Technological advancements have been rapidly changing the landscape of the gun industry. In a recent court case, Defense Distributed, a non-profit organization that distributes 3D printed gun files, sued the United States Department of State after they were told by the United States Department of State’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance that their designs and files they posted on their website were in violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR). The federal civil suit took 5 years to conclude, ultimately resulting in a win for Defense Distributed, giving them the ability to post their CAD files online with no legal recourse. The recent media attention from the court case has created a lot of concern for politicians and regulators who want to get unserialized and unregistered firearms off the streets. However, much of the recent controversy surrounding the subject is a moot point. The ability to manufacture your own firearms at home has always been possible and we have a Constitutionally protected right to bear arms according to the 2nd Amendment.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Although some states have implemented their own gun control laws, according to the ATF, individuals manufacturing sporting-type firearms for their own use need not hold Federal Firearms Licenses. That knowledge, coupled with the advances in technology (that have reduced the costs of the tools needed to make your own firearms), has made it so people can make their own guns from the comfort of their home after a quick trip to the hardware store. Seeing that technology has made it substantially easier to manufacture your own guns, many people are calling the validity of the 2nd Amendment into question. Is the 2nd Amendment outdated? Do you have to participate in a well regulated Militia to own guns? Should it be updated to account for the recent advances in technology such as 3D printers? Now that Pandora’s box has been opened, is gun control possible anymore? Has it ever been?