiest way out, and if firearms are available, the choice is clear.

                Note that I'm not debating your or CA's statements that there is much more gun violence in US (even removing the suicide part) than in UK or Australia. I'm debating the root cause: you and AC think it's stricter gun control laws, and I think it's difference in public attitude, "the level of general madness", if you will.

                1. Filippo Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  Roughly two thirds are suicides. A very small amount are accidents. So, if you only count homicides, the number is "only" about 40 times bigger than in the UK. And yes, that's adjusted for population.

                  Honestly, if you want to attribute that to "public attitude", be my guest, but I would then argue that if the populace has *that* attitude, then they *most definitely* should not have firearms.

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                "No, of course not. They have then 2nd Ammendment that gives them the goddam right to own and use guns even if they are idiots."

                My wife was watching some US TV program or other the other day. Some sort auction of abandoned storage units. One contained a piece of field artillery. Up on the screen popped a message stating that this 35mm anti-tank artillery unit was legal to own and operate by civilians in the State of Tennessee. Why FFS?!?!?

                1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge
                  Coat

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  "Up on the screen popped a message stating that this 35mm anti-tank artillery unit was legal to own and operate by civilians in the State of Tennessee. Why FFS?!?!?"

                  Just in case anybody from Tennessee was watching, obviously.

                2. TRT Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  Robin Williams, I think, summed it up best for me.

                  "It's in the Constitution. You have the right to bear arms, you have the right to arm bears. Whatever you want! Who gives a shit if it's a good idea or not?"

              3. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
                Stop

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                I lived (mostly quite happily) in the USA for over 20 years. Politically, it is a very different country than the UK.

                I found the Constitution fascinating; in just a few pages you have the basis for just about every law in the USA. Compare that to any other country where I doubt you will find anything more concise (except perhaps China where it seems the only basis of law is 'the CCP tells you what to do and you obey').

                Before the Constitution was ratified (and it would not have been had what we now know as the bill of rights not been guaranteed to be at least presented) there were many publications taking both sides (the federalist papers come to mind) on guns and indeed just about everything else in what was to be the foundation of all law in the USA.

                One argument (among many) was that an armed citizenry would tend to keep the government in check. Looking at the norms of the time, that was actually a pretty good argument.

                Side note: the bill of rights was not applied to the states until after the reconstruction amendments (13, 14 and 15).

                The first proposed 12 amendments (of which 10 were shortly thereafter ratified and now collectively known as the bill of rights - another was ratified in the late 1980s IIRC) contained the 2nd amendment and needs to be read in the context of the time when individual gun ownership was quite reasonable and necessary.

                The problem, though, is that it is exceedingly difficult to remove an amendment (it is the same process as adding one) so unless the 2nd amendment is altered (requires the same effort as removal) then the existing laws won't change which means that gun ownership is a birthright in the USA. Not all guns, mind - fully automatic weapons are regulated.

                As an amendment to the constitution requires 2/3 of the several states to ratify it for it to actually make it into the constitution, this is simply not going to happen. The rural and southern states simply would not be on board for the very good reason that the population tends to be more conservative in those states. Note that this means it is not the number of people who want it - each state has an equal vote on constitutional amendments and that is in fact written into the constitution.

                That said, there have been some attempts to regulate weapons over the years with varying degrees of success.

                In the mid 1980s (in Florida FWIW) my then father-in-law was an avid hunter (the only way to get venison at the time, incidentally) and asked if I wanted to come along. I duly went to a gun show in the fine city of Lakeland and bought a 12 gauge shotgun and a 30.06 rifle without a question asked.

                I don't think that is possible today.

                I will note that I spent almost 12 years on active service in the UK military and in fact first fired a Lee Enfield .303 at the tender age of 14.

                Railing about the number of guns in the USA is unlikely to get you (or anyone else for that matter)anywhere. Look up the NRA.

                Oh - the politics thing. Under Bill Clinton (and indeed any previous democrat administration) the country was centrist (for the USA). The centrism of those times would be viewed in the UK as somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun.

                Food for thought.

                1. Fr. Ted Crilly Bronze badge
                  Go

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  Now look here mate, your post is far to sensible for the 'tinternets. take your rash thoughts away somewhere else eh BEGONE!!

                2. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  "The rural and southern states simply would not be on board for the very good reason that the population tends to be more conservative in those states."

                  Conservative is much more complicated than people allow. Where I live now I am not "from here", and am probably one of the most liberal people around. My own dear departed aunt called me a "rotten Democrat". I don't own a gun/firearm/weapon of any kind, nor would I want one. I have however taken safety training, and fired both long and short guns. And indeed I am in favor of the right to bear arms. One hundred percent of the gun owners known to me are responsible citizens and allow for neither gun accidents, nor gun homicides, nor *shudder* mass shootings. Not only is there no hope of getting 2/3 of the states to rescind the 2nd amendment, I don't even think you would find 1/2 of the population to be in favor of such rescission. Any debate is strictly on the margins of how much or how little additional control. And *that* is the state of conservative sentiment in the USA.

              4. KSM-AZ

                A Right . .

                In the US ownership of a gun IS a right. An explicitly enumerated right added by the founding fathers of this Nation. If you don't like it you don't have to live hear, or you can get enough like minded citizens and amend the constitution.

                And for all the folks talking about how there are no gun deaths in countries with strict gun laws. I read a week or so ago about a shootout with the cartels in Mx south of here. In fact the police are generally afraid of the cartels, no wait I must be mistaken, guns are 100% illegal in Mx so it must have been a mis-print.

                Japan, the country where the population blindly followed the edicts of it's rulers and jumped off cliffs rather than be captured by the Americans. Europe where students protest and make sure they stay off the grass.

                Yea, your right culture has nothing to do with people dying.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A Right . .

                  Mexico has a land border with the US so what do you expect? People and drugs are smuggled one way, guns go the other.

                  As to your right to own a gun you are correct. It is in the constitution, although when the amendment was added weapons were very different.

                  If you are happy with the carnage this brings then fine. Just don't try to justify it with nonsense arguments like mental health when all the evidence shows clearly that the simple (and should be obvious) fact is that more guns leads to more people being shot.

                  Maybe at some point enough people will get sick of the violence and they will vote to change the constitution.

                  1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
                    Pirate

                    Re: A Right . .

                    "although when the amendment was added weapons were very different."

                    That has exactly jack-shit to do with anything.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              I know it is almost impossible to change somebody's mind if they have been indoctrinated with the US approach to guns, but lets try one last time.

              In Australia, almost every day nobody gets shot. At all. Anywhere in the country. Whenever anybody does, whether it is a police shooting, criminal violence or a farmer managing to blow his foot off with his licensed shotgun it an exceptional rarity and will dominate the news.

              When was the last day in the US where nobody got shot anywhere in the country? Has it ever happened in recent times?

              The NRA keep saying "The best solution to a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun." No, the best solution is that the bad guy doesn't have a gun in the first place. That is the situation in most civilised countries.

            5. rafff

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              "Guns are not the problem in US, people's attitude is. In Israel, for example, percentage of gun owners is higher than in US. How many mass shootings have been there in Israel in a month?"

              AFAIK in Israel you can own a hand-gun, subject to controls, but you are allowed only 15 bullets. Not 15 per week or 15 per month. Just 15.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                Joke

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                But are you allowed to replace used ones with unused ones easily and at will? Or is that 15 bullets to last you your entire life?

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                How many cartridges? Bullets are kind of useless without at least a little powder, unless all you are armed with is a slingshot (catapult to you Brits).

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  "a slingshot (catapult to you Brits)."

                  eh, what? A slingshot and a catapult are different things. Or do you use slingshot for both items?

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                    The tool that we call a slingshot in North America is called a catapult in the UK ... or, rather, it was when I was a kid in the UK. Perhaps things have changed?

                    Here in North America, a catapult is a class of siege engine popular before the backwards Europeans stole knowledge of gunpowder from the Chinese by way of the Mongols. It is also a term used for the tool used to launch aircraft from aircraft carriers.

                    Some people call a line with a weight connected to it that is thrown from a boat to shore (or another boat) and then used to pull a heavier line across, a slingshot. This use is somewhat archaic ... or rather, I get funny looks whenever I use the term down on the waterfront.

                    That should about cover it ... waddimiss?

                    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                      I've always thought of a catapult as being those devices using rubber bands, load a stone or something into the "mitt", pull back and fire. A slingshot for me has always been the long leather strap with a "mitt" in the middle that you swing around your head and, at the hopefully right moment, you let loose of one end of the strap so it opens and the missile flies out. The sort of contraption usually shown in illustrations of the David and Goliath story.

                      Then again, it may depend on where you lived when over here. Kids always seem to be using or inventing terms for things, mis-using terms, or simply don't (yet) know that their "invention" already exists and has a name :-) (After all, just look at the "kids" in the IT industry today, constantly re-inventing stuff and giving new names to stuff we've known about for decades :-)

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                        The thing you grew up calling a slingshot is the tool most of the Bible-reading world knows of as the sling. As in Judges 20:16 ... or, as you mention, David & Goliath. The sling is mentioned in a couple other places in that book, as would be expected in a tome of random stories brought together from all kinds of places ... the editors were looking for exciting bits to pad their boring rhetoric. War stories certainly cover that ...

                        Yes, kids rename stuff, usually as a form of "code" to annoy their elders (were you a 31337 H4X0R? I'm too old, I just had them inflicted on me ... ). It seems to be embedded in our DNA. However, in your case I would be willing to bet that back in the mists of time someone simply combined the names of the tool and the projectile,

                        As an aside, slings are useful, and fairly easy to learn to use well. I use one to keep the jays out of the cherry trees, and the squirrels out of the nut trees. All you have to remember is that the stone will fly in the direction it is traveling when you let go of the loose end of the string. It's simple physics; Newton said so. Note that you don't have to actually hit the bird/fuzzy-tailed rat ... the act of tossing a stone through the branches nearby is enough to see 'em off. Give 'em some irregular harassing fire over a couple hours/days and they will usually move on to greener pastures ... and your aim with the sling will improve.

                    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                      "Some people call a line with a weight connected to it that is thrown from a boat to shore (or another boat) and then used to pull a heavier line across, a slingshot. This use is somewhat archaic ... or rather, I get funny looks whenever I use the term down on the waterfront."

                      Actually, I think that's called the messenger line. The slingshot would be the device used to launch the messenger line, named such because it works by pulling back on a basket attached to a frame or porthole by elastic bands (which by North American standards qualifies for the definition of a slingshot--it's not limited to the handheld/wrist-mounted device).

              3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          2. Dr Scrum Master

            Re: Why bother with 3D printing

            IIRC Merkins tend to go and shoot a bunch of people when they're depressed/angry, then top themselves.

            Brits tend to top themselves.

            A notable number of Merkins target schools for their shooting victims, but there are also a notable number of Chinese who target schools for their stabbing victims.

            Culture plays a significant role in mental health outcomes.

            I can't tell whether depressed/angry Russians go for a drive or whether that's just Russians in general...

            1. Danny Boyd

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              Looks like Russians are new Brexit - one just HAS to bring them into discussion, never mind the topic.

          3. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

            Re: Why bother with 3D printing

            And what about all the stabbing deaths in the UK?

            Comparing countries with minuscule populations compared to the US is just a straw man. The left did the same thing with Covid deaths and it was BS then and still is.

            Almost all homicides in the US where the perpetrators were not related were committed with illegally obtained firearms. They were not legally bought and then sold to criminals they were either stolen or illegally imported into this country. So, how can we stop illegally imported guns when we have no border control?

            The 45 mass shooting number is crap! Most of those are not someone walking into a building and shooting innocent people with an AR15, they were thugs and criminals shooting up a neighborhood or parties with "illegal guns".

            Real mas shooting where someone shoots multiple innocent people for no apparent reason:

            Biden: 5 in 3 months

            Trump: 7 in 4 years

            So, why have these instances drastically increased under the guy who wants to control guns?

            Hmmm...

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              "So, why have these instances drastically increased under the guy who wants to control guns?"

              Four years of Trump?

              As for stabbings, taking the overall murder rate into account and not just shootings, the US STILL comes out higher than pretty much every other comparable country.

            2. BebopWeBop

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              Would you care to provide a reference (any reference) for your numbers - I don't believe you.

              A persusal of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mass_shootings_in_the_United_States - well it is referenced tells me you are talking out of your arse.

            3. Stork Silver badge

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              Just guessing: A lot of the illegally obtained firearms were stolen from their legal owners? of which there would be less if there were stricter regulations.

              1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                I think I read a few years ago that the driver behind a large proportion of burglarisations * in America was to steal guns from their legal owners.

                * When in Rome I still refuse to swap a perfectly good S with a Z.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  What are you, French? Damn your ise!

            4. call-me-mark

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              "Almost all homicides in the US where the perpetrators were not related were committed with illegally obtained firearms."

              Clever bit of cherry-picking that. I'm willing to bet that a large majority of homicides in the US (just like anywhere else) are where the perpetrator was related.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why bother with 3D printing

            "I am much more comfortable in a country where there are a few guns in circulation belonging to criminals, than in a country where any nutter can walk into a corner shop and buy an assault rifle."

            Then, please, by all means STAY THERE. No one is asking you to come to the US and fuck with our already oppressive gun laws. We like guns here, it's in our culture and our heritage. If you want to be somewhere safe and away from these scary "assault" rifles, then the US is not the place for you.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              So I take it you are happy that someone can walk into a school and kill 10s of children? Or that somebody can massacre music festival goers from a hotel window? Or shoot up a cinema or nightclub?

              The old bullshit mental health argument has been trotted out a few times in the comments. Other countries have these issues too you know. My wife is a volunteer phone operator for lifeline, a suicide prevention helpline.

              What these people don't have is ready access to an arsenal. So they will get in a rage then calm down, maybe kill themselves. Worse case, they kill someone else. Had a case where a guy burnt his ex to death last week.

              What they can't do is pick up a military grade weapon and mow down dozens of bystanders. That happened once here, 25 years ago this month. Action was taken and it hasn't happened again.

              Gun control works.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                "So I take it you are happy that someone can walk into a school and kill 10s of children? Or that somebody can massacre music festival goers from a hotel window? Or shoot up a cinema or nightclub?"

                Don't be fucking stupid. What I want is for the people who are that mentally unstable to get help before they go off the deep end, and if they are not capable of being helped they should be removed from the general population.

                What I do not want is for mentally unstable people to be the folks who set the bar for the rest of the population. The vast majority of the US population are not mentally unstable. Why should they be forced to give up an enjoyable tool/food source/hobby because less than a millionth of the population *might* go off the deep end? Since when was it a good idea for a few whackos to dictate the rules for an entire population?[0]

                And then there are those of us who use guns as tools. Two weeks ago I had a small pack of Coyotes scoping out my spring lambs. I managed to chase 'em off with my higher than normal powered paintball gun, scoring a couple hits on each one, and then notifying the neighbors. Three of them came back. I chased 'em off with the paintballs again, this time in a different colo(u)r, and again I let the neighbors know. I killed all three early the next morning with a real gun. They only get two strikes. If they don't get the message, they get killed. A couple days after that, one of the neighbors similarly marked a couple of my originals. The next morning, the guy across the valley caught these last two red-handed with a couple of dead lambs, and managed to kill them. We've seen no sign of Coyote around the sheep since.

                Likewise, at this time of year we sometimes get a bunch of young rats looking for new territory. I've killed probably two dozen with ratshot in the last week or ten days. If you get them as they appear, before they have a chance to breed, you can keep on top of the situation.

                [0] Yes, I know, we all have particularly awful politicians, regardless of our country of origin. I vote, and I try to educate my family, friends and neighbors about issues that will affect us. Hopefully they also vote, each according to their own conscience, after reviewing the facts. Do you?

                1. Stork Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  Jake, I think most people, also outside the USA, have an understanding of the need for hunting weapons for farmers and ranchers.

                  In my mind there’s a significant difference to handguns which I believe are involved in the majority of firearms deaths

                  1. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                    I use a handgun fairly often. It's much safer (less clumsy) than a long gun when hunting vermin indoors (barns, outbuildings, etc.). And no, trapping doesn't work (the rats around here are too smart) and I refuse to use poison.

                    You are conflating the crime with the tool used to commit it. The reality is that the sane vast majority of people don't commit the crime and shouldn't be penalized for the actions of those very, very few who do.

                    They certainly shouldn't be penalized for those who MIGHT ... that way lies madness. Your neighbor might pick up your axe and brain you ... ban axes! Or she might stab you with a pitchfork ... ban pitchforks! Fire pokers, cast iron skillets, screwdrivers, tree branches and nicely shaped rocks are certainly lethal when used (in)correctly ... BAN THEM ALL! Etc, etc. etc. Welcome to your nanny state. Personally, I don't want to live there.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                      "They certainly shouldn't be penalized for those who MIGHT ... that way lies madness."

                      But the other way lies temptation, and it's been proven time and again people can suck pretty bad at temptation, meaning innocent lives get lost, including potentially you or someone you care about. Price you gotta pay, you say?

                      So, damned if you do, damned if you don't...

                2. ScottK

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  Try to imagine a society, where for every 50,000 people there are a few who hold illegal weapons. Most of these weapons are ones that were not handed in during an amnesty or are "deactivated" guns that can be re-activated. A much smaller number are illegally imported guns. Anyone who has one of these knows that if they use it, the Police will put all their effort into tracking them down. Once they are arrested, the courts will come down on them like a ton of bricks and they will spend a considerable amount of time in the big house. On top of these few people who use illegal weapons, there are another small percentage who legally hold weapons (farmers who need a shotgun for vermin control, feral pig hunter, etc). They have to go through a stringent check to get their license and it has to be renewed annually. Their license has a lot of measures to ensure they store and use their weapons correctly (in a gun safe, ammunition stored separately) and the Police have the right to randomly inspect that they follow these measures. The vast bulk of the rest of the population (90%+) have no need for firearms, or any real desire to own them. When Police stop someone, they are extremely unlikely to be armed, so they will treat them accordingly.

                  Now imagine another society, where in the same 50,000 people, half of them are probably armed. Some legally, some not. The legally armed pass paper thin background checks, assuming they need to do any checks at all. Where the illegally armed will use their weapons with little regard for the consequences as the Police are stretched so thin with other weapons offences they are unlikely to be caught. Where the Police are likely to assume that anyone they stop is armed so are much more likely to shoot first and ask questions later.

                  Which do you think has daily shootings and which has almost no gun violence whatsoever? Which would you rather live in?

                  The NRA keep insisting that the answer to gun violence is more guns. "Arm the teachers, Arm the traffic wardens, fuck it, just arm everyone!". Yet, as the number of guns increases, the number of shootings keeps going up. It is almost as if the number of guns in society has some sort of strange correlation to the number of gun related deaths. Who would have thought!

                3. TRT Silver badge

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  I suppose one question regarding mental health and firearms is “Are you mentally healthy to want to own a firearm which is not required for your employment?”

                  Or recreation I guess if you’re a hunter. I mean I’ve been clay shooting and target shooting but the guns were kept at the range in a steel safe in a concrete bunker (exWW2).

                  It’s a question rather than a statement one way or another. Do you wish to keep a device with the sole function of taking a life in your home/car/handbag? Could it be described as healthy, mentally, to have that desire or plan?

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                    Ah you see?! I knew that would get a thumbs down. I suppose it’s a matter of perspective. The argument was presented that the majority of gun owners are rational, right minded, mentally stable individuals. From one perspective the desire to own a gun would preclude rationality in that individual given no good reason for owning one, from another it seems totally reasonable to have one for personal or home defence or some such. From one angle that looks like paranoia from another the non-gun owners must be taking a mad risk.

                4. Pirate Dave Silver badge
                  Pirate

                  Re: Why bother with 3D printing

                  Well put, Jake. I like that line of reasoning that the rest of us shouldn't be punished for the possibility of a tiny fraction doing something stupid. That's not something I see a lot of in the online groups, usually it just winds up being "Shall not be infringed!". But reason and logic, that makes a lot of difference.

                  I do remember doing the math a few years ago (after the Vegas shooting, I think), and the scary black AR/AK guns had, according to the Mass Shootings page at Google, been involved in around 200 deaths since Columbine (which, IMHO, was the beginning of the mass shootings). 200 is not an insignificant number, and I'm not trivializing it, but out of a population of 270+ million, with an estimated 20+ million AR/AKs in circulation, well, that number of deaths doesn't seem to justify the need for the heavy-handed bans that are being put forth. I've got 4 kids that are driving age, and I'm far, far more worried that they'll be killed by a Mustang driver (not banned) going 90 MPH (not banned) who had half a bottle of Jack Daniels (also not banned), than by an AR.

                  I could be in favor of "Red Flag" laws IFF they are extremely tightly written and have strong provisions regarding false accusations and the restoration of rights and properties if the accused (if they can be called such) are found to not be a danger. It's a very sharp razor's edge to walk, though. Too weak and they'll be all but useless, too strong and it leads to governmental abuse. I certainly don't trust the current lot of politicians to get the balnace right, on either side of the aisle.

          5. very angry man

            Re: Why bother with 3D printing

            Hi Dipshit.

            also an Aussie, tho not from the wealthy part of melbourne ,

            the Aussie govt controls violent crime by suppressing the reporting of same.

            the violent crime figures for oz are up 55% in major cities and up75% in the smaller rural towns where State and fed govt have pushed the poor and unemployed.

            maybe not so many guns ( who can afford one) clubs, knifes, cars, bottles guess we just love that personal touch you get when you can see life drain out ot their eyes.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why bother with 3D printing

              WTF are you talking about? Not sure where you live, but the press here is very vocal about any local crime that happens, much to the annoyance of the NT govt. As is the TV news, which reports any shootings anywhere in the country.

              Crime is up here in Darwin over the last couple of years, but that is due to NT government stupidity making it very difficult for the itinerant community to get booze, so they are breaking in and stealing it. That is widely reported. This still bears no relation to the levels of violence seen in the US due to the wide and easy availability of guns. I still feel safe walking the streets and my chances of encountering anyone with a gun are extremely small. This is despite the fact that the last "mass shooting" to happen in Australia was in Darwin in 2019. A bikie gang member went on a spree with a shotgun and killed 4 people. Bad enough, but could have been much worse if he had a high capacity automatic weapon.

              I am sure the "Australian" government (I assume you are talking about the Commonwealth government) would love to suppress a lot of news, but the press here is free and vicious.

              On the one hand you say crime is up so you have obviously heard about it. On the other you claim reporting of crime is being suppressed. Which is it?

              The ABS reports 416 homicides nationally for the 2019 reporting period.

              https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/recorded-crime-victims/2019

              Are you claiming that they are being suppressed as well? Do you believe in QAnon?

              Stay angry.

        2. Schultz
          Stop

          "criminals by definition don't give a shit about laws"

          I think your statement is quite wrong. I would expect that most criminals are quite ordinary humans with probably an extraordinary set of personal, financial, or psychological difficulties.

          Looking at how different justice systems treat crime (especially my perceived divide between the US 'retaliatory' versus the European 'refomative' goals for treating criminals), I would claim that your sweeping statement about criminals is based on a cultural bias rather than fact. I think most criminals would like to not be criminals. But when confronted with bad choices, they choose the illegal bad option over the legal bad options. In most cases this might not be due to a distinct 'criminal' mindset but based on desperation.

          So laws will matter, even to the 'criminals' you so boldly group into a distinct class of humanity.

        3. DiViDeD

          Re: Why bother with 3D printing

          Firearm control laws are feel-good legislation. All they do is placate the voters into thinking politicians are "doing something about it".

          You're absolutely right. Since they tightened the gun laws in Australia, every single law abiding citizen here has been shot dead by a crinimal.

          Some of us several times over!

      3. Steve Todd

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        I guess you haven’t tried searching eBay for lathes recently. You can pick up a brand new metalworking lathe for less than $1000, far less than that for a used model. You’ll need to put more time and effort into learning how to use it, but it’s not rocket science to pick up.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Out of curiosity, I just checked Amazon and they have two available for €690.

          I have no idea if it is the right model though.

        2. Pirate Dave Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Why bother with 3D printing

          Those cheap lathes are more headache than they're worth. Got to a local Harbor Fright and turn the knobs on the 7x12 lathe they usually have on display, Gritty, jerky, bleh.

          Best advice is watch Craig's List or Facebook Marketplace for an old American benchtop lathe - Southbend, Hardinge, Atlas, Sears, even Montgomery Ward. At certain times of the year, those will popup on CL for under $1000. Read-up on the various old lathes at places like lathes.co.uk, Practical Machinist, etc, so you'll have an idea of what you're looking for. I was super-picky and took a couple of years to find one I wanted, but I finally got a sweet SouthBend Heavy 10 for $900.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Why bother with 3D printing

            I found an old British made Boxford for $1500, complete with Imperial screw-cutter (fitted) and a "spare" in metric. Took another $3700 to bring her up to scratch (including having new old stock gib strips and miscellaneous other parts shipped over from England), but it was worth it. The old gal will do whatever I ask of her, and will undoubtedly out-live me.

            If you keep your eyes open, and your ear to the ground, there are deals out there.

      4. KSM-AZ

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        You can get a decent small lathe for around $1000. Gunsmith lathe for a rifle barrel would be a quite a bit more. The problem is drilling a hole in something like stainless steel that is more than a few inches long *perfectly*. Then add the rifling. Pistol barrel is a little easier, I could do a 5 inch 1911 barrel and rifle it on a sub $1k lathe with patience and a gunsmiths drill. The rifling is the trickiest part. But why would I bother?

        If your willing to spend $1000 on a 3d printer to print a crappy gun you are beyond stupid. You can get a High Point 9mm carbine all tricked out to look spiffy, why you might even call it an "Assault Rifle" for less than $500. It will reliably shoot 9mm cartridges, and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

        vs $1000+ for something that may or may not fire even a .22LR round reliably. Uh-huh.

        A decent .22 rifle can be had for under $300, I have a .22 long barrel revolver, its worth about $50. It will reliably shoot 6 rounds at a time without fear of exploding.

        Feel good legislation.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

      You could also kill yourself with a gun CNC'd from the wrong steel, or even if you don't process the right steel in the right way. "Steel" is a very broad category of materials, ranging from something not dissimilar to cheese through to some of the strongest metals available.

      That's not to say that a an obsession with firearms is remotely healthy, mind you.

    4. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

      No doubt! The AK47 is the most reliable weapon every designed. You can bury it in the dirt for a year, dig it up not clean it at all and it will still fire!

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        They were designed that way. I have seen versions put together in crude machine shops (little more than sophisticated blacksmiths) in Afghanistan that were reliable - not accurate, but at that rate.....

        I believe the WW2 Sten Gun was designed on similar principles.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Why bother with 3D printing

          The STEN (and its American cousin, the M3 "grease gun") were designed to be made cheaply and on the quick with little fuss, so some fault tolerance was built in, but OTOH its utility was more limited as a result. As I recall, an effective range of about 100m meant it was best suited for short-range engagements. They were also chambered for ubiquitous pistol rounds (9x19mm for the STEN, .45ACP for the M3).

      2. Pirate Dave Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        I love the AK. The first time I field-stripped it, I realized Father Kalashnikov had done a genius thing - the complexity of the gun is in the machining, not in the parts themselves. The gun itself is a simple weapon made up of simple parts. I remember thinking "this is really just an advanced rock-throwing device". Compare that to an AR with it's flimsy gas tubes and star chambers and a BCG that just looks like it wants to fail. I mean, I love the AR too, and carried one for a while, but the AK is just beauty in a more primitive form.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Why bother with 3D printing

          Yeah, the AK is great. Unless you try to hit anything down-range. The accuracy of the things make them pretty much useless ... a spray and pray weapon, where you send as much lead down-range as you possibly can and hope to hit a target (any target!) before the opposition locates your position and fires once. It's a perfect choice if your "army" has a nearly unlimited supply of 11-16 year old cannon fodder.

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        I can say the same thing about my M1911 (even my posh Kimber version). The difference between my pistol and the AK rifle is that when I pull it out of the dirt (or muddy, sandy stream) and fire a full clip, I'll hit all 7 (or eight) 50 yard targets. The AK might hit one with its 50 chances ... but probably not the one it was aiming at.

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

          Re: Why bother with 3D printing

          I don't know, I've never had an accuracy issue with my AKs. They aren't match rifles by any means, but even my first one (an N-PAP assembled by the monkeys at Century) was surprisingly accurate and repeatable right out of the box (and I did get lucky in that the front sight isn't canted). Maybe the American barrels they put on them nowadays are more accurate than the older imported barrels that were quenched in Communist tears.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Why bother with 3D printing

            "I've never had an accuracy issue with my AKs."

            I've taken several AK47s in trade, including a couple of full auto versions (mostly to irritate the local government ... yes, I had (have) all the required licenses & permits), but I sold 'em all soon after acquiring them. With the AK at 75 yards, if you aim at center of mass and squeeze off 4 shots they'll probably hit somewhere within an 6 or 7 inch circle. Maybe. I can do better than that with my M1911 in .45 ACP. AKs are junk, at best, IMO.

      4. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Why bother with 3D printing

        I think the most reliable weapon, based on the criteria of how long you can bury it in dirt for whilst retaining its lethality, is probably the flint axe.

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

          Re: Why bother with 3D printing

          eh, is Cthulu considered "buried"?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why bother with 3D printing

      I think the proposed legislation would cover the circulation of designs generally, not just 3D printed ones.

  4. MericanMan

    3D-printed aren't what you should worry about

    3D-printed guns have never been any significant percentage of the "self-made" guns in the US. People freaked out when they heard about this, but as others in this thread have correctly pointed out, 3D printers--certainly the type most people can afford--are not able to print the high-strength metals required for a reliable weapon, and indeed people that tested the designs in question verified that they are crap.

    What I would think would concern people much more, but rarely gets any press, are the so-called "80%" guns. For those who don't know, the actual part of a gun that is tracked and regulated in the US is the lower receiver (the part comprising the grip, magazine feed, spot to mount the trigger, etc), and this is the part that has to be serialized and cannot be sold without jumping through the appropriate weapons sales process. However, other components, like the barrel, sites, grips, magazines, trigger assembly, etc are not regulated. So, if you want to "create" your own weapon, you buy all of those high-quality secondary parts from existing suppliers. Then all you need is the lower receiver. And it turns out that someone can sell you a hunk of metal that has been partially turned into a lower receiver, but not completely finished (roughly 80% finished, hence the name), and this does not count as a regulated component. It is then up to you to drill, file, or otherwise finish the metalworking of that part to turn it into a true lower receiver.

    Of course, helpfully, the companies selling you this unfinished piece typically also provide templates and guides to make it much easier for you to complete the machining, often with nothing more than common power tools.

    Tolerances may not be as perfect on yours, and getting a good finish coat of some kind on it is a separate issue, but when completed, you have a high-strength weapon similar to what you would buy retail, but it has no serial number and you did not have to pass any sort of background check for it.

    This is completely legal--people are legally allowed to MAKE their own weapons. You just cannot sell or transfer that weapon to someone else.

    1. sev.monster

      Re: 3D-printed aren't what you should worry about

      I think this is the part people are missing.

      In the US it is completely legal to manufacture a firearm, as long as it is not a restricted weapon e.g. a high explosive or suppressor.

      """Ghost Guns""" are completely legal by that metric, and as other have pointed out, are also usually quite crap. The good ones are probably going to be made by licensed gunsmiths that already follow all the rules and that put much more love, care, and expertise into their craft. If someone seriously wants to Do A Bad(tm) they can much cheaper and easily go down to their friendly neighborhood hoodrat hoodlum and buy a pistol with the serial scratched off. Just as untraceable (arguably), just as concealable, just as deadly (likely more actually), but with much less headache, technical skill, or parts required.

      While I am all for 80% lowers being sold and staying legal, as well aa the private manufacture of firearms, 3d printing firearm parts with shitty plastics is laughably ineffective and will likely stay that way for a long time in the consumer market. In addition, the "self-made firearms" metric cited at the end of the article is NOT 3d printed guns specifically, it is all homemade firearms of some type. Actual 3d printed firearms take up a very small percent of that amount.

      1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: 3D-printed aren't what you should worry about

        "they can much cheaper and easily go down to their friendly neighborhood hoodrat hoodlum and buy a pistol with the serial scratched off."

        Yes, in the USA "everyone knows" where to get such a gun, or they know someone who knows. If the price is cheap it means the gun has been used in a crime already. And "untraceable" is just marketing bollocks.

        1. sev.monster
          Terminator

          Re: 3D-printed aren't what you should worry about

          I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, but I know of at least two places not too far from me (one being right next to a church funnily enough) where I could buy an illegal firearm. I know of them only due to observation; I can occasionally see people dealing as I drive past. More reliably, one of my parents has deep ties with the city from her wild youth, including numerous potential contacts for hard drugs and bigger weapons.

          "Untraceable" only means it doesn't have a serial or other distinguishing regulatory [or otherwise] mark that can be traced back to you personally. Buy from some random hoodlum where there are no cameras around, and even if the dude gets busted and talks, the worst the investigators will get is a rough description. Throw it in a lake and no one will ever be able to prove you owned it if you were careful enough when it was in your posession. And while firearm forensics can reliably be used to match a bullet to a rifled barrel, the most that can be proven is that a specific firearm was used to fire some specific bullets. Unless you manage to fuck up all of those steps, one should be able to feel at least somewhat confident that they will be able to get away with it.

          I am not a criminal.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Is it the American Way? To Suffer Fools at their Work, Rest and Play?

    How would lawyers and judges make themselves a comfortable living if they weren't paid chasing ambulances for their cases? There's an awful lot of bread being spent out there in incestuous, self-serving circles on nothing that has been resolved, but definitely recognised as being extremely dangerous and deadly harmful to many and anyone for a crazy length of time.

  6. Conundrum1885

    Something interesting

    I once looked into building a "force field" for another project.

    Actually had some success with a short range deflector beam, but the problem is energy usage.

    It might be possible to build something about the size of a phone charger pack that detects muzzle flash and

    *rapidly* dumps just enough energy into the specially shaped coil to deflect a projectile if fired from a long enough range.

    We are talking room temperature superconductors here so not exactly possible on a large scale yet, but it would also

    be adequate for other tasks like deflecting cosmic radiation.

    Now for the legal issues.

    In principle, a personal force field would come under "defense" but as its not capable of actually doing damage under most

    conditions the DoD would likely be most interested.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something interesting

      Just make sure nobody fires a lasgun at your personal shield. The resulting crater would be a mess.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Something interesting

        Upvote for the Dune reference.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Something interesting and even Johnny Mnenomical :-) Poe's Law Rules:-)

      Now for the legal issues.

      In principle, a personal force field would come under "defense" but as its not capable of actually doing damage under most

      conditions the DoD would likely be most interested. ..... Conundrum1885

      That doesn't sound right, Conundrum1885.

      And if/whenever things have moved on apace in places and spaces, and personal force fields are also capable of actually doing damage under any conditions, and especially so in attack situations, the DoD would most certainly be likely to be more than just interested if they have nothing anywhere near comparable in any of their own arsenals.

      If you're able to supply that and those to them, and also to anybody else also interested, you're worth an absolute fortune and guaranteed to never have to do anything like great physically tiring work ever again :-)

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: We are talking room temperature superconductors

      Which do not exist, either at scale or not.

      The best we have working at normal atmospheric pressure requires -135°C.

      There is one recently discovered that works at 15°C, but requires an atmospheric pressure equal to about the center of the Earth.

      I'd like to see you replicate that in a phone charger pack-sized thingy.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who needs a 3D Printer

    A length of pipe and and nail will work. To make a Slam Fire shotgun all you need are the following parts

    one ½-inch T

    three ½-inch caps

    two 4-inch nipples

    one 3-inch nipple

    two 45-degree elbows

    one 90-degree elbow

    two jam nipples

    one 5-inch nipple

    1. DarkwavePunk

      Re: Who needs a 3D Printer

      You need someone with three arms and six nipples? I am interested and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  8. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

    Gun control is never about safety and always about control. In the US it is NEVER about common sense.

    "The purported changes would not prevent people from printing guns but would make sellers of privately-made guns subject to record-keeping and marking requirements."

    No one who makes a gun should object to a rule this simple but anything done by the current US administration will never be that simple. They will put in rules that literally cannot be met. That is their pattern.

    i.e Background checks, they work. The "only" loop hole we have in background checks are in private sales. Requiring a seller and buyer to meet at an FFL dealer to perform a check on the buyer for $30-$40 is not an undue burden. There is no gun show loop hole and there is no online loop hole. All those sales MUST go through an FFL with a check.

    But when you have an Administration that outright LIES about this issue how can they be trusted. He just lied to the entire nation claiming that the 1990's assault weapons ban worked. It did not! Crime did not change. 90% of homicides are committed by hand guns but they know they lost that issue back in the 80's. The people will not support a ban on handguns so they switched to "so called" assault weapons. But what the Defense industry categorizes as an "Assault Weapon" is already illegal to own. In the last 20 years those killed by an AR-15 (AR does not stand for Assault Rifle, It stands for Armalite Rifle, the company who designed it) is like less than 5%. The GC advocates switched to Assault Rifles back in the late 80's because they are "scary looking" they knew most people are ignorant as to what they are. It is all politics and nothing at all about safety.

    Remember: An armed society is a SAFE society!

    And tell me, the UK has a serious problem with stabbing assaults and deaths, when are you going to outlaw sharp pointy steel implements for the safety of all?

    (Do you see how ridiculous you look!?)

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      And tell me, the UK has a serious problem with stabbing assaults and deaths,

      It may have, yes, but less of a one than the US has.

      An armed society is a SAFE society!

      Not if you go on the data from the US it isn't. But other countries have similar rates of gun ownership and seem to get by with fewer mass shootings so I'd say the point is moot. But maybe it isn't about gun ownership than about what kind of guns and who has access to them. For people in countries where gun ownership is restricted, travelling to countries where it isn't certainly doesn't feel safe.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The AR15 and military M16 are basically the same weapon. The primary difference is that the M16 has select fire.

      Have you ever actually lived anywhere else that has gun control laws? If you did, you would rapidly realise that you are safer than in your supposed safe armed society. There was a headline on US news sites the other day that a 7 year old girl had been shot dead in a McDonalds drive thru. You consider this safe? I am 52 and have lived in both the UK and Australia and can never recall anything like this ever happening in our supposed unsafe gun free societies.

      Countries like the UK may have stabbings. So does the US. Very hard for somebody with a knife to kill 60+ people from a hotel balcony though.

      Try comparing the overall homicide rate. The US is much higher. This is before you factor in the number of accidental shootings.

      Statistics show that if you are armed, you are more likely to be shot. It might make you feel safe, but if somebody comes at you with a gun, by the time you get your weapon out, you will most likely already have been shot.

      How many mass shootings have been ended by the mythical good guy with a gun? I can recall one out of the many I have heard of over the years. Most of the time, the killer shoots themselves. The next most likely outcome is the police kill them. Very occasionally they are arrested. There was one time where somebody else stopped the gunman, and even in this case a lot of innocents had already died.

      Its insanity to say that an armed society is a safe one. It isn't. Stats show it.

      Firearm deaths per 100,000 population:

      US: 12:21

      Australia: 0.88

      UK: 0.2

      Firearm homicides per 100,000 population:

      US: 4.46

      Australia: 0.15

      UK: 0.02

      All the countries that have higher gun death rates than the US are in the Americas (EG Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador) where they have easy access to the river of guns flowing out of the US.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's more to 3D printing than the retail sort.....

    ....https://www.theregister.com/2021/02/24/orbex_3d_printing/

    *

    This sort is using metal powder layers, and very high powered lasers to consolidate each layer. (Not the sort of thing you can buy at Curry's.)

    *

    Perhaps someone here can explain why this sort of "3D printer" can't build a reliable and useful firearm?

  10. Imhotep

    Not That Hard

    Firearms have been created for hundreds of years with only the most rudimentary technology.

    They may not have been particularly accurate in aim, but they certainly got the job done.

    On the American frontier, in primitive conditions, they managed to turn out some pretty accurate rifles.

    I turn musical unstruments as a hobby, but I imagine with my lathe and gundrills I could turn out a pretty effective firearm.

    And you could probably make a pretty effective mortar using a potato gun. For those unfamiliar, it's basically a piece of plumbing pipe and hairspray propellant that can shoot a potato a good long distance.

  11. Rol

    Blue sky thinking

    Currently there are some 500 scientists around the world acting against each other's interests.

    Most are occupied with trying to accelerate the mid-Atlantic fissure so as to push the Americas further away from Europe, while others are equally engaged in accelerating the Pacific ridge, to push America away from East Asia.

    I propose they join together and seek ways of launching America into space and on towards Jupiter, where, once in a stable orbit, they can continue to shoot the shit out of each other without further troubling the rest of humanity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blue sky thinking

      If there a place where feckless nancies didn't complain about everything and everyone had a gun, I'd move there in a heartbeat. Let's work together for a brighter future for the both of us, one where we don't ever have to be in the other's presence ever again.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If 3D printing is banned ...

    We can just build microwave guns ... clearly someone out there is using microwave guns on US diplomats ... it's the Havana Syndrome ... much more an El Reg techie solution.

  13. Blackjack Silver badge

    This doesn't really make any difference.

    Illegal or not people has and will continue to share how to make said guns.

    Is the gun themselves being illegal or not what really matters.

  14. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Freedom of speech issue

    "I have not looked at the drawings or the bill of materials for these guns but knowing something about metallurgy I wonder about how the parts are heat treated so they have the correct properties so they are safe for the user."

    No, that's one of the points that was made back when Defense Distributed put these up back in 2013. The 3D printer material is in no way correct for guns, when they printed a few at the time, I don't think they necessarily even fired once, after 1-2 shots maximum they were warped. I don't know if guns really can blow up in one's hand if they misfire, but if they do these probably have a decent risk for that.

    The point of this when Distributed Defense put it up in 2013 was not to distribute a useful 3D printed gun design; it was in fact to make a point that those who are willing to ignore the 2nd ammendment right to bare arms will also be perfectly willing to ignore the 1st ammendment freedom of speech (which is in fact what happened -- with no laws on the books barring this type of blueprint, the feds got it pulled anyway, despite it just being a description and not a physical object.)

    I don't have any guns myself, but fully pro gun runs -- there are procedures for modifying or rescinding constitutional ammendments (2/3rd vote), that's the way to restrict guns. Until that point, anti-gun right types in the US are simply deciding it's OK to pick and choose which parts of the bill of rights they want to follow and which they don't.

    (Incidentally, if the concern is about the amount of shootings in the US, the big issue now isn't too many guns, it's the total lack of mental health treatment availability in the US, it's pretty ridiculous. Both lack of capacity, and of course keep in mind the US health insurance system is broken so most uninsured cannot even consider this; and you can be fully insured and still have your insurance company decide they're not going to pay for it. You can have someone muttering "Only my gun understands me" and acting full-out "The Shining" crazy but stroking a gun instead of an ax, and in some jurisdictions nothing would happen at all until they start shooting (they haven't broken any laws yet) and in others, they'd be taken to a police station, but even if they're found to be 100% nuts, the choice in most of the US for nutters is release them or find some reason to throw them in prison. People will have a relative who is full-on schizophrenic, and (if they have insurance, otherwise too expensive to even consider) they will spend a month or more finding anywhere to put them.)

  15. Charles 9 Silver badge

    My take on the issue is that the gun issue is very much a cultural issue, especially in America where things like the Mountain Men have become a part of the country's lore. Plus, there's the whole 2nd Amendment "guard against tyranny" thing. Frankly, I think it's reached a point of no return; people there would sooner destroy the world than destroy their guns, at which point the best you can do is find another angle; they're that fanatic.

    Culture also explains why it's hard to map gun-related deaths to any other culture because American culture is so distinct. For example, while most suicides in America are by guns, in terms of per capita rate, America is merely middle of the pack (compared to say Japan and especially South Korea, both with strict gun controls--suicides there tend to be the result of social pressures and usually involve vehicle impacts or self-defenestration). Massacres? Remember that the worst massacres in recent American history (Oklahoma City and 9/11) didn't use guns; where there's a will, there's a way. As for "home guard" arguments, the overwhelming force of the US military angle will be met with counterpoints of collateral damage and examples of why didn't they do the same thing in Vietnam or Somalia.

    All in all, it's quite complicated, not to mention unique in its geographical scope. Only in America...

    1. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

      "My take on the issue is that the gun issue is very much a cultural issue, especially in America where things like the Mountain Men have become a part of the country's lore. Plus, there's the whole 2nd Amendment "guard against tyranny" thing."

      Problem I've seen, very often you have the "mountain men", and regular rural people who like to hunt (deer usually), stuff like that. A large number of the "lets take away gun rights" types live in the middle of cities (New York, Chicago, etc.) where there honestly is nowhere appropriate to fire off a gun, if you go hunting rats or pigeons each miss is going to hit a building or bystander; but they seem to think they don't need guns so nobody else should possibly need them either.

      "Plus, there's the whole 2nd Amendment "guard against tyranny" thing. "

      The reason people are so distrustful of any gun regulations, in the past the anti-gun lobby in the past has gotten what should be minor, sensible laws passed then intentionally abused them, at which point they get repealed. Years back, a law got passed so people who get guns at gun shows should have to get a background check, with the ability to do an "instant" background check that can be run in 10 minutes to an hour (which is sensible, and even the NRA thought it was fine, if they actually stuck to doing it this way); then, they decided it'd be really cute to intentionally delay these background checks so they would take 3 days (since the gun shows usually only last 2-3 days), intentionally to make the checks too slow to try to shut down gun shows. Of course, at this point the law was repealed. The "assault weapon" bans are similar.. it sounds sensible! But, if you push most people who want one (including the congressmen etc.) they'll admit they don't actually know what an "assault weapon" is (... for the most part these are automatic machine guns that are already illegal.) In the past there were leaked plans to get an "assault weapon" ban passed, then just redefine more and more types of guns as "assault weapons" so eventually a hunter would not even be able to legally go hunting with their hunting rifle because now it's an "assault weapon". Third example, a few states have had laws so the sherriff gets final OK on gun permits, with the sensible reason that this way if someone does act all crazy (but legal), they could still be turned down for a gun permit. But, this law didn't require any actual reason for denying permits, so in some jurisdictions (not the middle of a city either, rural), the sherriffs just decided they'd deny all permits except a few friends of theirs. Of course the law then got repealed.

      1. Stevie

        Hmm.

        Well, your reasoned argument has a basic flaw in that you group those who want background checks in with abusers of the law, which is as misleading as saying that Fox audiences are all Q-anon nutcases. There's overlap but not equivalence.

        "Years back, a law got passed so people who get guns at gun shows should have to get a background check, with the ability to do an "instant" background check that can be run in 10 minutes to an hour "

        A gun fair salesman has the IT infrastructure to run a multi-state background check in 10 minutes? Or even an hour? Because there is no integrated system that would enable one to put, say, a driver's license into a scanner and get an answer back. What we are talking about here is running searches against various databases of interest.

        Quite frankly, as an IT professional, the idea of a multi-state, multi-jurisdictional computer search for - well what are we searching for? Felonies? Mental Heath records? We don't keep those in one place - that can be completed in ten minutes is a fantasy from the same place as the shoulder surfing autonomous mini drone kickstarter.

        Even an hour, given the easily conceived complexity of the job of "vetting" someone against - were we vetting against a Federally mandated menu of no-nos or a state mandated one? Because 50 states will have 50 different lists of disqualifying factors - would be what I would term "optimistic" even before I saw the spec.

        Not that I disagree about the repugnance of overreach when it comes to the law.

        But to my mind the three day thing was always a soundbite. Gun show organizers could include a background check as part of advance ticket sales for example, and gun show vendors could arrange post-show delivery or pickup. Not ideal and there must be many more ways of working the issue than just throwing up hands and saying "NOPE".

        The real reason Gun Show organizers and attendees don't want background checks is that Gun Shows are the bitcoin of gun trading - anonymous and untrackable. You know it. I know it. The world knows it. Talking about gun show vendors as victims of the over-reaching system may be factual, but it is tangential to the real issue.

        The relevant question to ask in a sane society is: Do you seriously want a gun in the hands of someone who cannot wait the three days to get it?

        No, I have no interest in taking away your guns. But I don't want assault weapons - which I equate with military grade automatic longarms - in the hands of civilians "just because". There is no need, and not permitting that subset of arms is in no way infringing the second amendment rights of anyone.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Hmm.

          "But I don't want assault weapons - which I equate with military grade automatic longarms - in the hands of civilians "just because"."

          1) Yes, you can get fully automatic weapons ("machine guns" and "sub machine guns") as a civilian here in the US. HOWEVER, the pile of paperwork required pretty much ensures that your average, run of the mill whacko will not be able to get their hands on one legally (unless they enlist in the armed forces, but that's another story).

          2) ALL of my guns (except a few historical curiosities) are far better quality than the "military grade" mass-produced crap that they issue to the grunts.

          3) The so-called "assault rifles" that the politicians are whining about are mostly poor quality rifles gussied up with flash hiders, larger clips, perforated barrel covers, skeleton and folding stocks, optic and light rails, and other bits of glitter that do absolutely nothing for the actual business of pushing lead down a tube. These purely visual bits are about as useful to the utility of the tool as racing stripes are on your average teenager's first car. So why are the politicians trying to ban them? Simply because they look scary and appear quite menacing in a photo lineup on the evening news. Quite frankly, most of my hunting rifles are far more lethal (in the right hands) than any of the so-called "assault rifles" on the banned list.

          For example, take a look at the lovely Ruger 10/22. It's a wonderful little carbine in .22 Long Rifle. An excellent choice for a first rifle for the kid on your xmas list. Small, lightish, accurate, durable (mine was a gift from an Uncle in 1967, and still looks/works like new) ... an all around great tool to learn the basics with. Including safety, maintenance, cleaning, etc. What's not to like?

          However, should you want to spend some money, you can easily buy the parts to make it look like an assault rifle. Like this. Way scary, aren't they? WE MUST BAN THEM!!! ... despite the fact that they are the same exact carbine under the superficial crap bolted on top. THIS is the kind of bullshit that the anti-gun set are screaming at the GreatUnwashed who don't know any better. Brainwashing is ugly, but it works.

  16. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    "According to the posted document, law enforcement officers between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2020, have recovered 23,906 privately-made firearms at potential crime scenes, including 325 homicides or attempted homicides,"

    Those numbers sound fishy. I've built my share of AKs from parts kits, and assembled a fair few ARs using complete lowers, and I have to say, I don't think most mass-murders would go to the trouble of building a "ghost gun". from an 80% kit or a flat. Why would they go to ALL THAT TROUBLE, and the possibility of screwing it up massively, when (pre-Covid) a completed lower from Anderson or Palmetto State Armory could be had for under $50 that's in-spec (mostly) and vastly more reliable than whatever crap they'd turn out with their drill press and a couple of jigs? And the Glock 80% kits are an even stupider idea, because not only do they have to cut and drill the frame accurately (and again, risk failure), but then they get to spend almost the full retail price of an entire new Glock to buy the trigger and slide kit to make it into a pistol. That's immensely stupid given how many stolen firearms are floating around in the underground for not a lot of money.

    I do realize that, for whatever reason, "ghost guns" are in the cross-hairs right now, so the Administration (and their lapdogs in the media) are going to be pushing statistics that justify their goals. But this stat about "privately-made firearms" just seems like bunk, unless the FBI/ATF considers scratching one's name into the side of the gun to be a criteria for "privately-made".

  17. Stevie

    Bah!

    Just gonna point out again that in the land of the free it is still cheaper to buy a gun than to 3d print one.

    1. Is It Me

      Re: Bah!

      Almost certainly true in the UK, you just need to go through a lot more paperwork than in "The Land of the Free", my custom 10/22 (not sure if there are any Ruger parts in it apart from the magazines) was less than £250, and that included a scope and moderator (silencer or suppressor or what ever you want to call it).

      I think in "The Land of the Free" you would need to spend that much on the license for the suppressor.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        Why would I want a suppressor on a .22 in the first place? I'm no poser, and it's legal to shoot my guns here, so I'm not hiding from anything ... and it's not like .22s make all that much racket in the first place, so I'm not annoying anybody else with it, either. Also, it's not like they add anything to the accuracy of the rifle ... Seriously, what kind of idiot would need/want a suppressed .22?

  18. Gerlad Dreisewerd

    Idiot signalling at its finest. The government can no more ban plans and models than King Biden can command the tide. Anyone who believes this is a fool and belongs in a home for the mentally bewildered.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      WTF has this got to do with Biden? The original release of the plans dates back to 2013, then again in 2018 and the "injunction obtained in March 2020" was under Trumps watch. Clearly you are a Trumper with a very short, selective memory and no grasp of comprehension. All of the above is in the article you are commenting on. Try relaxing and allowing the red haze to lift from your eyes before commenting next time,

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