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State Dept. orders 3-D gun designs be taken offline

Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson received an order from the State Department Thursday to take offline his design for the the 3D-printable “Liberator” handgun, released earlier this week. As Forbes noted:

The government says it wants to review the files for compliance with arms export control laws known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR. By uploading the weapons files to the Internet and allowing them to be downloaded abroad, the letter implies Wilson’s high-tech gun group may have violated those export controls.

Libertarian Wilson's design hardly risked the swift proliferation of 3-D-printed guns; there aren't that many 3-D printers around. However, the State Department's swift intervention indicates the government's wariness about how the growth of 3-D-printing technology might enable arms proliferation.

Wilson said his company will comply with the government's demands, but questions whether, as 3-D-printing spreads, such government interventions will work: "Is this a workable regulatory regime? Can there be defense trade control in the era of the Internet and 3D printing?” he asked. Via Forbes:

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