(CBS SF) — With a 3D printer and enough thermoplastic, you can mass produce plastic assault rifles from the convenience of your own home without going through a rigorous background check.
Advanced 3D-printing technology now allows for people to make durable guns. And as far as current federal laws are concerned, it’s totally legal.READ MORE: PG&E Charged With Manslaughter For Sparking Zogg Fire That Killed 4
Medium writer Keith Mizokami documented his experience building not just any regular firearm, but a full-on assault rifle.
All it took was three hours and some light tools.
“I was an AR-15 grease monkey,” Mizokami wrote. “During the course of several projects, I’d built an entire rifle from scratch. But I’d never built the lower receiver of an AR-15. By U.S. government standards, I’d be manufacturing a firearm.”
The missing 20 percent he needed to make a functioning assault rifle is controlled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Buying what’s known as the lower receiver requires a background check. You can build your own, free from government oversight, but it’s a tedious process that requires expert knowledge and precision.
Now, a group dedicated to 3D-printing firearms announced the development of a design for a Colt CM901 rifle’s lower receiver — and it’s available for download off the Internet.READ MORE: COVID: SF Health Officials Say No Exemptions For Larger Indoor Events, Affecting Wiggins, Warriors
For those who haven’t picked up an assault rifle in the last few years, this Colt is a big, powerful weapon that has a design allowing soldiers to swap out parts, including the “lower receiver” which allows the weapon to fire various sizes of ammunition.
Colt writes, the “CM901 is a multi-caliber platform that offers the modern warfigher much needed versatility without sacrificing function.”
The group PrintedFirearm.com used a $500 XYZ Da Vinci printer–which is cheap compared to most 3D printers–to build the lower portion that loads and fires the bullets.
CM901 is a step above the AR-15, capable of firing the more powerful 7.62 millimeter bullet for greater range and killing power.
A video shows the thermoplastic gun undergoing a few seconds of rapid fire, but it’s not clear if the lower receiver would hold up for any longer than that.MORE NEWS: Deputies Arrest 20-Year-Old Man Who Strangled Woman at Millbrae Hotel
Regardless, printing lower receivers is a huge step for gun enthusiasts looking to simplify the gun building process in their own home, completely undetected by the government.