State Department Demands Removal Of 3-D-Printed Liberator Gun Blueprints

Defense Distributed, the gun's creator, is complying, but says it will be nearly impossible to keep the blueprints out of the hands of the public.

The State Department has waded into the 3-D printed gun row, demanding that the organization behind the controversial Liberator gun remove all blueprints from public access immediately.

In a letter sent to Defense Distributed's founder Cody Wilson, the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance cites a potential infringement of export controls. The government, it says, wants to review the files in reference to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

"Until the Department provides Defense Distributed with final [commodity jurisdiction] determinations, Defense Distributed should treat the above technical data as ITAR-controlled. This means that all data should be removed from public access immediately. Defense Distributed should review the remainder of the data made public on its website to determine whether any other data may be similarly controlled and proceed according to ITAR requirements."

Wilson, who studies law, has agreed to take down the blueprints from Defense Distributed's servers, but says that, the Internet being what it is, it will be well nearly impossible to remove the plans from public access. The BBC is reporting that the plans are off the organization's Defcad site, but are still being hosted by Mega.

Downloads of the Liberator's blueprint have already reached 100,000, and it is said to be the most popular file on the sharing site The Pirate Bay.

[Image by Flickr user Elsie esq.]

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  • Mindy Good

    And what's to stop someone from modeling a gun themselves?  I have a 3D printer at home and if I knew anything about how projectile weapons worked, I could easily model one and print it.  In fact, if I was clever enough, it might not even resemble a typical gun shape.

  • Eyeroll

    No, it is not even within a couple of orders of magnitude of being the most popular download on The Pirate Bay.

    The BBC article you referenced claims that it is "the most popular file in the site's 3D-printing category."

    If you don't realize that that makes it, in terms of how many people are downloading it, something like being the most-purchased grapefruit-based chutney at the supermarket, then you really don't have any business writing about technology. Whatsoever. Seriously, find another gig please.

    For those who like reality checks:

    Most-downloaded torrent currently on The Pirate Bay's top 100: the most recent episode The Big Bang Theory: currently total seeders, 46359,total leechers 10,215.

    Most-downloaded torrent in the Physibles ("3-D Printing") category: ... is indeed the Liberator gun. Total seeders, 2082, total leechers, 119

  • Paul Rossi

    Whle it woud be impossible to control the blueprints in any really meaningful way once they have spread online, making Cody Wilson personally legally responsible and liable for subsequent criminal or violent use of these weapons would be an effective way to make others think twice before adding other weapons to the world's already psychotic arsenal.