3D printer for creating untraceable AR-15 rifles hits market

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Top Tier Gear USA

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A screen from a YouTube video by Defense Distributed

Defense Distributed has offered a pre-sale of its new milling machine which allows buyers to print and assemble a steel AR-15 rifle in the comfort of their own home. The weapon is completely untraceable.

Ghost Gunner is the company’s new computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) milling machine. Unlike its so-called Liberator gun, which is a plastic gun design to be created via a 3D printer, the Ghost Gunner is the PC-connected hardware for manufacturing the lower receiver of the popular AR-15 rifle.

The receiver is the control part of a firearm which houses the operating parts and serves as the frame of the gun. Without it, the weapon is inoperable. It is also where the manufacturer places the serial number, which is required by law.

The US does allow for creating a firearm from parts or kits, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which states: “[An] unlicensed individual may make a ‘firearm’ as defined in the GCA for his own personal use, but not for sale or distribution.”

As a way to get around that law, manufacturers can make a semi-finished lower receiver that “isn’t technically a gun, but gets as close to the line as possible,” Ars Technica reported. The metal piece is usually 80 percent finished, and can be purchased from a variety of companies. The Ghost Gunner machine will finish the lower receiver, and then customers can purchase the rest of the AR-15 parts online, without being subjected to waiting periods or background checks.

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