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Q&A: 3D gun maker Cody Wilson defends freedom to print guns

Lucas Mearian | June 3, 2014
He's planning another gun-related announcement later this year.

I recognize that only the United States, and maybe one or two other countries, has the legal tolerance for this kind of activity. We think of the Internet to mean there will be consequences like this. There will be the ability to digitally manufacture things like guns that are easy to make.

I just think personal armament is an implication of the future. It's not something that's going away in some progressive sense of civil destiny.

How do you address opposition to what you're doing and people who point to the shootings in Newtown, Conn. and say what you're doing will just make it worse?

We can play a numbers game... but, if you argue from principle, freedom is scary. If you want to talk about rights, what does it mean to respect a civil liberty or civil right? Well, it means you understand there are social costs in having that right; that's why it deserves protection in the first place.

That's why these people are not practicing civil libertarians to say we should prohibit a whole class of activity because there's a certain amount of violence or deaths that might happen. This is the cost of freedom.

So, do you think there should be any regulations around the printing of 3D printed guns? No, I'm definitely not concerned with regulating it. In fact, I'm daring people to try. These 3D printers are general use technologies and software agnostic. It's been amazing watching the United States and other state and municipal governments try to deal with it. All we've seen so far is outright bans like in the city of Philadelphia. Well, that's not very useful and it's not going to work.

What gun technology do you have planned for the future? We've got some interesting files, some new printing materials, but nothing I want to release until we've got more of a stable relationship with these regulators. I've got a super secret gun thing coming out in a couple months here. It's not necessarily a gun itself, but it should be pretty exciting for gun people.


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