Cody R Wilson has figured out how to print a semi-automatic rifle from the comfort of his own home. Now he’s putting all the information online so that others will join him.
This is a story about the rapid evolution of a technology that has forced the American legal system to play catch up. Cody Wilson, a 24 year old University of Texas Law student, is an advocate for the open source production of firearms using 3D printing technology. This makes him a highly controversial figure on both sides of the gun control issue. MOTHERBOARD sat down with Cody in Austin, Texas to talk about the constitution, the legal system, and to watch him make and test-fire a 3D-printed gun.
In a time when America’s collective memory is deeply scarred by mass-shootings, the issue of gun control still proves highly divisive; but whilst American congress argues for legislation on the matter, a small band of tech enthusiasts have been taking matters of control into their own hands, producing functional guns with 3D printers. ‘Click, Print, Gun’ follows the poster boy for the revolution.
Twenty-five year old Texan and unashamed media provocateur Cody Wilson is at the forefront of a growing fringe of gun printers and welcomes Motherboard into his world of fast-firing, homegrown weaponry that started life as a CAD file. ‘Click Print, Gun’ charts how 3D printing technology has allowed Wilson to amass a collection of modified gun parts, all fully convertible into automatic firearms with the capability of firing over 100 rounds continuously, a fact keenly demonstrated by Wilson throughout the film.
For Wilson, 3D technology and the free-sharing of information has dramatically changed the goal posts when speaking on gun control and whilst an ideological struggle on delineation is played out, he is making the most of this new dimension of gun ownership.
‘Click, Print, Gun’ questions Wilson’s practices and those of his company Defence Distributed, who provide free access to the designs needed for printing the parts, offering the fruits of their intellectual labour to anyone with a decent connection speed. Is this finally the time lawmakers must pay attention to controversial characters such as Wilson or does a line need to be drawn under a potentially dangerous bastardisation of technology?