Welcome back to the 62nd installment of my blog, in which I don’t claim to be an expert, in fact, the opposite. I’m a new user of the AR platform and want to share my findings and experiences as I go through and build rifles as well as being the Operations Manager at Tyrant Designs.

3D gun printing is now legal! There has been a legal battle going on for the past 3 years regarding the legality of using a 3D printer to manufacture a fully functional firearm. 

The Back Story.

In 2013, Defense Distributed introduced the first 3D printed firearm, which was almost exclusively made of all 3D printed materials. The files containing the specifications for the firearm were downloaded more than 100k times before the site was taken down. After about a week or so after launching the product the US State Department demanded they take down the plans to avoid prosecution for breaking the law.

The Gun.

Plans for the firearm also known as "The Liberator", were comprised of a file that when printed, comprises 16 individual parts.

What laws were broken?

The State Department claims, selling the plans to make a 3D printed firearm at home violated Federal export control regulations including ITAR. In 2015 Defense Distributed teamed up with the Second Amendment Foundation to file a lawsuit against the Federal Government to combat their claims.


A few weeks ago, they reached a deal with Second Amendment Foundation. The ITAR laws will be changed to reflect that any gun under .50 calibre is not considered a military type weapon. As far as the case against Defense Distributed, the government will pay a big portion of their attorney's fees as well as return $10,000 in State Department registration fees. Defense Distributed plans on relaunching their website, which has an archive of different 3D prints for guns.

This should be interesting to see how this ruling effects the future of 3D printed firearms. As the price point of basic 3D printers falls well below $500. I think this is not the last we will hear of this story, or another one like it. 3D printers have the potential to take power away from the government by hurdling archaic federal regulations that infringe on our basic civil liberties.

Do you think the government should be able to tell you what you can and can't do when it comes to your firearms?