Printing Your Own Gun May Soon be a Possibility

By KBJR News 1

March 15, 2013 Updated Mar 15, 2013 at 4:52 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

With advancements in 3D printing, is safe gun duplication on the horizon?

Previous attempts at gun making were largely unsuccessful due to the limited durability of 3D duplications.

"3D printing is quick and fast but the parts aren't as strong," says Steven Kosset, Program Director at Northen Lights Technology Center.

It wasn't thought to be possible, but 3D printing, once only capable of utilizing nylon and plastic materials is beginning to advance into metals.

"When 3D printing begins doing metal parts which they have started there might be a possibility in that," Kosset informs.

That is raising concern among some in law enforcement who worry about 3D gun makers eluding the permit process.

"If they were able to do that without buying them through traditional fashion it would create problems because how would we track if people are buying weapons that are prohibited from having them?" says Superior police chief Charles LeGesse.

There is also the problem of the potential excess of guns in the community. Technology may be a step ahead of the law on this issue. Still, not all people can legally own a printed gun.

"The same laws would apply if it was made in a traditional fashion. If they are prohibited from having a firearm, they'd be prohibited from having a gun that was printed," adds LeGesse.

However, even with the technology available, is 3D gun printing really a possibility?

"It would still be cheaper to buy a regular gun than buy the machines to produce a weapon through the process," says LeGesse.

"Eventually it could get there but I don't see it happening for a while," adds Kosset.

The cost to configure a 3D machine that could print metals would be thousands of dollars. But some enthusiasts feel it's a small price to pay toward their ultimate goal.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware
gware@kbjr.com