Forthcoming, LAW & CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS (Symposium Issue on 2nd Amendment)
Cory Wilson's demonstration of a a functional 3D-printed firearm attracted enormous media attention and calls for Congressional (and state) action to prohibit manufacture of guns that evade metal detectors and, lacking serial numbers, are untraceable. Moreover, 3-D firearms makers would avoid background checking. The Obama Administration banned Wilson's software from the Internet, thus sparking a statutory and constitutional (First and Second Amendment) challenge. This Article explains the litigation and assesses the Second Amendment arguments, while placing the 3-D printed firearms controversy in the context of the U.S.'s long history of unregulated personal gunsmithing. The authors see no constitutional impediment to regulating or prohibiting 3_D printed firearms, but illuminate the implementation and enforcement problems. Any regulatory scheme should encompass all gunsmithing technologies, not just 3-D printing.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Jacobs, James B. and Haberman, Alex, "3D Printed Firearms, Do‐It‐Yourself Guns & The Second Amendment" (2016). New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers. Paper 573.