Ghost Guns, The Terrifying Weapon of The Future

By Emma Walrath

CNN

Emma Walrath, Reporter

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Starting August 1st, it became legal to download and print fully- functional, completely 3-D printed guns from the internet in America . The gun is made from the same materials as Lego Blocks, ABS plastic. There is no way to track or register these types of guns, as there is no serial number and no requirement for registration, hence the term “ghost guns”.

These guns can be printed on any 3-D printer, therefore making them accessible to many people even by people who would not be able to purchase a normal firearm because of background checks such as convicted felons, domestic abusers, or terrorists. It is still illegal for them to own one, but it is nearly impossible for the government to know about it.

The first functional gun posted for download was “The Liberator” in 2013 by Cody Wilson. The gun could fire one bullet, but would then destroy itself. In the next two days, the gun was downloaded over 100,000 times. Wilson was then ordered by the state department to take down the designs on the grounds that he was illegally exporting firearms.

In 2015 Cody Wilson then brought a federal lawsuit to the State Department. His argument was that the US was infringing on his first amendment right of free speech. This is because he was posting and exporting code, not actual firearms. In the past lines of code have been considered free speech, by having him take it down the state department was technically breaking the law. The US settled on all counts, causing them to now be completely legal at the end of June.

Gun control is a hot topic in the country but it seems that both Republicans and Democrats can agree, these guns bring a real danger to America. Chuck Schumer said,”I am sounding an alarm that comes August 1st, America is going to get a lot less safe when it comes to the gut-wrenching epidemic of gun violence. Ghost guns are not only just scary, they’re outright dangerous in the way that they can mimic the look and capacity of a hardened, fully semi-automatic weapon.” 

Donald Trump said in a tweet, “I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!” 

“The Liberator” is not the only gun available for download. There are many guns that work much better and can shoot up to a full magazine before being destroyed. There are also gun parts that can be downloaded, such as the lower on an AR-15, which is the only part that requires a registration and background checks to own. This is the part of the gun that is considered the firearm.  This creates a way for people to obtain an even more dangerous gun.

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21 states have written a letter to Jeff Sessions and have signed a petition to make this illegal in the United States but the only real way to stop this is to bring specific legislation on this issue.

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