Ever since the infamous Assault Weapons Ban of the 1990s, we have all watched with amazement and horror the comedy of errors that is gun legislation.  From “ghost guns” to “the shoulder thing that goes up” anti-gunners have fumbled and flailed at the Second Amendment. With the increase in 3D printing, the left’s jimmies are certain to be rustled.

Behold the 3D printed Glock. With a 3D printed frame, this fully functional firearm is not only homemade but also completely legal. ATF Guidelines and Federal Law do not require a license to make a firearm for personal use. But before you spend several thousand dollars on your 3D printer set-up, keep in mind that any firearm you create is illegal to manufacture if it cannot be picked up by a metal detector.

The Undetectable Firearms Act makes it illegal to make, possess, distribute, or transfer a firearm that can’t be detected via a walk-through metal detector, or whose primary components cannot be accurately identified as a firearm using airport imaging technology (READ: X-ray machines). 3D gunsmiths, therefore add a metal plate into the printed body, to meet these requirements.

This act, originally passed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, had a ten-year sunset clause. In 1998, it was renewed for five more years. It was renewed for ten years in 2003 again in 2013. The law will remain in effect, without Congressional intervention, until 2023.

Naturally, anti-gun activists will clamor for more legislation, particularly since the use and availability of 3D printers increases, and I can already hear Senator Feinstein’s hyperbolic arguments. “Criminals will just 3D print their guns at home, getting around current legislation! 3D printing poses a threat to public safety!”

3D printing, regardless of what fear mongers and anti-gun activists will inevitably tell you, will not flood the streets with untraceable, undetectable, plastic weapons of mass destruction. The average cost of a “Saturday Night Special” at a pawnshop is a few hundred bucks, and while 3D printing technology is becoming more affordable, the cost of the machine and materials needed to make your homemade firearm will cost, on average, upwards of $1,500.

For that price, I’ll just buy a Kimber.

Nathan Steelwater

Military Affairs Correspondent at Liberty Nation
Nathan is a writer, editor, and technical advisor working in the Richmond, Virginia area. With over a decade of experience and careful study in military, national security, and strategic topics, Nathan has provided his expertise for novel and film projects as a technical advisor. When he isn't writing for Liberty Nation he can be found chasing after his children or preparing for his next triathlon.