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3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws 1862

Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Over the past weekend, Defense Distributed successfully 3D-printed and tested a magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip. That homemade chunk of curved plastic holds special significance: Between 1994 and 2004, so-called 'high capacity magazines' capable of holding more than 10 bullets were banned from sale. And a new gun control bill proposed by California Senator Dianne Feinstein in the wake of recent shootings would ban those larger ammo clips again. President Obama has also voiced support for the magazine restrictions. Defense Distributed says it hopes to preempt any high capacity magazine ban by showing how impossible it has become to prevent the creation of a simple spring-loaded box in the age of cheap 3D printing. It's posted the 3D-printable magazine blueprints on its website,, and gun enthusiasts have already downloaded files related to the ammo holders more than 2,200 times." Update: 01/15 23:15 GMT by T : Mea culpa; please blame my flu for mistakenly letting through that headline with "clip" where it should say "magazine." I know the difference — and I don't own any clips.
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3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

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  • Clip (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:11AM (#42591153)
    Could people stop using that word? It's almost as bad as technobable on the idiot box.
    • Re:Clip (Score:5, Informative)

      by gcnaddict ( 841664 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:13AM (#42591181)
      Clip [] versus Magazine []
    • Maybe they were printing cartoonish 30-round WWI-era stripper clips? :)

    • Re:Clip (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:22AM (#42591279)

      Here's a better one: why don't we focus on the underlying issues rather than basically meaningless terminology that everybody involved understands what is meant anyway.

      • Re:Clip (Score:5, Insightful)

        by John Napkintosh ( 140126 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:35AM (#42591509) Homepage

        Sometimes it undermines credibility when you display ignorance like that. If he created a sprocket and called it a spring, I'd expect the same criticism.

      • Re:Clip (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:54AM (#42591805)
        If somebody wanted to pass a whole bunch of stupid laws relating to software, and then they started calling things by wrong terms and demonstrating they don't understand anything about the field they're proposing to make binding laws for, would you respect them? I sure as hell wouldn't. I thought Ted Stevens and others like him were completely unqualified to legislate on internet related matters, and I think that many of the congresspersons and lobbyists who wouldn't know DA from SA if their life depended on it are completely unqualified to legislate on issues upon which other people's lives do depend.
        • Re:Clip (Score:5, Insightful)

          by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:18PM (#42592179)
          No, that depends on your stance in relation to whoever you're judging. Had Ted Stevens been saying "The internet is like a series of tubes, like sewers. And like sewers, we don't allow companies to treat some sewage differently and have other sewage back up in your house. So we must enact strong net neutrality laws!" We'd all be puzzled, but we'd be okay with it.

          You only mock someone for using the wrong terminology when you dislike what they are saying and try to discredit them. Same as here. If you dislike gun control, argue against gun control. Don't get hung up on the words your opponents are using. Unless... opposition to limiting bullet-holder-thingies isn't limited to "You're using the wrong words" is it? There ARE other arguments against it, right?
          • Re:Clip (Score:4, Interesting)

            by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:05PM (#42594017) Journal
            We mock Ted Stevens with the 'series of tubes' thing because it is the most quotable, but the thing that got the real scorn was this:

            I just the other day got an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

            He's under the impression that delay (probably due to greylisting) between mail servers is due to network latency and that this network latency is due to commercial things in the Internet. Oh, and that an email is 'an Internet'. If someone started with that and then said something that I agreed with, then it would still be very hard to respect them. But then, it would be quite hard for someone with such a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the technology to say anything reasonable about it.

      • Re:Clip (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pla ( 258480 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:57AM (#42591841) Journal
        Here's a better one: why don't we focus on the underlying issues rather than basically meaningless terminology that everybody involved understands what is meant anyway.

        I know, right? We all know what it means, who cares about the pedantic "right" word?

        Now as long as I have your attention... Would you mind giving me a hand upgrading the RAM in my hard drive? I can't seem to get the case off the monitor...
    • Re:Clip (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kissing Crimson ( 197314 ) <.jonesy. .at.> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:24AM (#42591317) Homepage

      Thank you!

      Maybe we should allow Senator Feinstein to ban 30 round "clips," thus protecting the sale of 20 and 30 round magazines.

      • Re:Clip (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TWX ( 665546 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:38AM (#42591551)
        Be careful, depending on the courts, "clip" could refer to any structure capable of holding ammunition and designed to be a module of the firearm.

        And framing the debate in these terms is not going to help you if they decide to propose legislation that requires all civilian magazines for rifles with a capcity of 10 rounds must be unloaded except when in use at licensed firearms ranges, and for handguns with magazines in excess of ten rounds, the remaining capacity must be filled with dummy rounds if carried off one one's own property or outside of a licensed firearms range...

        My point is that attempting to stonewall the debate instead of participating in it will probably result in something at least at stringent as the previous assault weapons ban, and could result in something even more strict. If firearms enthusiasts take a good look at the ills that come from firearms ownership and themselves suggest limits, then they can craft what happens. And one can rant and rave about the Second Amendment all one wants, the court has ruled that previous restrictions are in fact legal, and would very likely continue to do so as long as restrictions do not outright prohibit any kind of firearm.
      • Re:Clip (Score:5, Informative)

        by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:31PM (#42592399)

        Maybe we should allow Senator Feinstein to ban 30 round "clips," thus protecting the sale of 20 and 30 round magazines.

        Maybe you should read what she actually said and not the headline some idiot put on it here. []

        On the first day of the new Congress, I intend to introduce a bill stopping the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons as well as large ammunition magazines, strips and drums that hold more than 10 rounds.

    • Re:Clip (Score:5, Funny)

      by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:33AM (#42591455)
      Apparently calling it a magazine confuuuuuses some people. I guess they think people will assume you could hold bullets in a rolled up copy of Us Weekly.
    • Re:Clip (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:44AM (#42591643)

      You do realize that you guys lost that war at least 35 years ago? I was raised in the 1960s and 1970s, around lots of cops and other heavy users of firearms, who all called their handgun magazines "clips". I don't think I even heard the word "magazine" used for such things until I was an adult.

      In language, actual usage always wins. If the general public uses a word a certain way, and even a lot of people relatively well acquainted with the subject use it that way, then the desires of a microscopic minority of obsessive pedants are just going to have to give way.

      You may, of course, feel free to maintain the distinction in professional discussions among gunsmiths. But it's just stupid to expect anybody else to care.

      Same applies to "hacker", by the way. Battle lost. Give up.

  • Hair-splitting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:12AM (#42591171)

    For one thing, these are not called "clips", they are magazines. And magazines hold rounds, not "bullets", which are part of a round. Seeing these terms used clues the reader in that the author knows little to nothing about firearms.

    In a larger sense, I don't think we need printer control in response to this, because (a) not a single one of the new regulations being proposed would have stopped any of these mass shootings, and (b) because I can't see these plastic magazines working exceptionally well.

    • Re:Hair-splitting (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:00PM (#42591875)

      and (b) because I can't see these plastic magazines working exceptionally well.

      And therein lies the irony. I'd bet that these would make it through an initial 30-round run fine. Probably wouldn't stand up to repeated firings though.

      Think about that though: in a crime, or a shooting spree, the perp only needs to blast through the magazine once and then its dropped and discarded. The people who care about durability and reuse of magazines are typically competition and target shooters.

      So effectively, legislation is likely to affect the completely legitimate uses of the magazines, while technology remains so that all the illegal uses people might want to use them for are still doable.

  • by exabrial ( 818005 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:14AM (#42591185)
    How does this keep schools safer?
    • by krovisser ( 1056294 ) * on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:17AM (#42591225)
      In the same way that an unenforced "Gun Free Zone" does.

      It doesn't.
    • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:19AM (#42591249) Journal

      It's stated in the article. They assume that since some previous gun incidents have been stopped when the gunman had to reload that limiting the amount you can fire off will allow someone to be a hero and tackle the gunman.

      Horwitz points out that Tucson shooter Jared Loughner was tackled while attempting to reload a new magazine into his Glock handgun. And police say that Newtown, Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza may have allowed some of his victims to escape while he reloaded his smaller clips.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Here are my views on gun control:

      Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics. This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns. This level of violence must be stopped.

      I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense

      • by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:33AM (#42591457) Homepage Journal

        I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.

        The purpose of the second amendment is not for sporting, hunting, or even home defense. It is there to prevent the government from disarming the people and instituting tyranny and/or fascism. We have the second amendment to preserve our natural right to shoot tyrants and fascists should our system of checks and balances fail and they come into power.

        • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:02PM (#42591913) Homepage

          Just to add on to your point: This is why this is really difficult issue. Limiting the size of clips would minimize the impact of assaults like this. But it would also limit the effectiveness of armed resistance against a tyrannical government.

          What do you think of kaws requiring people to lock guns instead of laws limiting magazines? Locking guns would not significantly limit one's ability to resist the government, but would prevent psychologically damaged people from easily stealing them. Every gun owner I know has their gun(s) locked in the kind of case that would resist a rocket launcher anyway. I don't understand why that wasn't the case with Sandy Hook.

        • by Glothar ( 53068 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:52PM (#42592775)

          That's your interpretation of the intent, not the stated intent. The second ammendment actually says:

          A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed

          The stated purpose of the freedom is to allow for the security of the state, not to arm the populous in defense against the political leaders of the state. In fact, the Constitution outright criminalizes the waging of war against the government.

          You can make good arguments about the necessity of guns for the protection of freedom against abusive government. I myself have argued that the most important part of the Second Amendment is that it bars the government from ever trying to completely disarm the populace. However, I also argue that the far-too-common reading of "Everyone gets to have guns so they can overthrow the government in the future" is utterly wrong. If you want to make the argument that you have a right to shoot anyone you feel is a tyrant, then you're going to have to support that argument with philosophy, not the Constitution.

          In the end, the Supreme Court gets to decide what it really means, and how its intent should impact law. And while you might have the natural right to declare whoever you want to be a tyrant, everyone else has the right to disagree with you, and kill you for trying to overthrow their government.

        • by gtbritishskull ( 1435843 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @01:28PM (#42593411)
          I was not a big fan of gun control. I figure that people kill people, not guns and that humans naturally do not want to go on shooting sprees. So, I thought our biggest problem was that we don't have effective systems to provide the help to people with mental health problems. That was until a few days after the shooting when I heard what the NRA and people like you have to say. Then I realized that the biggest proponent of guns is full of people who are paranoid and possibly delusional. And it seems not very intelligent as well ("You may have drones and smart bombs but I have my assault rifle with a high capacity magazine. BRING IT ON!!!"). Then I began to start thinking that maybe we have the mental health problems in this country BECAUSE of the gun lobby that thrives on and encourages paranoid and delusional thinking. I am not afraid of the average American owning a gun. I am afraid of people in the NRA owning guns.
      • by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:33AM (#42591469)

        The citizens do not have an explicit right for guns for sporting, hunting, and home defense. They have a right for the purpose of fighting back from an oppressive government. If I see sporting/hunting with regard to gun rights again, I am going to ...

        And don't be naive with regard to how the US government could turn on its citizens enough to warrant such use of guns. If the citizens cannot fight back, the oppression WILL happen. It would just be a matter of time.

        And no, our military power couldn't stop an armed populace. The military wouldn't have a chance...unless they wanted to just kill everyone. But then who do you exercise power over at that point?

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:39AM (#42591567)

        Let us be clear here. Ownership of firearms has never really been about hunting or really even about home defense. It's about the right of the citizenry to have the means to protect themselves from tyranny. The government may not trust us with our guns but really we don't trust them much with their guns. There is always a certain level of paranoia about government control anyway and any attempt to limit weapons at all directly reinforces that paranoia. In short, Americans really don't trust their leadership and if you sit and listen to CSPAN for a few hours it's easy to understand why.

      • by ageoffri ( 723674 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:49AM (#42591723)
        How about you compare apples to apples? You start out by giving a single statistic about handguns and then move to banning AK-47's. Also with your statistics you leave out the number of reported incidents of self-defense especially those which don't result in a discharge of a firearm. And don't forget that the key word there is reported, there is no way to know the number of unreported but it is surely higher.

        Next you want to ban AK-47's, but I'm sure you don't know that effectively AK-47's, M16's and every other type of machine gun is already banned. The ban does not allow the transfer of any new machine guns to regular citizens that have been manufactured since 1984. Since this calls into the effect the laws of economics the supply is very limited and it costs around $20,000 to buy a M16 in addition to the background check and $200 tax stamp that one must go through with the BATF. Go look up crime statistics and you will find that the number of crimes committed with machine guns is either zero every year or in single digits.

        An assault weapon is one that is capable of firing more then one round when the trigger is pulled and they are all tightly controlled by current regulation.

        The three AR-15's in my gun safe are all semi-auto only and one of these days I'll pick up an AK clone that is also semi-auto only. These are amazing target rifles, low recoil, semi-auto, accurate. Yet at the same time my fiancee bolt-action 30-06 is much more powerful, has greater effective range and is far more lethal.

        The 2nd Amendment makes no mention of sporting, self-defense, or other criteria that gun banners attribute to the 2nd Amendment. AR-15's are used in sporting purposes all the time. 3-gun matches are growing in popularity and an AR-15 is one of the best choices for this sporting competition.

      • by FlopEJoe ( 784551 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:03PM (#42591931)
        If "9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns" a year, why do you want to take away AK-47s?
  • Going the wrong way (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:17AM (#42591217)

    So instead of convincing them not to ban large magazines, they'll just ban guns that don't have fixed magazines.

    Is that really what they wanted?

  • It's a Magazine (Score:4, Informative)

    by SavoWood ( 650474 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:18AM (#42591239) Homepage

    Unfortunately, TV and film have filled us with bad terminology. This is about a magazine. A clip is a completely different thing.

    Magazines hold multiple rounds. They're typically enclosed for protection from dust and dirt, and are inserted into a firearm through a receiving slot. Magazines are used in semi-automatic pistols like your average Glock, Sig Sauer, Walther, etc. They're also used in rifles like the M-16 or AR-15.

    Clips hold two rounds together in a belt fed weapon, like the M-60. They're typically fed from an ammunition box or other container. The clips are expelled after running through the weapon. The expulsion is similar to the way the brass casings are expelled. It's basically a small curved springy piece of metal holding two rounds together.

    The names are not interchangeable. There's no such thing as a 30 round clip. It's a 30 round magazine.

    • You store ammo in a magazine. Ships have magazines, semi-automatic pistols have magazines, and even your bolt-action hunting rifles have magazines.

      Are you specifically talking about detachable magazines for semi-automatic rifles? Why didn't you say so? I hate it when people use generic terms when they mean something specific.

  • by thelovebus ( 264467 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:20AM (#42591261)

    That our esteemed legislators say to themselves
    "Well, that's that, then! I guess it's pointless to ban high-capacity magazines."
    "This is insidious! Alongside a high-capacity magazine ban, we should also ban 3D printing! Clearly it's a technology that will only be used by TERRORISTS!"

    I think something like the latter is more likely, and I'm not even one of /.'s famed government-hating libertarian fundamentalists!

  • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:27AM (#42591369) Homepage

    " Defense Distributed says it hopes to preempt any high capacity magazine ban by showing how impossible it has become to prevent the creation of a simple spring-loaded box in the age of cheap 3D printing"

    They are much more likely to inspire legislation banning 3D printing.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:31AM (#42591427)
    I can reload a new, full pistol mag in under 1.5 seconds consistently. So, what's the point of that law? And what's to stop a crazy person from walking into a school with a machete, taser, and body armor? Good luck stopping that combo without a weapon. And what's going to stop someone from carrying bleach with chlorine into a crowded place and mixing it, making mustard gas (if I remember correctly). That's like a gun x10.

    You either toddler-proof the entire world or you realize you're not going to stop a crazy person from doing stupid shit. There is no solution to mass shooting problems unless you go get some oracles and put them in a pool and form a precrime division...and even that didn't work out, lol.

    I'm from Wisconsin where we FINALLY become the 49th state to have a conceiled weapons permit available about a year ago. Now every store that's run by a dumbass has a sign that says "Only criminals are allowed to carry weapons in this store." It actually says "no guns or weapons allowed" but since criminals won't read or respect that, I translated it.

    For the record, I don't own a gun. I only carry LTL weapons because they work better at disabling a target and the court case would go a lot better if someone who tries to rob me isn't dead. Also it's easier to get financial compensation from them, lol.

    If they think 20 bullets per mag is going to stop someone from going on a shooting spree or that 20 less dead people is acceptable, they're dreaming. I mean I know not one single politician actually believe any of this gun law BS, it's all just for show, but still.
    • by darkmeridian ( 119044 ) <> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:23PM (#42592277) Homepage

      I never understood the basic inconsistently with gun supporters regarding magazine sizes or assault rifles. They claim that limiting magazine sizes or assault rifles would not be effective in stopping bad guys from slaughtering tons of people, but then they also demand unlimited magazine sizes and an unassailable right to buy assault rifles because they are required for effective personal defense. In other words, assault rifles are not that dangerous when you're talking about killing some schoolkids, but when talking about saving their own skin, then they need the extra killing power of an assault rifle.

      More fundamentally, gun supporters tacitly assume that nothing should be done regarding guns unless it is a perfect solution, and that nothing should be done regarding guns until we have resolved all other more dangerous things, such as car deaths, swimming pools, and medical malpractice. That is just not how the world works.

      Your argument is basically this: we shouldn't ban hand grenades or rocket propelled grenades because some asshole can always make some sarin or fly an airplane into a building using a box cutter.

      You also argue that some asshole can be just as lethal with a machete. You forget that on the same day as the Newtown shooting, some asshole with a knife walked into a school in China and stabbed two dozen or so children. None of the children died. Furthermore, the asshole was subdued by teachers using chairs. Try to do that against a guy with an assault rifle; two teachers at Newtown tried, and they were both shot in the head.

  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:34AM (#42591493) Homepage Journal

    Would have prevented Sandy Hook or Aurora?

    The simple fact is politicians are going for low hanging fruit because they do not want to admit we live in a world with dysfunctional people and the money that could be spent to treat them does not buy sufficient votes for those in power.

  • by quietwalker ( 969769 ) <> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @11:36AM (#42591519)

    Waaay back when, I hit the Bureau of Crime Statistics, the Dept of Justice, and the FBI websites to see all the data relating to violent crimes, gun crimes, and so on.

    According to our own records, automatic or high-capacity weapons are used so infrequently to perpetrate crimes that they don't even have their own separate breakdown - they're sloshed into the 'other' bucket with weapons like 'talking billy bass animated fish sculpture'. The most popular weapon for crime appears to be cheap semiautomatic pistols. The cheaper the better.

    If your goal is to reduce gun crime, it seems like focusing on automatic rifles and other scary-sounding guns is dumb. Even if they had the potential for greater harm, the smaller guns have actually realized their potential. Of course, if the goal is not just myopically focused on guns, and instead it's meant to reduce suffering, to save lives, and so on - why does no one look at the statistics that say there's more than twice the number of suicides by gun in a year than murders in the US? If we're going to spend money, why not focus on the sectors with the biggest benefits?

    (as an amusing aside, check out the violent crime breakdowns by race. What if it was politically correct acknowledge the groups that are outliers by several orders of magnitude, and try to focus on fixing the cultural problems that cause it?).

  • by Remus Shepherd ( 32833 ) <> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:01PM (#42591893) Homepage

    Putting the gun debate aside for a moment...

    I'm fascinated by what will happen when 3D printing manages to create its first illegal object. I don't think they've printed anything illegal yet, have they?

    What will happen when they do? Authorities will have to crack down on 3D printing patterns, which will be impossible. Or perhaps the law (all laws?) will be rewritten so that possession of the object is illegal but possession of the digital design is permitted...which will make monitoring of 3D printer usage mandatory. This upcoming clash between object legality and post-scarcity technology will make the copyright wars look like a kindergarten brawl.

  • by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @12:25PM (#42592299)

    Looking from outside in my opinion problem isn't with gun control. Problem is that civil war hasn't ended. South still things they can legimitely take back what they have lost during that war. They think 2nd admentment legally allows them to do that when they finally goes in official minority (now they have tweaked House of Represatives, but they will ran out of these tricks too). Therefore they are very touchy. No one wants to ban all arms. But there's arms who are really meant for utter destruction than real protection of your property or your pulse. But most people who oppose this are mostly freakishly obsessed with assault guns. If they could buy and shoot a tank - they would do it.

    Just my two cents,

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"