3D Printing Becomes Potentially Lethal

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It's the world's first 3D printed plastic gun. Texas law student Cody Wilson, 25, has been working on the prototype for over a year. Now his group, Defense Distributed, claims they've succeeded.

It's called "The Liberator" and it's made from the $8,000 Stratasys 3D printer, a technology that even President Obama praised in his State of the Union address. 

"That was always the goal. Can you print a gun with a 3D printer?" Wilson said.

Wilson released the blueprints online for anyone to download. It resulted in 100,000 downloads before the State Department quickly stepped in and blocked the company from distributing details, citing international arms control laws.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and several other congressmen are calling for 3D printed guns to be made illegal.

''Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who's mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon can essentially open a gun factory in their garage," he said. "And the only thing they need is a computer and a little over a thousand dollars."

Lawmakers also worry the plastic gun would be untraceable, but advocates of the guns disagree.

''I don't think there's any practical danger of someone printing an untraceable weapon, and if they did the round would set off metal detectors," 3D printer owner Travis Lerol said.

Ballistic experts also warn that firing a gun made from plastic could be lethal to the user. They argue that the pressure involved in firing a bullet could put too much stress on the plastic exterior.

For now, companies with 3D printing capabilities say they can't produce the device because of laws against production. 

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