3D Printers and Guns
As I’ve explained before, Deven and I are writing an article about the patent implications of 3D printing. We are not planning to address the issue of using these devices to make guns, but (speaking just for myself) I thought I’d make an observation about that in the wake of the crime in Connecticut.
In speaking to engineers and computer scientists as part of my end of this research, I’ve been told that we are about five years away from people being able to make their own (unregistered) guns and ammunition at home. Now initially these will not be as good as standard guns, but this innovation will still pose a difficult regulatory challenge. Sometimes technology resets the terms of legal debate, and we may be closing in on a point where limiting gun ownership will be an option with diminishing returns. Changing the gun culture, though, is another matter.