Fact vs. Fiction: Are 3D-Printed Guns Safe?

Judge blocks release of blueprints for 3D-printed guns
AP Photo/Matthew Daly

The left uses words like “untraceable” and “undetectable” in describing  3D-printed guns while avoiding questions of practicality and safety.

Some of this avoidance could be unintentional but some is no-doubt due to the fact that the establishment media has represented 3D-printed guns in a way that is misleading but beneficial to those seeking to ban the weapons.

In its purest form a 3D-printed gun is a gun printed out of plastic on a special printer. Even though plastic, the gun is not “undetectable” inasmuch as it has a metal firing pin and other metal parts. However, is the gun safe?

According to CNN, individuals testing such guns in Europe have concluded they could be more harmful to the shooter than to the intended target. German police tested such a gun and concluded it “could endanger the shooter as much as anyone else.”

This is commonsense for those who understand firearms, who understand the pressures associated with a chambered cartridge at the point a primer is struck and powder ignites within the shell casing. And it is also why the focus of 3D-printed guns is not the plastic gun so often shown during establishment media reports but an otherwise metal gun with a plastic lower or frame made on a 3D printer.

Consider the wildly popular AR-15. That rifle consists of a lower, which contains holds the trigger and hammer, and an upper, which holds the bolt carrier group and to which the barrel is attached. Of all these parts, the government regulates the lower and only the lower. So in the 3D-printing world, the idea is to make a lower of strong plastic, then affixed it to a metal upper and barrel that are identical in composition to any metal upper and barrel that you might see on any other AR-15.

The pressures within the gun are contained within the upper, which is metal, while the trigger and hammer set in a plastic lower.

Is the gun “undetectable?” By no means. Is the gun safe? Most certainly (because the plastic is used in places where pressure is not an issue). But the establishment media, by and large, does not show 3D-printed guns in this format because so doing undercuts the ominous scenario of building guns that can skirt metal detectors.

On another note, “undetectable” guns have been illegal since the passage of the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.



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