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First 3D-printed gun fired, blueprints up for download

If you own a 3D printer, you can now make your own working firearm, as one group has made the blueprints available online.

Joe Svetlik
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The world's first gun you can make at home using a 3D printer has been fired, the BBC reports. And the controversial group behind it has now made the blueprints available online, so anyone with access to the technology can print off and assemble their own firearms.

Called the Liberator, the weapon is made by a group called Defense Distributed, and was tested on Saturday in Austin, Texas. I've embedded a clip of it being used after the break.

The Liberator is made of ABS plastic, with the firing pin the only piece of metal involved. It might look like a toy, but don't be fooled, it's a lethal weapon.

Understandably, anti-gun protestors are up in arms. 

Defense Distributed is led by Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas, who describes himself as a crypto-anarchist. He says today's technology means not having to obey the laws of whichever country or state you're in.

"There is a demand for guns -- there just is," he told the BBC. "There are states all over the world that say you can't own firearms -- and that's not true anymore.

"I'm seeing a world where technology says you can pretty much be able to have whatever you want. It's not up to the political players anymore."

And while he acknowledged the gun poses a threat to human life, he said it's not going to stop him distributing it. "I recognise the tool might be used to harm other people -- that's what the tool is -- a gun. But I don't think that's a reason not to do it -- or a reason not to put it out there."

It's legal to print off and own the gun in the US, but anyone wanting to sell it will need a licence from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Currently, 3D printers are very expensive -- the Liberator was made using a machine costing more than £5,000. But as the technology improves, prices will come down.

What do you think? Should we be worried? Or is it just a novelty that'll never catch on? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

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Image credit: Forbes

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