Earlier this year the United States government attempt to suppress Computer-Aided Design (CAD) models for 3D printable firearms from being distributed by placing them under the control of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). By bringing ITAR into the equation the state was able to label those CAD models as munitions and prevent them from being legally exported from the country. Since those CAD models are under ITAR regulations I’m completely baffled by this story:
The gun maker, who goes by the online handle CanadianGunNut, is an active user on DEFCAD, the primary online forum for 3D-printed firearms.
Doesn’t he know that the idea for 3D printable firearms originated in the United States and it is therefore illegal to export that idea, now that it has been labeled a munition, to his native country of Canada?
Information control, like gun control, is a foolhardy dream that can never be realized. Throughout our history handfuls of individuals have attempted to suppress information they believed to be harmful but failed as other individuals discovered more effective ways to disseminate information. 3D printable firearms are in their infancy but this will change as 3D printer technology improves and becomes more widely available to the masses. Eventually we will be able to print off firearms that are every bit as good as, or better than, currently manufactured firearms. Now that the state is in a position where it has to stifle both information and physical firearms its goal is completely unattainable.