3-D Printing—a New Threat to Gun Control and Security Policy?

3-D printing—a new threat to gun control and security policy? image
July 21, 2016 | Source: Daniel C. Tirone And James Gilley, The Conversation

Following the recent mass shooting in Orlando, and the shootings in Minnesota and Dallas, the sharp political divisions over gun control within the U.S. are once again on display. In June, House Democrats even staged a sit-in to advocate for stronger laws.

There is some evidence that more restrictions can reduce gun violence, but another recent shooting highlighted some limitations of regulation. British Member of Parliament Jo Cox was murdered with a "makeshift gun" despite the United Kingdom's restrictive gun-control laws.

The threat of self-manufactured firearms is not new, but a critical barrier is collapsing. Until recently, most people didn't have the skills to make a weapon as capable as commercially available ones. However, recent developments in the field of additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, have made home manufacturing simpler than ever before. The prospect of more stringent legislation is also fueling interest in at-home production.