Today almost anything imaginable can be printed with 3D printing. Usually the prints are done for completely civilian fields, such as printing home untensils or medical aid tools. Since the first days of 3D printing, many have feared of how malicious parties might use it to print weapons. Around the internet, gun sketches, in full or in parts, are already found to be printed by anyone without any restriction. This could naturally lead to a grave public danger, having virtually anyone circulating 3D printed weapons with no supervision or control. The threat is even greater when it comes to terror organizations making use of templates to print an unlimited arsenal of weapons, restricted by imagination alone.
In light of this substantial concern of malicious use of 3D printing abilities, the U.S. authorities have begun a process of regulation on the field, which has been breached up until now, to restrcit or even get rid completely of 3D blueprints so that they are no longer available without restriction. The limitations on printed weapons’ distribution have been introduced in the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations and have defined a ban in trading and distributing “technical data” of weapons, 3D blueprints being a part of this category.
The U.S. ministry of Defense claims that changes put in regulations were in order to prevent any leaking of information to hostile bodies, such as terror organizations. Furthermore, the reason why the technical term used was “technical data” was so vague was to prevent any sort of future technological development having to do with weapons being leaked. The reason for this term has to do with the regulations being set in 2009, when 3D printing was still a developing field and was not included in them. This new vague term includes any future development so that leaking knowledge of 3D printing of weapons will not happen again.
However, despite the explanation given by the U.S. Ministry of Defense, people in the weapon industry claim that this is just one more way to increase gun regulation in the country – a breached field in itself, as the right to bear arms is stated in the constitution. This debate between the authorities’ wish to restrict weapon distribution in the country and the weapon industry has been going on for a long time in the United States and is getting louder whenever a civilian shooting takes place. It seems that the end of it is nowhere in sight.
Fuente e imagen: i-hls.com