Second-year University of Texas School of Law student Cody Wilson hopes to soon be a distributor of digital designs that people can use to generate their own handguns on 3-D printers — printers that can build solid items out of materials such as plastic or resin, based on blueprint specifications.
“I didn’t know I would ever do anything like this,” says Wilson, a self-described civil libertarian. A former English literature major, he says he was on the phone with some more tech-minded friends, trying to figure out what they could do to live up to their libertarian principles. The question raised, he says, was, “How can we contribute to creating those kinds of realities we value, civil libertarian ideals?”
The result is a group called Defense Distribution, and according to the website, it’s the “[h]ome of the Wiki Weapon. A collaborative project to create freely available plans for 3D printable guns”
He says Defense Distribution has digital blueprints for several models of handguns ready for testing.
But first, Wilson says, he checked in with the Austin office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He says his group will set up a limited liability company and obtain the federally required gun manufacturing licenses.
He says that studying constitutional law has helped prepare him to deal with a maelstrom of comments on gun blogs, technology blogs and in the mainstream media about making handguns more easily available.
“Everyone has got their opinion about what the Second Amendment really means, what it intended,” Wilson says. “I get involved in rhetorical battles about the second amendment; constitutional law has really helped me.”
-- Jeanne Graham