A couple years ago, we were promised 3D printing would change the world. “This is the year of the 3D printer” the technologists sang from the tops of the blogosphere. Time passed and 3D printers had not made it mainstream and only found a place with manufacturing and engineering firms.
There was, however, one young patriot challenging the status quo by pushing 3D printing and the Bill of Rights to the limit. Enter Cody Wilson, founder of 3D printing startup Defense Distributed. He’s the thinker behind 3D printed guns.
So why are we talking about this now?
Wilson and co. have been in a stalemate legal battle with the Department of State about the legality of 3D printing guns. This week the DoS dropped it’s charges against Defense Distributed. Wilson claims the State had nothing on his arguments that he was protected by the 1st and 2nd Amendments.
“I think by the end DOJ realized they don’t actually want to argue with this because it’s such a stinker from a First Amendment point of view,…. So, I really think they needed to get out from under it and they already had the export control reform so they literally offered me a modification of the ITAR. They literally rewrite the ITAR for Defense Distributed in an anticipation of the change in the rules. Who knows when that happens, like a year from now. I don’t know. All this suggests they really needed to run away from it because we took it down to the mat.” Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson via the Washington Beacon
I know this isn’t a political blog but I’ve got to chime in because this is tech and politics intersecting. I love Liberty and couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this case. With this case, there is now a precedent that weapons that can be 3D printed are now protected by the 1st Amendment. The thing about tech is that once it’s released into the wild, you can’t uninvent it. It’s there. People have been enlightened and you can’t reverse it. Much like crypto and blockchain, this technology is here to stay and will certainly change the world.
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