PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The First Amendment Implications of 3D-Printed Guns

Wikimedia Commons
The Liberator 3D-printed gun designed by Defense Distributed

We’re exploring an interesting technology story that’s been in the national, and international news: 3D printed guns. A Texas company called Defense Distributed wants to publish plans it created that allow people with certain kinds of 3D printers to make their own guns at home. A federal judge temporarily blocked the release last week after a number of states filed suit, arguing that the technology would allow criminals to build untraceable firearms. But, it might already be too late, the plans were downloaded more than 100-thousand times before being they were pulled and are already available elsewhere on the internet. Legal experts say this situation is pretty much uncharted territory with First Amendment implications. We’re joined by one of them, Dr. Pamela Seay, who is a professor of justice studies at Florida Gulf Coast University.