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Great work, 3-D gun printers, but don’t rest on your laurels

Right, who laughed? I don’t know if it was the nameless Associated Press reporter who wrote this story, or the Guardian editor who decided to run it, but someone connected with the publication of this piece in the Graun of all places was enjoying themselves: “New York changes gun buyback after seller gets $21,000 for 3D-printed parts”

The seller, who identified himself by a pseudonym, said he traveled from West Virginia to a gun buyback on 27 August in Utica, New York, to take advantage of a loophole in the program – and to demonstrate that buybacks are futile in an era of printable weapons.

At the buyback, the seller turned in 60 printed auto sears, small devices that can convert firearms into fully automatic weapons. Under the rules of the buyback, hosted by the office of the attorney general, Letitia James, and city police, that entitled him to $350 for each of the printed parts, including a $100 premium, since they were deemed “ghost guns” lacking serial numbers.

The seller, who declined to provide his real name, said in an email on Monday the prospect of making money was enticing, but that the big reason he took part in the buyback was to send a message.

He called the idea of buybacks “ridiculously stupid”, adding that “the people running this event are horribly uneducated about guns, gun crime and the laws surrounding the regulation of guns”.

James’ office said it responded to the loophole by giving buyback personnel more discretion to determine the value of weapons being handed in, and setting a standard that all 3D-printed guns accepted by the program must be capable of being fired more than once.

Now there’s a government-funded Technology Innovation Strategy I could get behind. I am sure the 3-D gun printing community will rise to the challenge set by this new standard.

19 comments to Great work, 3-D gun printers, but don’t rest on your laurels

  • JohnK

    It is trivially easy to make a zip gun. You don’t need a 3D printer, but I admire this fellow’s audacity.

    In the UK, police forces are pretty stingy, and just offer to take guns for nothing during “amnesties”. If they were offering £100 per gun I would get busy with a hacksaw and some tubing.

  • llamas

    I expect an excess of cobras will shortly ensue – the exact opposite of the stated goal of the ‘buyback’ programs. (Incidentally, how is it a ‘buyback’, when the buyers never owned the guns in the first place?) Inventive types will develop 3D printed guns to meet the requirements of the ‘buyback’ programs, but will also sell the guns and/or the build files to all comers, thus increasing the number of illegal guns in circulation. How is it that nobody who organizes these events ever thinks of unintended consequences?



  • JohnK


    Because they work for the gubmint. There are never any consequences for failure, only for misgendering a tranny. Use the right pronouns and you have a job for life.

  • ns

    “setting a standard that all 3D-printed guns accepted by the program must be capable of being fired more than once.”
    How would they know? Are they going to test them?

  • Paul Marks

    New York “Gun Control” has been a farce since it started in 1911 – the “Sulivan Act” was pushed by Mr Timithy Sulivan, Democrat politician, union pusher and Crime Lord (yes Crime Lord) – his intent was simple, disarm honest citizens so that his armed thugs could terrorise them (as is the case in modern Mexico and-so-on). However, Mr Sullivan did not live long after his victory – a sexual disease sent him insane, and he died in 1913.

    Today notice they are still pushing “Gun Control” even though a firearm can be 3D printed, they (the criminal establishment) just blame this man for printing off firearms and handing them, for money, to the government – they still refuse to admit that their entire enterprise of “Gun Control” is, and has always been, a farce.

  • New York “Gun Control” has been a farce since it started in 1911 – the “Sulivan Act” was pushed by Mr Timothy Sulivan, Democrat politician and Crime Lord (Paul Marks, October 12, 2022 at 3:11 pm)

    The New York gang members of a century ago were masters of the gentle art of ‘repeating’: voting 10 times in a single day.

    In these modern early-voting, postal-ballot days, of course, a mere 10 votes per person, and doing it only on a single day, would be considered pathetic indeed.

  • Mr Ed

    New York “Gun Control” has been a farce since it started in 1911 – the “Sulivan Act” was pushed by Mr Timithy Sulivan, Democrat politician, union pusher and Crime Lord (yes Crime Lord) – his intent was simple, disarm honest citizens so that his armed thugs could terrorise them (as is the case in modern Mexico and-so-on). However, Mr Sullivan did not live long after his victory – a sexual disease sent him insane, and he died in 1913.

    OT, but this post shows why the Sage of Kettering should be designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

  • Alex

    This has happened before, in a sense, in that in the 1970s Baltimore city police department had a paid gun amnesty programme and at least one person set up a zip gun factory making them and trading them in. The cost of the materials and labour was less than the reward for the handed-in amateur firearm. Another person imported guns from nearby Philly and handed those in for the reward.

  • -XC

    I personally know one person who has shopped the turn-in line in NY buying firearms from people for a bit more than the cops would pay. Then selling the items at an evil gun show. He’s an FFL so entirely legal, even in benighted NY state.

    [Edit – OT a bit, but I just got my noise suppressor after a 374 day wait and a $250 tax stamp. Crazy. Bill Gates would never have to wait so long.]

  • Kirk

    The recent assassination of Shinzo Abe in Japan amply demonstrates the effectiveness of “gun control”.

    Sad reality is this: The problem doesn’t originate in the inanimate, it resides in the human mind. If you’re going to do violence to another human being, you’re going to do violence. Presence or absence of a weapon is meaningless–If you are determined to kill, you’ll find a way. History is replete with examples of improvised weapons, which are often more horrific than the purpose-built ones. Not to mention far less discriminatory about specific victims. Flammable liquid attacks are notorious for this, and unless you want to ban everything that can burn, well… Good luck with stopping it by making things illegal.

    Acts are what ought to be illegal, and they already are. The necessary thing is to acknowledge that the real source of evil is the human mind committing said evil, and that the only way to address that is via dealing with those individuals who demonstrate a willingness to commit acts of unnecessary violence appropriately, which should include methods ensuring extinction of the violent behavior.

    If you cavil at capital punishment or imprisonment, feeling that those are too inhumane, then I suggest that we might undertake a program of carefully and deliberately depriving violent offenders of the ability to conceive of committing violent acts. One such means would be to deprive them of oxygen until they suffer sufficient brain damage that they’re left in a vegetative state, rendering them harmless to others. Said moralists should be willing to volunteer their time to care for these vegetables, turning them to avoid bedsores, and cleaning them after they soil themselves.

    Or, you could just hang the bastards. Your choice. Banning guns or other “implements of destruction” ain’t going to work, because they’ll happily bash in heads with just the rocks or cobbles they find on the street. The problem lies in between their ears, not in their hands.

  • bobby b

    They ought to continue these buyback programs.

    I have a very nice M1911 Colt – a $1200 pistol – that I bought from someone standing in a buyback line in Minneapolis. The police were going to give her $100 and a happy-face button. I gave her $200. We both left happy. Those lines are like a bargain-basement gun swap meet, with sellers who have no idea what they’re selling.

  • Steven R

    I was in a class years ago and some pie-in-the-sky Freshman somehow got on the subject of gun control and how not having guns would somehow lead to love and peace and all that because after all, if no guns were around how could there be violence?

    I don’t think she appreciated that I mentioned the third story in the Bible, right after the creation of the universe and how humans were gifted with free will and kicked out of Eden for using said gift, was a straight-up murder using a rock.

  • Alex

    If you’re going to do violence to another human being, you’re going to do violence. Presence or absence of a weapon is meaningless–If you are determined to kill, you’ll find a way.

    Yes, indeed. Firearms are tools, like any other. You can kill with a power tool, or even a hand tool. This has led to the absurdity of age verification when buying almost anything from a hardware store in the UK. Recently I went to buy some small hacksaw replacement blades and stood at the checkout with my greying hair and grey beard and was asked to prove I was over 25 years of age. I had forgotten to bring any ID. This insanity about tools has only come in recently, the last thirty years or so, in more and more aggressive forms.

    These policies are also never challenged, they’re always assumed to be efficacious without any proof. England has had a “knife crime epidemic” particularly among kids in recent years which proves that these restrictions are not having the desired effect yet the answer is always more restrictions. The counterargument, I suppose, would be that there would have been more crime without such restrictions but I don’t think this is so. The dangerous kids who take a knife to school or on the street with the intention of using it were always going to do so. They will steal them, take them from unknowing relatives, or just fashion something from scrap metal. The problem as Kirk so rightly says is in their minds, as long as they feel like they need a weapon, they will furnish themselves with one and all the restrictions in the world will merely slow them down not stop them. In the meantime there’s a huge social nuisance to civil society in having access to useful tools restricted. I can’t help but think all the resources misspent on restricting retail of tools would be much better spent on putting these dangerous kids on knife and gun safety courses, solid courses that instil a proper sense of respect for the danger of the tool, educate on legitimate use and also educate on the danger of misuse not in a preachy way but just straight facts maybe with some reformed criminals to tell them that using a knife or gun in anger is not going to help them in any real way. We’d be better off for treating the whole of society in a mature way than endless nannying.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Even if you’re not clued in to the practicalities of 3-D printing, there are other ways. As an example, a writer called Gary F Hartman has a number of books on Amazon and other platforms dealing with building guns out of scrap metal and bits of junk.

    The recent murder of Shinzo Abe with an improvised weapon shows the sheer futility of gun control (aka ‘victim disarmament’ or ‘civilian disarmament’) because those sufficiently motivated or determined will always find a way.

  • Kirk

    I think there’s a psychological disconnect going on with the advocates of weapons “control”. The majority of these people that I’ve talked to seem to think that knives and guns spend the majority of their time whispering sweet nothings about killing and mayhem to their possessors, who would otherwise remain as harmless loving human beings.

    Somehow, the point that these people use weapons because they’re deviant arseholes never quite penetrates the minds of the ban-advocates. They’ve managed to reverse cause and effect, blaming the weapon rather than the wielder. This is the fundamental psychological problem these creatures have, and I speculate that it’s because they’re a combination of mentally deficient and psychologically disabled such that they cannot recognize human culpability for violence, even when they observe it. I’ve actually witnessed this in real life, in a woman I know who was nearly killed in a random street assault. She was somehow unable to process that another human being could do what the girl did to her, and blamed the entire sordid affair on her knife. “If her parents hadn’t made the knife available, she wouldn’t have done that to me…”

    She actually tried suing the parents for allowing their daughter access to a steak knife. The lawyer she engaged gently had to try and dissuade her from wasting her money, and strongly advised that the better target for the lawsuit was the psychologist/counselor who’d told said parents their daughter wasn’t dangerously schizophrenic and who had taken her off her meds.

    There are an awful lot of “nice people” out there who not only are unable to conceive of other human beings being willing and able to hurt them, but who actively deny the entire concept by mentally targeting the weapons those nasty people use, blaming them rather than the person.

    The very idea that other people might be a threat or would be actively seeking to harm or dominate them is anathema; they cannot even form the thought that such a thing is not only possible, but all too prevalent. The more you try to persuade these benighted idiots of the fallacies they’ve bought into, the more they dig in their heels and resist, because such a fundamental change in their mental conception of the world around them is almost impossible for them to make, and still retain sanity.

    I’ve seen that actually occur a time or two, and it never seems to result in a sane response. One of two things happens: Either the subject of that viewpoint-shattering turns catatonic, unable to process that others are willing to hurt them, or they turn aggressively and psychotically suspicious and paranoid about others, unable to rationally process and identify non-threatening people.

    It’s like the whole LGBTWTFBBQ spectrum; hoplophobic and aichmophobic types are generally going to exhibit other behavioral and mental issues. Few of the ones I’ve encountered are functional human beings capable of living in normal social situations; they’re almost always delusionally confident in their assessments and flawed understandings of the world around them, certain that every other human they meet is trustworthy and as decent as they (often, equally delusionally…) think they themselves are.

    Then, too, a lot of them are simply sociopaths masking their behavior, seeking to disarm their potential victims. Lots of those in government, sadly.

  • Steven R

    I think the disarmament crowd comes down to three types:

    1) Those who seek power and realized an armed populace might have something to say about it.
    2) Those who project their own insecurities about what they might do if armed onto everyone else (“if I had a gun I might shoot someone for something trivial” becomes “if normal people have guns they might shoot someone for something trivial”)
    3) Those naïve types that don’t seem to grasp that humanity is largely composed of bastard covered bastards with a bastard center that would just as soon kill you as look at you and sleep good that night.

  • Kirk

    @Steven R,

    I have to agree with you about the three types. I left out the ones who project their own self-knowledge about their personal deficiencies onto the rest of the world.

    I do think, however, that there’s a whole lot of mental illness associated with the type of personality that goes in for the entire “civil disarmament” idea. What makes me think that is the way they’ve moved on from guns to knives and other tools, failing to recognize the inherent failure of banning guns and other purpose-built weapons. Eventually, they’re going to have to ban people from walking around with hands, and you’ll start seeing them demand that everyone be locked into some sort of hand-cover before leaving the house. Or, outright amputations, coupled with mass-issue of “helper robots” or animals. Which will then be repurposed for slaughter, bringing on another round of ineffectual bans.

    The insanity is several-fold; first, they think the weapons or other inanimate objects are the proximate cause, and two, they fail to recognize and grasp the failure of banning them. Murders are still happening; the only real differences are that the potential victims are now conveniently disarmed and unable to effectively defend themselves. Likely a feature, not a bug for most of these mentally-deficient types, TBH…

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed – thank you for the complement Sor.

    Thank you for information Alex – yes indeed this is not just a New York Democrat problem, the Dems are just irrational in other places.

    Niel yes – the Democrats have always been “into” election fraud, after all like Rousseau they believe they-are-democracy – the “General Will”, not the silly “will of all” of individual voters, so if the voters make a “mistake” by voting the wrong way, the Dems kindly try and “correct the mistake”, and the media (and the education system) cover it up. After all, as far back as 1948 the Big Government Lyndon Johnson (“LBJ”) had a whole batch of voters voting for him in alphabetical order (yes alphabetical order) in his Senate race – rather than going to prison, Mr Johnson ended up as President of the United States.

    In 1960 some people asked themselves why the American people voted for a terminally ill drug abuser to be President of the United States (the sainted “JFK”) to which the simple answer is – the American people did not vote for him (as people such as Mayor Daley of Chicago knew very well).

    But, yes, modern technology and voting practices (such as mass “mail in ballots”) takes it to a whole new level.

    The 1960 election was actually close – I suspect that the 2020 election was a landslide victory for President Donald John Trump.

  • Phil B

    The “make something for gun buy backs” thing has been going on for a long while. Try this one – the “GB” in the title is for Gun BuyBack:



    Though it is rather sophisticated for a home made gun and is entirely workable. With one, not that I am advocating anything like this, of course, you could take a gun from a Police officer or similar.

    This blog has details of the shotgun used to assassinate Shinzo Abe,although most political assassinations in Japan are committed with knives (they have restrictions on swords – for obvious reasons – and firearms are so restricted as to be rarer than rocking horses manure):


    Some of the firearms range from quite sophisticated to “not even with a 100 yard piece of string would I fire one of those” but the basic knowledge and equipment is available. Where there is a will etc.