Downloading plans for 3-D printed guns legal this week

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 00:35:59-04

In just a few days people will be able to legally download plans to 3-D print guns. 

These do-it-yourself firearms or "Ghost Guns" are now raising some concerns.

News 5 spoke with a local gun shop owner and a worker of a 3-D print shop. Some say even though people will be able to download 3-D printed guns they will still need a printer to do it and the post-assembly to make it functional. Another factor, some say, is that guns are not the problem. It’s the people that are using them immorally. 

"We can’t condemn what the industry is doing."

When it comes to printing 3-D guns, Rich Reiley said, "This is a free country, free enterprise. We should be able to do things as long as we have the ethics and the morals in ourselves."

The owner of High Tech Custom Rifles says guns are not dangerous if you don’t have a dangerous person behind them. 

"The gun is just a tool. A hammer sits there forever and never drives a nail. A firearm is the same thing."

Shane Mans, lead designer of Resin Foundry, said, "I’m pretty neutral to it just because I usually am very progressive about technology moving forward and know it can be used for good and bad things."

His company focuses on modeling and 3-D printing. 

"I haven’t had anybody personally ask me to print a weapon and our business isn’t really based off that, so for us I don’t see it as something we would accept at this time…you can make a gun out of plastic just straight out, but it’s not particularly effective."

Even so, Mans believes it’s something that should be addressed in a law because it’s a potentially hazardous issue. 

"No one knows it’s yours. No one knows you have it. If they catch it in a crime situation they can’t track it very well because it could’ve come from anywhere."

For some, the fear is that people will rush to make these plastic guns. However, Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said, "Many times they fail after a single shot being fired and break. They’re not very durable and they really don’t work."

On top of that, Keane says under federal law guns are required to have a certain amount of metal in them to make them detectable.

Even though people cannot legally download 3-D printed guns until Wednesday, as of Monday, more than 1,000 people have already done so.