Man 3D prints poison dart gun to protest State Department’s weapon blueprint laws

man 3d prints a dart gun to protest proposed law 3dprintedgun
A self-titled composer/inventor/tinkerer just decided to take on the State Department by 3D-printing a dart gun, all in the name of protecting the first and second amendments — aka free speech and the right to bear arms.

Peter Aralic, who should now add “protester” to his resume, took to his 3D printer in response to a recent State Department law proposal which would make the online distribution of gun blueprints illegal. Aralic claims this proposal — which itself is hidden among an update to the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulation — has the ability to arbitrarily ban some weapon designs over others, and will put unnecessary constraints on freedom of speech.

To prove this, Aralic posted a short video to his YouTube channel (posted below) calling out the proposed law and exploiting one of its inherent loopholes. In the video, Aralic first points out the fact air guns aren’t considered firearms under federal law, which mean’s that even if the proposed law were put into effect, it would still be completely legal to distribute air gun blueprints online.

Instead of getting caught up in the political debate, Aralic decides to show off his own design of a .40-caliber poison dart gun because, well, he can. The design, comprised of a 3D-printed gun body, a 3D-printed piston, and several rubber bands, looks awfully similar to a real gun, but remains unaddressed by the recent proposed law due to its “air gun” status. After a brief explanation about the construction of the dart gun, Aralic displays the firing power of his creation by obliterating a balloon with a .40-caliber dart. Needless to say, Aralic’s creation toes a very fine line between being a simple air gun, and being what federal law deems to be a full-fledged firearm.

Those against the publication of weapon schematics online say these blueprints actually classify as operational objects — as opposed to free speech — which make them eligible for regulation. As it stands currently, the State Department intends to require approval for the online publication and distribution of data pertaining to the construction of any weapon. It also put forth the notion that publishing documents related to the construction of such armaments would be equivalent to illegally exporting weapons, and that these actions would not fall under the protective umbrella of free speech.

However, a recently filed lawsuit — from famed 3D-printed weapon maker Cody Wilson and his company Defense Distributed — aims to challenge the stance of the State Department on these matters, claiming it violates its first amendment rights. The lawsuit, which effectively pits advocates for free speech against those in favor of gun control, won’t likely reach a conclusion soon, but a decision on the matter should serve as the definitive ruling on whether 3D-printed weapon schematics are indeed free speech or subject to censorship.

Considering few issues rile people up like free speech and gun control, expect a lengthy — and very heated — debate until the judge’s ruling comes down.

Emerging Tech

This exotic new material somehow gets thicker when stretched

Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Leeds have discovered a synthetic material which actually gets thicker the more it’s stretched. Here are some of the things it could be used for.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.