CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 2016

Up and Coming: 3D Printed Firearms and the Threats They Pose

IPD Article Image - Up and Coming: 3D Printed Firearms and the Threats They Pose

by Fiona Schultz, The Chronicle

Gaining access to small arms has been made easier thanks to a recent development in technology: the 3D printer. Worldwide, organizations and arms dealers have been mass producing firearms for the illegal sale of small arms. First designed back in 2013 by a gunsmith organization in Texas, the blueprints for the first 3D printed gun were released and could be accessed by anyone anywhere.

On November 30, DISEC welcomed an expert speaker into their committee to discuss these 3D firearms. “These weapons are less effective, crude, and prone to overheating,” the speaker said in response to a question about the quality of these firearms, “but they are still guns and they are still dangerous.” Though real firearms have been deemed more effective than their 3D printed counterparts, the 3D printing technology is still young and is subject to change. The potential advancement of this technology could result in more dangerous 3D printed firearms.

The subject of these firearms has become a heavily debated topic within DISEC. “We have to acknowledge that this is more of an issue in the present than an issue for the future,” the DISEC representative of Germany said in regards to the topic of 3D printed arms. Other representatives have expressed their concern with this technology.  “Despite the 3D printed small arms being a problem of the future, we need to take immediate action to stop it. We need to bring 3D printed guns into our definition of small arms,” the representative of Hungary argued.

Though the representatives of DISEC are not in agreement about this topic, every representative who spoke expressed worry about these 3D printed weapons. “These are still guns, and they can still kill people,” the DISEC representative of Latvia declared.

3D printers will continue to develop and advance. Whether these 3D printed weapons will become as dangerous as real firearms remains a question for the future.