Is it really worth a shot? (pun intended)
When it comes to new technology, there is always a bit of gamble; will people use it for the benefit of mankind or will they create something destructive? 3D printing technologies have come a long way from small 3D printed toys to biomedical equipment all the way to 3D constructed buildings. But now there seems to be another trend in the market and it is a bit alarming.
A recent event took place in Florida called the ‘Gun Maker’s Match’ in which participants showed off their own 3D printed and home-assembled handguns and assault weapons. These guns which have been dubbed as ‘ghost guns’ have no serial number and are a serious cause of concern since they are basically untraceable. Even law enforcement is worried about this new trend and according to a leaked Department of Justice report, nearly 24000 “privately made firearms” were recovered between 2016 and 2020.
3D printing is usually carried out with plastic resources but people have gotten creative and started using other materials as well for printing the guns. According to Rob Pincus, a personal defense instructor and gun rights advocate, “You need the metal parts. Technically, could you build one out of all plastic? Yes. Is it going to be reliable and awesome? Probably not.”
It seems like law enforcement is having a hard time containing these ghost guns. Printing of DIY guns is already banned in 10 states including Washington DC but gun violence cases seem to have gone up. And its not just the USA that is seeing this troubling trend rising quickly. In April, Spanish police raided a warehouse where different weapons were being printed. This is exactly what they mean by “excess of everything is bad” since now anyone can make their own guns and get away with it.