Cody Wilson and his organization, Defense Distributed, have upgraded the controversial Ghost Gunner CNC mill project to produce M1911 handguns.
Earlier this week, the United States was sent into a state of saddening shock after a gunman killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds more at a country music festival in Las Vegas. The horrific event has reignited the heated debate over gun control throughout the country, sparking arguments between those who want stricter gun control and others who continue to ride the coattails of the second amendment. Regardless of your political opinion, there’s no denying the feelings of hopelessness and despair that arise from such senseless violence.
Just a few hours before the unfathomable mass shooting, which is being called the deadliest in American history, Cody Wilson and his pro-gun advocacy organization Defense Distributed announced the release of new software for his computer-controlled milling machine known as the Ghost Gunner. The Ghost Gunner enables users to produce untraceable and unregulated weapons from a chunk of aluminum, and has caused quite a stir in a country at odds about how to handle gun violence.
Previously only able to mill the bodies of AR-15s, the CNC mill is now be able to carve out the aluminum frame of a M1911 handgun. The weapon type is a class of semiautomatic pistols that includes the Colt 45 and other popular firearms. Wilson’s name might sound familiar to you, as the self-proclaimed crypto-anarchist is infamously known for creating the first 3D printed gun. This plastic weapon, called the Liberator, jumpstarted a lively debate about 3D printing technology and the potential to create weapons around five years ago. Wilson has since been fighting the State Department in court for forcing him to take the 3D model of the gun off of the internet.
The new code will enable the Ghost Gunner to produce the frame of a handgun in just around one hour. The rest of the required components, such as the barrel and firing pin, can be ordered online without hassle. This means that people would be able to manufacture homemade weapons without undergoing background checks or even having a serial number, making it completely untraceable.
Although it’s technically illegal for an unlicensed person to make a firearm for sale or distribution, Defense Distributed is able to skirt the law because producing blueprints and manufacturing 80 percent of a firearm is still perfectly legal. Thus far, Wilson has sold around 4,000 Ghost Gunners, 1,000 of which are the most recent model capable of manufacturing handguns.
Unfortunately, the CNC mill would give people who are legally not permitted to own weapons an opportunity to obtain one. This includes minors, people with mental disorders, or criminals. Thus far, in the U.S., these “ghost guns” are only banned in the state of California. Since these weapons are untraceable, it’s difficult to gauge how many have been used in violent crimes. Unlike automatic rifles, which usually only get spotlighted in mass shootings, handguns are much more prevalent in everyday cases of violence.
However, the handgun will be more difficult to produce than the AR-15 model. Users will need special jigs to hold the 1911 frame in place inside the Ghost Gunner. These parts can either be 3D printed or ordered online. Secondly, a number specific milling bits will be needed to complete to the handgun design. The software itself will be delivered by Defense Distributed to customers on a USB stick.
All in all, Wilson’s overall aim remains to advocate for gun rights by making firearm production more accessible and undetectable. Even though his grand scheme could potentially cost numerous lives in the process, he stands firm behind his beliefs.
“Of course it’s worth the risk. The right is protected because it can be abused, not because there are no consequences. There is going to be universal access to arms. Even if I’m the only one working on it, it’s going to happen,” Wilson says.
Despite the tragic stain of this recent mass shooting on the mind of all Americans, Wilson seems unfazed and determined to continue down this path of weaponized anarchy. Whether you agree with his unorthodox motives or not, there’s no denying that he is–for better or for worse–adding fuel to a much-needed conversation in the country about gun control, constitutional rights, and most importantly, the value of human life.
License: The text of "Defense Distributed Expands Scope of Ghost Gunner Project With Handgun Production" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Subscribe to updates from All3DP
You are subscribed to updates from All3DP
You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more…