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The first move against Cody Wilson

State Department demands Defense Distributed take down files. From Forbes:

On Thursday, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance demanding that he take down the online blueprints for the 3D-printable “Liberator” handgun that his group released Monday, along with nine other 3D-printable firearms components hosted on the group’s website The government says it wants to review the files for compliance with arms export control laws known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR. By uploading the weapons files to the Internet and allowing them to be downloaded abroad, the letter implies Wilson’s high-tech gun group may have violated those export controls.

Love the way they just order files taken down because of a bunch of “may haves” and “wants to reviews.”

The signal has already been beamed, people. Already been beamed.

If you have any of the banned files, Mike Vanderboegh would like to have them to … continue enhancing the signal. UPDATE: After just a few hours, Mike got copies of all the banned files — “20 times over.”

Yeah, that signal ain’t gonna be jammed …

UPDATE 2: Several sources that were publicly posting Liberator (and other DefCad gun-related) files have taken them down in the last 24 hours. “Advice of lawyers” and all that. Robb Allen still has The Liberator. I presume Sipsey Street will soon have that and all the other banned files. People more techie than me (e.g. Brad at are working to ensure that files being distributed are the unaltered, verifiable real deal.

(Tip o’ hat to JB.)


  1. IndividualAuienceMember
    IndividualAuienceMember May 9, 2013 7:27 pm

    “The signal has already been beamed, people. Already been beamed.”

    … I just felt like that needed to be echoed. ( …)

  2. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember May 9, 2013 7:31 pm

    Oh, yeesh, no wonder my comment needed to be moderated, I can’t spell!
    Add reason number five of when not to comment: after going to the dentist.

  3. Claire
    Claire May 9, 2013 7:32 pm

    Enjoy the high, IAM. And I enjoy the echo.

  4. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal May 9, 2013 8:02 pm

    I am glad I downloaded the files for the Liberator when I did. And I have shared them in various places. That barn door can be shut, but the horse already left and impregnated fillies as far as the eye can see. Suck it, control freaks.

  5. jed
    jed May 9, 2013 8:10 pm

    Reminds me of David After the Dentist.

    And … “Guy killed me Mal. Killed me with a sword.”

  6. Pre-press veteran
    Pre-press veteran May 10, 2013 4:37 am

    Files? What files?

  7. Pre-press veteran
    Pre-press veteran May 10, 2013 4:38 am

    oh… and I need to add:

    “What difference does it make now?”

    just because I’m feeling a bit smart-alecky today and fed up with BS.

  8. Matt, another
    Matt, another May 10, 2013 5:54 am

    If He had not gotten a manufacturing FFL, the ITAR probably would not apply. Then it would be a 1st amandment issue.

  9. Brad R
    Brad R May 10, 2013 6:51 am

    Would someone who obtained the files directly from Defense Distributed be kind enough to post an md5sum of the download? I’m already seeing files *of different sizes* showing up on bittorrent, claiming to be the Liberator designs.

  10. Mark Call
    Mark Call May 10, 2013 7:00 am

    “If He had not gotten a manufacturing FFL…”

    Agreed. You can’t ask for Big Brother’s permission, without succumbing to Big Bro’s Evil Jurisdiction.

    Free people do not need to ask permission to exercise Rights.

  11. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth May 10, 2013 7:07 am

    How cute. Leviathan apparently has a jones for another whuppin.

    As usual, they’ve earned it, the bastards, and I hope they choke on it even more than their historical forebears.

    My heart goes out to everyone involved with DEFCAD; I’ve no doubt that they knew full well this day would come, but I do not envy their position now. Just being involved, to say nothing of being out front like Wilson, takes a pretty jumbo set of stones, and their commitment and dash has been well-noted and appreciated by people they may never meet.

  12. Scott
    Scott May 10, 2013 7:44 am

    Cody Wilson has the distinct advantage of being in Texas (and being young.) I know at least three high-powered lawyers who would be thrilled to pieces to take his case, should he not already have a raft of high-powered lawyers, which I suspect he does through his UT law school network. There will be more crawling out of the woodwork all over the nation, as well.

  13. Matt, another
    Matt, another May 10, 2013 9:14 am

    I am not sure Wilson actually received the requested FFL. According to an article I just read, his request was turned down.

  14. Kel
    Kel May 10, 2013 9:36 am

    I’d bet good silver that I could make an “undetectable” .22 from a chunk of hardwood dowel, PVC pipe, rubber bands, and a ceramic firing pin. Be about the size of 2 D-cells. Probably wouldn’t even blow up.

  15. David
    David May 10, 2013 10:29 am

    People have been making home made guns since there have been guns, it’s not that hard really, people have made guns in prisons, and composite materials are the wave of the future, Ronald Reagan be damned.

  16. G.W.F.
    G.W.F. May 10, 2013 10:40 am

    “This file has been removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.”

    Hmmmm….. how can that be? Didn’t I just hear a speech:

    “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.”

    noun, plural tyr·an·nies.
    1. arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority. Synonyms: despotism, absolutism, dictatorship.
    2. the government or rule of a tyrant or absolute ruler.

    Nah, nothing to see here…..

  17. Dana
    Dana May 10, 2013 10:47 am

    Guess it’s time to thank John Gilmore again for financing the initial development of bittorrent. Also time for another trip to Make It Labs ( Also note, Linux users can easily download/install 3D print drivers/software for free at — even if you don’t actually have one of the Makerbot products physically attached to your PC — so you can open/view STL files.

  18. LarryA
    LarryA May 10, 2013 12:19 pm

    [I’d bet good silver that I could make an “undetectable” .22 from a chunk of hardwood dowel, PVC pipe, rubber bands, and a ceramic firing pin. Be about the size of 2 D-cells. Probably wouldn’t even blow up.]

    But how would you cut rifling in a PVC barrel? If a handgun doesn’t have a rifled barrel, it’s UNLEGAL!! 😉

    BTW, a common car radio antenna is about .22″ in diameter.

    It’s amazing that there are people who think, against all the evidence of history, that they can ban anything, particularly 19th century technology. Or in the case of gunpowder, 6th century.

  19. Kel
    Kel May 10, 2013 2:06 pm

    Use the hardwood for the barrel, sliding inside the PVC, firing pin built into the pipe cap. The grain of the wood=very fine rifling.

    Besides, is not handgun, is pocket cannon.

    So there. 🙂

  20. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed May 10, 2013 2:24 pm

    Y’know, I have been watching all the hoo ha over this 3_D printing thing for a while.

    The technology is a game changer…no question.

    But not because you can print a gun from it…..The ‘gun’ that was made from this was thoroughly questionable in utility. Ya, it would shoot a SINGLE very wimpy 380…and there are claims of doing 9mm…got doubts about 9mm unless its loaded down…too much pressure. Its a single shot, no rifling.

    But I have to ask the question…so what?

    For the cost of the 3D printer, you can buy a serviceable lathe and milling machine. Blueprints are to be found for just about anything you can imagine. With those tools, A person with only a small amount of knowledge can make all sorts of mayhem facilitating objects…machine guns and suppressors, just for openers.

    OK…anybody with the 3K cost of the printer can print a machine that can fire a single round… special skills required, except for knowing how to set up the printer.

    Big frikin deal.

    The hoo ha is about control….not guns. The game changing tech is that NOW a model can be made of *anything*. That model can be used to make castings……in some cases parts that can be used directly. The game changer is that this information can be sent around the world in a flash…..and THAT, TPTB simply cannot allow.

    Really useful things can be made from the printers that are in the 6 figure range…maybe the price will come down on those, maybe not.

    As was pointed out, zip guns are really easy to make….couple of pieces of pipe, a few odds and ends, and BINGO…slide shotgun….

    It ain’t about the guns….its about controlling useful tech.

  21. PrePressVeteran
    PrePressVeteran May 10, 2013 2:53 pm

    So our PTB have a problem with knowledge, tech and people sharing it? How long till they pull the big Internet censorship plug?

  22. Woody
    Woody May 10, 2013 2:53 pm

    Absolutely right, it ain’t about guns. I believe Cody Wilson has made that plain more than once.

    The big potential advantage to 3D printing is allowing unskilled people to make things that previously only skilled people could manage. The tech is young and crude. Tomorrow? Well, stay tuned. The government isn’t going to like this technology at all. How can you ban or restrict something that can be produced by any completely unskilled person in their living room?

    I think the government has inadvertently done the best thing possible to get the Liberator files the widest possible distribution. How many here didn’t bother to download it until the feds took down the files on the Defense Distributed web site?

  23. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau May 10, 2013 6:27 pm

    [For the cost of the 3D printer, you can buy a serviceable lathe and milling machine.]

    All the more delicious the feds are getting their panties in a bind about this thing. Anything that makes them look ridiculous is good.

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