Man making gun parts with 3D printers gets lease revoked, interrogated by BATF

In early August, we presented a novel idea where a DIY maker was able to print upper receivers for handguns using a 3D printer.

Well it seems the manufacturers of Stratasys didn’t like this idea and have revoked a license and physically removed a printer from one customer. From CNet:

Stratasys has voided the lease for the printer Defense Distributed had rented, and sent representatives to physically reclaim it last week.

Further, Beckhusen reports that a visit to the Austin, TX branch of the ATF turned into an unexpected questioning session for Wilson when he went down to investigate the legal requirements of the Defense Distributed project.

Beckhusen also writes that, according to Wilson, “the ATF believes he’s not broken any laws, and that the agency believes 3-D printed guns fall into a regulatory gray area, but that he still needs to get licensed if he’s to manufacture a weapon.

Now legally, making gun parts from scratch isn’t something the BATF is able to regulate unless the parts are made available for sale, but we’re a little surprised that a 3D printer manufacturer would go to such lengths to reclaim a printer.

The lesson here is abundantly clear: if you’re going to use your 3D printers for things that fall into the gray areas of a license agreement (which you should probably read and heavily consider when shopping for printers) — then you’re probably better off keeping your mouth shut or using a pseudonym when sharing DIY schematics online.

posted by vforvandyke · tags: , , ,

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