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The future just got a lot scarier.
A Texas company is set to release blueprints online that could be used to make a plastic gun with a 3D printer, Sen. Charles Schumer warned Sunday.
The non-profit, Defense Distributed, announced last week it made a working plastic gun using a 3D printer - and said it plans to post the blueprints for “The Liberator” online this week.
The Liberator may look like a toy, but “this gun can fire regular bullets, and can accept silencers and other attachments," Schumer said, as he called for legislation aimed at outlawing the technology’s weapons potential.
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The bill was drafted by Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.).
“Security checkpoints, background checks
To Schumer, the ramifications of make-your-own untraceable and undetectable weapons is “stomach-churning.”
“These guns are just as deadly as any you’d see in a gun store, impossible to detect, and can easily be made by anyone with an internet connection and a thousand dollars,” the cost of a 3D plastic printer, Schumer said.
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"Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon, can essentially open a gun factory in their garage," he said. “It must be stopped.”
Defense Distributed’s version of the Liberator reportedly didn’t violate the law because it included a six-ounce piece of metal — but people printing out the 16 components at home could easily replace that part with plastic.
Schumer stressed that he doesn’t have a problem with the 3D printers, which use digital blueprints to form 3D objects using hard, molded plastic.
"It's an extraordinary technology" with productive uses ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. But, he added, “there are a number of actors looking to use it for scary purposes. And that's what we have to stop.”
Tributes paid to former broadcaster Bill O'Herlihy, who has died aged 76