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The 3D-printed gun: When is high-tech too hot to handle?
Few issues generate as many opinions as gun ownership. Almost every country in the world recognizes the special importance of firearms and regulates them. In the United States, the right to own a gun is written into our constitution as part of the famous Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights. Tempering those rights are a slew of state and federal regulations including laws requiring those who manufacture weapons for sale to be licensed, the weapons they create to be numbered and registered, and the guns to be readily detectable.

3D printing is threatening to turn the existing system of regulations on its head. While it has been legal to produce a firearm for your own use, it has been prohibitively expensive and difficult to make anything much more than a toy. Building one from parts is also complicated, as the critical receiver — think chassis — of the gun is regulated, so it wasn’t really possible to create a gun from scratch without licensing it. One enterprising DIYer has succeeded in 3D printing the key lower receiver from an AR-15 pistol and combining it with other parts into a working gun. Building on this clear first step towards creating hard-to-track homemade firearms, another group is pushing towards entirely 3D printed weapons.
All the "3D printed" firearms printed thus far have only metal parts touching the cartridge when fired. Guslick's project was a "lawyers argument" in that by producing the lower receiver of an AR15 - the part that is normally serial numbered. But in that design, it holds the trigger mechanism, stock and magazine, but does not bear any of the direct loads of firing a cartridge.

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