You may remember Cody Wilson from our previous coverage of his group's attempts to 3-D-print parts for AR-15 assault rifles. Well, in a slightly confusing move for someone whose aim is to stick it to the man, he's gone and and acquired a federal firearms license.
Having a Type 7 federal firearms license means that Mr Wilson -- and his little gang of elfin helpers -- is allowed to manufacture and sell firearms. Basically, Defence Distributed (the group of 'crypto-anarchists' who design and print gun components and magazines) is now the same as any other gun manufacturer, only the guns that it produces will fall apart after a couple hundred rounds have been put through them.
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but as I understand it, the aim of Defence Distributed (one which we didn't exactly agree with) was to open-source the firearms manufacturing process, allowing all and sundry to get their hands on weapons. This license doesn't do that -- all it does is mean that ill-informed people can buy probably-unsafe parts for weapons which, if Defence Distributed's testing is anything to go by, will probably fall apart given particularly mild weather.
Ok, so I suppose they might be able to manufacture cheaper-than-usual weapons, which will help the proliferation of firearms in the US (yay!). But honestly, when out gun-shopping, who actually thinks that buying a plastic gun from a law student is a better idea than, say, using the US' plentiful supply of real gun shops? [Ars Technica]