The current debate over a Texas company’s “right” to allow anyone to download blueprints to its 3D-printed guns is following the same well-trodden terrain as every firearms fight for the past few decades: differing interpretations of the Second Amendment.
Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed and the creator of the first working plastic gun in 2013, argues it’s about every American’s right to bear arms. “I believe that I am championing the Second Amendment in the 21st century,” he told “CBS This Morning.”
On the other side are the federal judge who is temporarily blocking the release of the blueprints, the eight state attorneys general who sued Wilson’s company from putting the designs online and gun control advocates across the country who want the government to do more to regulate firearms.
This misses the point. Government regulation and the gun industry are not natural enemies. They have a historical synergy that long predates Supreme Court rulings on the constitutionality of gun control legislation. It was not until 1886 that the Supreme Court even addressed the federal government’s ability to regulate gun ownership. For most of the nation’s first century, the government perceived its constitutional duty as providing guns – not protecting an open-ended “right to bear arms.”
My research on the history of the government’s intervention in the arms industry suggests a return to its role as guarantor of the gun trade would allow it to do more to reduce gun violence and mass shootings without trampling on the Second Amendment.
Source: Print-your-own gun debate ignores how the US government long provided and regulated firearms : The Conversation