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posted by janrinok on Wednesday February 25 2015, @04:56PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the it-could-be-used-to-make,-well,-anything! dept.

FedEx is refusing to ship Texas nonprofit Defense Distributed's computer controlled mill, the Ghost Gunner. The $1,500 tool can carve aluminum objects from digital designs, including AR-15 lower receivers from scratch or more quickly from legally obtainable "80 percent lowers".

When the machine was revealed last October, Defense Distributed's pre-orders sold out in 36 hours. But now FedEx tells WIRED it's too wary of the legal issues around homemade gunsmithing to ship the machine to customers. "This device is capable of manufacturing firearms, and potentially by private individuals," FedEx spokesperson Scott Fiedler wrote in a statement. "We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated."

But buying, selling, or using the Ghost Gunner isn't illegal, nor is owning an AR-15 without a serial number, says Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA and the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. "This is not that problematic," he says. "Federal law does not prohibit individuals from making their own firearms at home, and that includes AR-15s."

Defense Distributed's founder Cody Wilson argues that rather than a legal ambiguity, FedEx is instead facing up to the political gray area of enabling the sale of new, easily accessible tools that can make anything-including deadly weapons. "They're acting like this is legal when in fact it's the expression of a political preference," says Wilson. "The artifact that they're shipping is a CNC mill. There's nothing about it that is specifically related to firearms except the hocus pocus of the marketing." Wilson, whose radically libertarian group has pursued projects ranging from 3-D printed guns to untraceable cryptocurrency, says he chose to ship his Ghost Gunner machines with FedEx specifically because the company has a special NRA firearm industry membership. But when he told a local FedEx representative what he'd be shipping, he says the sales rep responded that he'd need to check with a superior. "This is no big deal, right? It's just a mill," Wilson says he told his FedEx contact. "You guys ship guns. You've shipped 3-D printers and mills, right? You'll ship a drill press, right? Same difference."

Related Stories

Ghost Gunner Software Update Allows the Milling of an M1911 Handgun 91 comments

The Ghost Gunner has been updated to allow the CNC milling of a much more popular and accessible form of firearm: a handgun:

For the past five years, Cody Wilson has applied every possible advance in digital manufacturing technology to the mission of undermining government attempts at gun control. First he created the world's first 3-D printed gun, a deadly plastic weapon anyone could print at home with a download and a few clicks. Then he started selling a computer-controlled milling machine designed to let anyone automatically carve out the body of an untraceable AR-15 from a semifinished chunk of aluminum, upgrading his provocations from plastic to metal. Now his latest advance in home firearm fabrication allows anyone to make an object designed to defy the most basic essence of gun control: A concealable, untraceable, and entirely unregulated metal handgun.

On Sunday, Wilson's gun rights advocacy group, Defense Distributed, announced a new release of software for his computer-controlled milling machine known as the Ghost Gunner. The new code allows the 1-foot-cubed tabletop machine—which uses a spinning bit to carve three-dimensional shapes with minute precision—to not only produce untraceable bodies of AR-15s but to carve out the aluminum frame of an M1911 handgun, the popular class of semiautomatic pistols that includes the Colt 45 and similar weapons. Wilson says he plans to follow up soon with software for producing regulation-free Glocks and other handgun models to follow.

Wilson's goal now, he says, is to do for small arms what Defense Distributed did for AR-15s when it first released the $1,500 Ghost Gunner milling machine exactly three years ago to the day: Give people the ability to make a lethal weapon at home with no regulation whatsoever.

M1911 pistol.

This story came out before the mass shooting in Las Vegas, on the third anniversary of the initial release of the Ghost Gunner, just in case you were wondering.

Also at Ars Technica:

"It's a certain type of person who builds and enjoys an AR-15—that's a lot of gun, and most people don't feel the need to have a big ol' battle rifle," Wilson says. "But we believe lots of people are interested in the conversation about an untraceable, concealable handgun. It's been on the roadmap the whole time for this project. It's just always been a question of how we get there, and it ended up being very, very difficult—kinda like the brass ring of the project, if you will."

Previously: FedEx Refuses to Ship Defense Distributed's Ghost Gunner CNC Mill
Man Who Used CNC Mill to Manufacture AR-15 "Lowers" Sentenced to 41 Months


Original Submission

[Updated] Defense Distributed Releasing Gun Plans, President Trump "Looking Into" It 76 comments

Trump says public availability of 3D-printed guns 'doesn't seem to make much sense'

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he is "looking into" the availability of plans for the 3D printing of guns, writing on Twitter that he had already been in touch with the NRA on the issue.

"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" the president wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.

After a years-long legal battle, Defense Distributed, a Texas-based group, has announced plans to release instructions on Wednesday for guns that can be created by a 3-D printer, including a handgun and parts for a semi-automatic assault rifle. Although plans were not supposed to be available until Wednesday, instructions have already begun to appear online for download, CNN reported Tuesday.

Federal Judge Imposes Preliminary Injunction Against Defense Distributed's DEFCAD 45 comments

Judge allows temporary ban on 3D-printed gun files to continue

A federal judge in Seattle has ruled against Defense Distributed, imposing a preliminary injunction requiring the company to keep its 3D-printed gun files offline for now.

US District Judge Robert Lasnik found in his Monday ruling that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed based on their argument that the Department of State, in allowing for a modification of federal export law, had unwittingly run afoul of a different law, the Administrative Procedure Act. In essence, the judge found that because the Department of State did not formally notify Congress when it modified the United States Munitions List, the previous legal settlement that Defense Distributed struck with the Department of State—which allowed publication of the files—is invalid.

As Ars has reported, Defense Distributed is the Texas-based company involved in a years-long lawsuit with the Department of State over publication of those files and making them available to foreigners. The company runs DEFCAD, perhaps the best-known online repository of gun files.

[...] Judge Lasnik's ruling today only briefly addressed the fact that the files are already available on numerous sites, including Github, The Pirate Bay, and more. These files have circulated online since their original publication back in 2013. (Recently, new mirrors of the files have begun to pop up.) "It is not clear how available the nine files are: the possibility that a cybernaut with a BitTorrent protocol will be able to find a file in the dark or remote recesses of the Internet does not make the posting to Defense Distributed's site harmless," he wrote.

Will legalnauts with gavels smack down this injunction?

Previously: Landmark Legal Shift for 3D-Printed Guns
[Updated] Defense Distributed Releasing Gun Plans, President Trump "Looking Into" It

Related: The $1,200 Machine That Lets Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home
FedEx Refuses to Ship Defense Distributed's Ghost Gunner CNC Mill


Original Submission

Landmark Legal Shift for 3D-Printed Guns 92 comments

For those in the US with a combined interest in 3D-Printers, intersections of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, and legal precedents; Cody Wilson has been fighting the US Government for half a decade.

Short version: after Wilson uploaded his 3D pistol plans to his site, over 100,000 people downloaded it - this drew the attention of the US authorities, who tried to use the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to force a take-down.

The authorities argued that by posting the 3D printer plans for a firearm, Mr. Wilson was effectively exporting firearms, and subject to federal regulation. Eventually the Department of Justice dropped the case, paving the way for DIY'ers to publish such things freely.

The article cites 'promises' made by DoJ to move the regulations to another department.

Wired's article: A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora's Box for DIY Guns (archive)

Related: The $1,200 Machine That Lets Anyone Make a Metal Gun at Home
Japanese Gun Printer Goes to Jail
Suspected 3D-Printed Gun Parts and Plastic Knuckles Seized in Australia
FedEx Refuses to Ship Defense Distributed's Ghost Gunner CNC Mill
Man Who Used CNC Mill to Manufacture AR-15 "Lowers" Sentenced to 41 Months
Ghost Gunner Software Update Allows the Milling of an M1911 Handgun


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ikanreed on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:06PM

    by ikanreed (3164) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:06PM (#149571) Journal

    From point to point within the United States of America, they do. Everything else they ship internationally, but much of the rest of the world doesn't view firearms as just another purchase.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:13PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:13PM (#149576) Homepage

      The item in question is a CNC mill, not a goddamn gun.

      Just wait until you order your 3-D printer looking forward to prototyping that new mouse design of yours only to be rejected shipment because the item you are ordering could very possibly used to make something that just may hurt somebody.

      And before you brag that you're not in the U.S., our influence means that your country will handle such situations similarly if they don't already, and misguided inventors and other useful idiots who are in favor of gun control are now on the short-end of the shit-stick. Ain't poetic justice a bitch?

      Freedom means that other people are free to do things you don't like, and as long as they're not fucking with you, you shouldn't give a shit what their hobbies are and what they do with them.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dyingtolive on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:18PM

        by dyingtolive (952) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:18PM (#149583)

        Makes me wonder if they're fine with shipping firearm quality metal ingots, lest someone on the other side have a shop with a mill already set up.

        --
        Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by VLM on Wednesday February 25 2015, @06:06PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 25 2015, @06:06PM (#149610)

          firearm quality metal ingot

          Machinists would call that bar stock as its usually in long bars of various shapes.

          Marketing people and total noobs call it "billet" which is a technical term for something entirely different yet still "sorta metal" related. Its a shibboleth indicating noob-ness and gullibility.

          And fedex does get all bent out of shape about metal orders, there are quite a few rules about total mass and dimensions that they don't like.

          I needed a big (expensive) slab of brass for a project once any they are not amused at something the shape of brick that weighs as much as a salt bag.

          This is the only time I've ever heard of fedex caring about guns. I don't gunsmith but everyone who machines knows someone who gunsmiths, and I've never heard anything about barrel chamber reamers being forbidden and those tools are used specific on various firearms. I think its Brownells who rents stuff like that like old fashioned postal netflix for specialized firearm tools.

          UPS certainly doesn't care about my machine tools or expendables or metal as long as various weight and length regs are respected.

          • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Thursday February 26 2015, @05:43AM

            by mhajicek (51) on Thursday February 26 2015, @05:43AM (#149859)

            That's a good point. If Fedex doesn't want your business, give it to UPS.

            --
            The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by ikanreed on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:19PM

        by ikanreed (3164) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:19PM (#149586) Journal

        I am in the US, just not an abject moron. Sorry for your problems.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by evk on Wednesday February 25 2015, @07:09PM

        by evk (597) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @07:09PM (#149636)

        I do agree that it seems rather silly not to ship a CNC milling machine within USA. Since 1. It's not a weapon. 2. Weapons are more or less freely available in the country anyway.

        However, gun control laws are a much more tricky question. It's the "as long as they're not fucking with you" part that mess things up. We are not living in our own isolated universes and your hobbies might cause problems for others in lots of ways, even if that's not your intention. So some things a society must regulate.

        I agree that the world is currently heading in the wrong direction regarding freedom, but absolute freedom is simply not possible.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26 2015, @03:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26 2015, @03:44AM (#149833)

        ... and as long as they're not fucking with you, you shouldn't give a shit...

        That's an awfully big "as long as", isn't it?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:43PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:43PM (#149598) Journal

      "You guys ship guns"
       
      No, they don't: per FedEx's Prohibited Items Policy [fedex.com]

      Firearms 1.Carrier will transport and deliver firearms as defined by the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, between areas served in the U.S., but only between: i.Licensed importers; licensed manufacturers; licensed dealers; licensed collectors; law enforcement agencies of the U.S. or any department or agency thereof; and law enforcement agencies of any state or any department, agency or political subdivisions thereof;
        ii.Where not prohibited by local, state and federal law, from individuals to licensed importers, licensed manufacturers or licensed dealers (and return of same).
       
       
      I'm guessing that standard has not been met...

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by ikanreed on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:47PM

        by ikanreed (3164) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:47PM (#149601) Journal

        Oh, so I oversimplified. In the US, with proper permitting then.

        I apologize, I suspected that, but didn't want to overstate my case.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by AnonTechie on Wednesday February 25 2015, @07:58PM

      by AnonTechie (2275) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @07:58PM (#149658) Journal

      You guys ship Microsoft Products. Aren't they way more harmful ??

      --
      Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
      • (Score: 3) by c0lo on Thursday February 26 2015, @04:05AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 26 2015, @04:05AM (#149840) Journal

        You guys ship Microsoft Products. Aren't they way more harmful ??

        Mmmm... I don't know.

        A computer lets you make more mistakes faster then any other human invention in history...with the possible exception of handguns and tequila.
        Mitch Ratcliffe

        Now, this quote is old enough (1992 [google.com]), but not that old as to discount the presence of Microsoft products on a computer.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:20PM (#149587)

    are pretty much impervious to computer viruses. But I'm sure Microsoft is figuring out a way to screw that up this very moment.

  • (Score: 3) by physicsmajor on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:25PM

    by physicsmajor (1471) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:25PM (#149589)

    The headline is unnecessarily inflammatory. FedEx says simply they aren't sure of the legal implications across all jurisdictions, so they are declining to ship "until we know more about how it will be regulated."

    The law for this particular item and producing firearms for personal use are quite well established. They should come to the right conclusion in fairly short order. That statement just says they want to be cautious and let their legal team cover all the bases so they aren't exposed to unexpected liabilities. The guys in charge may not have known about 80% lower receivers.

    Now, if they just sit on it (making it a de facto refusal) or change their tune to outright refusal for extra-legal reasons, then by all means reach for the pitchforks and inflammatory headlines. Just not yet.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by schad on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:42PM

      by schad (2398) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @05:42PM (#149597)

      Do you actually really, truly believe FedEx's story? This is a CNC mill. While this particular one is being shipped for the primary purpose of making AR15 lower receivers, it's not limited to that. It can make anything you can make on a similar-sized CNC mill. FedEx probably ships at least a couple hundred garden-variety CNC mills every year.

      No, this is plainly legal. FedEx is just terrified that, as the resident corporate behemoth with deep pockets, they're the ones who'll end up in the crosshairs. Just as Obama has decided never to allow Keystone XL to happen and is using bureaucracy to make it seem otherwise, FedEx has decided never to ship the Ghost Gunner and is using the government as cover. I don't have a problem with their decision, honestly. It's their company and they can ship, or not ship, what they want. I have a problem with their cowardly refusal to admit it.

      • (Score: 2) by physicsmajor on Wednesday February 25 2015, @06:56PM

        by physicsmajor (1471) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @06:56PM (#149633)

        Actually, truly? No, I don't buy it. I am very well acquainted with the issues at hand.

        As I said, I am willing to extend them the benefit of the doubt for a limited time. Enough for legal to educate leadership. If they sit on it or refuse for reasons that have no basis in law, then (again, as I said) it'll be time to get inflammatory with justification.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday February 25 2015, @06:12PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 25 2015, @06:12PM (#149615)

      I was going to use Brownells as an example of a gunsmithing parts supplier that ships fedex, but oddly enough their help pages only list USPS and UPS no fedex options. Interesting. Maybe fedex is staffed with hoplophobes.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by dcollins on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:26PM

      by dcollins (1168) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:26PM (#149671) Homepage

      Bullshit. Let's look at the actual paragraph in the article:

      The US Postal Service didn’t immediately respond to questions about whether they would allow the shipment of the Ghost Gunner or other potential gunsmithing devices. A UPS spokesperson wrote in a statement that the company will only ship guns and gun parts between holders of a federal firearms license. In a follow-up statement, it confirmed that it won’t ship the Ghost Gunner either. “UPS reserves the right to refuse to provide transportation service for, among other reasons, any shipments that create legal, safety or operational concerns,” writes spokesperson Dan Mackin. “UPS is continuing to evaluate such concerns with regard to the transportation of milling machines used to produce operable firearms but, at this point in time, will not accept such devices for transportation.”1 2

      1 Updated 2/24/2015 3:15pm EST with a statement from UPS.
      2 Updated 2/25/2015 11:25am EST with a second statement from UPS.

      So first of all UPS tried to dodge the story by remaining silent; then once Wired ran the article they felt pressured to respond. First update was distraction BS about their gun policy, not actually mentioning the mill device. Second attempt actually did finally reference the device in question; but left ambiguous whether the problem was legal, safety, operational, or something else. (Compare to: unspecified "intellectual property" claims.) Second update used the phrase "continuing to evaluate", weasel-words to vent aside public pressure, when they have no real process internally to possibly change this. The policy is "will not accept such devices for transportation", and no date, individual, or department is identified as working towards any other decision. In fact this is merely the third very blatant in sequence attempt to dodge the whole issue by fiat.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25 2015, @06:44PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25 2015, @06:44PM (#149629)

    I desperately hope that the plan to privatize or otherwise get rid of the USPS does not happen, because I really don't want to have to worry about packages being arbitrarily refused when I try to mail them, nor having to worry about finding a shipper that will actually ship to the intended destination for a reasonable price.

    As for, "This is no big deal, right? It's just a mill," it would be "just a mill" except you've made it abundantly clear that its intended purpose is to create firearms, even specifically choosing the "NRA firearm industry membership" shipper to ship it. So no, its not "just a mill" because you've made it out to be anything but.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Wednesday February 25 2015, @07:40PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @07:40PM (#149648) Journal

      You failed to read the part in TFS wherein it is explained that the difference between this mill and any other is "marketing hocus pocus" -- Seriously, what Cody was hoping for was this exact situation where FedEx refuses to ship. It gives him a story, gets him national news coverage, and puts his pet issue in the spotlight. How many people would never have heard of his CNC but for the shipping issue? I count myself in that group even though I've been actively looking at getting or building a CNC machine for myself -- Cody's CNC hasn't turned up in my search results at all for some reason. But Cody doesn't care about actually selling machines, he cares about pushing an agenda regarding gun control, and FedEx blindly fell into his trap.

      I understand what Cody is trying to point out, that gun control is futile, but we live in a world run by sociopathic nightmares and I fear that instead of just more gun control legislation, we'll be seeing all kinds of controls on CNC mills and 3D printers. I highly doubt that politicians will just back down and so I think Cody might be making the situation much much worse. Or maybe that is what he wants -- when everyone with access to a CNC or 3D printer has to get a Federal background check, maybe people will bitch. But I doubt it, only geeks and artists are really interested in these things right now and we just aren't most people. Cody is fucking things up.

      • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by khallow on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:02PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:02PM (#149660) Journal

        I understand what Cody is trying to point out, that gun control is futile, but we live in a world run by sociopathic nightmares and I fear that instead of just more gun control legislation, we'll be seeing all kinds of controls on CNC mills and 3D printers. I highly doubt that politicians will just back down and so I think Cody might be making the situation much much worse. Or maybe that is what he wants -- when everyone with access to a CNC or 3D printer has to get a Federal background check, maybe people will bitch. But I doubt it, only geeks and artists are really interested in these things right now and we just aren't most people. Cody is fucking things up.

        Notice how it's not the "sociopathic nightmares" who fuck things up despite all the less than endearing things you say about them.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:19PM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:19PM (#149668) Journal

          sociopathic nightmare == politician

          Thought that was obvious.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:22PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:22PM (#149704) Journal
            It was obvious. My point is that you have all these mean things to say about politicians/sociopathic nightmares, but you keep blaming Cody for the actions of those politicians. You might not have noticed this, but Cody is not the politicians.

            If the law is so unstable that a single loudmouth can create reams of bad law, then we're only a flimsy pretext away from whatever the politicians want. They don't need a real world Cody. A fake straw man Cody without the backtalk works even better.
            • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Wednesday February 25 2015, @10:47PM

              by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @10:47PM (#149759) Journal

              My point is that he is taking a stick and poking the bear, so the bear looks over here and attacks. He doesn't have to poke the bear. He can leave them to fuss about medicare or something like that.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 26 2015, @06:54AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 26 2015, @06:54AM (#149872) Journal

                My point is that he is taking a stick and poking the bear, so the bear looks over here and attacks.

                There is no bear attack without a bear. Get rid of the damn bear. My view is that the problem here is that we don't have enough people poking the bear with sticks.

                • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday February 26 2015, @04:20PM

                  by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday February 26 2015, @04:20PM (#149987) Journal

                  You can't get rid of the bear with an extreme minority who is generally looked down upon. That's just deluded.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 26 2015, @05:48PM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 26 2015, @05:48PM (#150015) Journal

                    You can't get rid of the bear with an extreme minority who is generally looked down upon.

                    Remind me again why the extreme minority is the problem and not the bear? Because that remains your argument and I still don't buy it.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 26 2015, @06:18PM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 26 2015, @06:18PM (#150027) Journal
                    I'll elaborate on what I think is silly about your concern. We have a problem which triggers with certain extreme or stupid behavior. We have two ways to deal with the problem. We can fix it. Or we can hope that the idiots and outliers of the world don't repeatedly cause the problem. So far you've been proposing that we somehow keep the idiots and outliers in line without any means for keeping them in line. That's silly right there.

                    What is also ignored here is that the problem can be willfully triggered also by parties who have an interest in keeping the problem unfixed. This makes your argument futile since a ban on scary 3-D printers will happen sooner or later, unless we fix the problem.
                    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday February 27 2015, @10:38PM

                      by hemocyanin (186) on Friday February 27 2015, @10:38PM (#150782) Journal

                      OK -- you explain how to fix the bear in concrete terms. I don't have any idea on how to do that. I've done protests. I've done letter writing. Showing up in person at my Rep's office. I vote neither DNC nor GOP. I do my best to avoid financially supporting those who support things against my interests. I use GPG daily and evangelize it when I can (offer private help, done public demo/installfest).

                      The fact is, I can't write a check for millions of dollars. As a result, my voice means absolutely nothing at all. Secondly, I'm not a reality TV star, so my voice travels almost nowhere, and if I was a reality TV star, it would sound like "arrrrr.... Got more bEER! hahaha!!"

                      So, how exactly, in concrete terms, do you propose we prevail over the dangerous bear, and over all the blind supporters propping up that bear?

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday February 28 2015, @06:45PM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 28 2015, @06:45PM (#151153) Journal

                        OK -- you explain how to fix the bear in concrete terms.

                        Well, we're seeing here the Cody way. Go over the top with more and more elaborate schemes for circumventing bad intentions and regulations. It's potentially quite effective asymmetric warfare. Cody comes up with a cheap way to bypass bad regulation. The government attempts to respond with heavy handed regulation that hurts a lot of people. People like you.Sure, you would normally be perfectly willing to slink along with the status quo,but now have to make a decision just because Cody made a CNC milling machine with effective marketing. Either curb government power or lose something important to you. Eventually, if the government doesn't curb its excesses, it'll alienate enough people that its excesses will get curbed for it.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:50PM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:50PM (#149685) Journal

          My concerns are not unfounded, it's already happening

          In the wake of the first fully-functional 3-D printed gun, more lawmakers are proposing regulations to prevent these weapons from reaching dangerous hands. Sen. Leland Yee (D-Calif.) went a step beyond other proposals by calling for laws that would track the 3-D printers themselves as well as people with access to them, out of concern that someone who uses the technology could create a gun.

          http://www.ibtimes.com/3d-printer-regulation-proposed-democrats-fear-criminals-printing-guns-1254537 [ibtimes.com]

          So again, while I understand Cody's arguments, by shouting them to the world he is going to make the world much worse for geeks and artists looking to use these tools. And once you have to register with the government, or get clearance to use a 3D printer, it gives the government much more power over you. It's essentially the same beef gun owners have with gun registration. Cody is in a way, making it easier to expand that sort of government overreach -- do you really think all the soccer moms and little league dads give a crap about geeks' freedom to tinker? They should because their world is so much better for it, but they don't -- all they think of is the astronomically remote possibility that their precious snowflake will be shot by a plastic gun or a ghost gun.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:16PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:16PM (#149698) Journal

            So again, while I understand Cody's arguments, by shouting them to the world he is going to make the world much worse for geeks and artists looking to use these tools. And once you have to register with the government, or get clearance to use a 3D printer, it gives the government much more power over you. It's essentially the same beef gun owners have with gun registration. Cody is in a way, making it easier to expand that sort of government overreach -- do you really think all the soccer moms and little league dads give a crap about geeks' freedom to tinker? They should because their world is so much better for it, but they don't -- all they think of is the astronomically remote possibility that their precious snowflake will be shot by a plastic gun or a ghost gun.

            Or you could, you know, not put up with that shit. You're blaming the messenger.

            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:25PM

              by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:25PM (#149707) Journal

              Exactly how do I "not put up with that shit"? The think-of-the-children, OMG-terrorism contingent is so brainwashed and so large -- and they do not care about geek issues -- that I'm supposed to do what? Give me some solid examples of what I can do to protect my right to tinker when people like Cody Wilson are doing their utmost to prove to the soccermom contingent that all the tools I want to use make me a danger to the world.

              • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:36PM

                by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:36PM (#149715) Journal

                You live on this planet with millions or billions of other potential tinkerers. You have to assume that something like this will happen with new tools. Every loophole or legal boundary will be tested. The question is, will the government outlaw the tool, or merely what you can make with the tool? If they don't outlaw the tool, you accept the consequences of making a gun, bomb, GMO, laser, x-ray weapon [nbcnewyork.com], etc. But it is unlikely you will get caught simply for having it. If they outlaw the tool, will you be able to get the tool? 3D printers can't replicate themselves entirely yet, but any files or information you need will be easily available and largely uncensorable on the Internet.

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                • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:50PM

                  by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:50PM (#149722) Journal

                  Forgive me if I'm hesitant to use an illegal tool. In the calculus of life, is it really worth spending 20 years in a PMITA prison to make a custom enclosure for an arduino project or a stupid plastic figurine? The only way it would make sense is if 80% of the population was willing to take this risk too, and I doubt you'd find even 0.8% of the population even that interested in the tools.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 26 2015, @07:01AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 26 2015, @07:01AM (#149873) Journal
                I think you could start by supporting Cody in his intriguing endeavors.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25 2015, @10:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25 2015, @10:38PM (#149752)

        You failed to read the part in TFS wherein it is explained that the difference between this mill and any other is "marketing hocus pocus"

        Oh no, I know that the only difference is "marketing hocus pocus", but we live in a world where the intended usage of items is considered in whether or not they're legal. This issue probably wouldn't exist at all if not for the drug war, since the legal determination of whether or not a drug is legal is whether or not it can get you high; this is where "intended usage" comes in to play, because the "loophole" around this intentionally-ambiguous law is to sell not-yet-illegal drugs with a specific warning that they are not for human consumption; if the intended use of them was to be consumed by humans, they would be outright illegal due to bad laws.

        Since the drug war has created this terrible legal environment, its not surprising that the intended use of other items is now a factor in determining their legality.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26 2015, @02:52AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 26 2015, @02:52AM (#149815)

          jawohl mein herr!

          Yes, I'm trying to provoke a response (and critical thinking).

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday February 26 2015, @12:52AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 26 2015, @12:52AM (#149786) Homepage Journal

      The USPS already refuses to ship a lot of things. Firearms and explosives rank high among prohibited items. And, yes, that is an arbitrary decision, made long ago. I'm not quite certain whether USPS will accept firearms and/or parts for firearms if shipper and receiver are both licensed gun dealers.

      Oh - I ordered some lockpicks some time ago. USPS also prohibits lockpicks. I could have made my own, but I had far to many projects going at the time, so I just ordered them from China. Of course, USPS doesn't X-ray every package it handles, so both of my packages arrived safely, delivered by the USPS.

      --
      “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by K_benzoate on Wednesday February 25 2015, @07:43PM

    by K_benzoate (5036) on Wednesday February 25 2015, @07:43PM (#149650)

    How reductionist do you want to get, FedEx? Are they going to refuse to ship tools and materials that could be used to build a CNC mill that could be used to produce AR receivers? Sorry, we're not going to ship these precision screwdriver sets or bulk aluminum ingots--you might do something bad with it. This line of thinking is inane.

    If FedEx wants to play politics, that's fine. They'll lose business to other shipping companies that don't feel the need to impose restrictions over and above the law.

    --
    Climate change is real and primarily caused by human activity.
  • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:44PM

    by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 25 2015, @08:44PM (#149681) Homepage Journal

    Shipping gunsmithing equipment aside, I cannot find any good information on the machine itself (limited searching while at work). It claims to be open source, and takes ER collets, but not much else is mentioned.

    Does anyone know:
    Motor type? Must be steppers in an open loop at this price
    Control software? I hope LinuxCNC
    Machining envelope? It looks just big enough for the lower receiver, not much more
    Spindle specifics?
    I assume no coolant.
    Workholding? Are there Tslots on the table?

    1500 is a decent price for a capable cnc mill, although this looks very single purpose.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:28PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday February 25 2015, @09:28PM (#149710) Journal

      Here's what I could find:

      https://ghostgunner.net/ [ghostgunner.net]

      MACHINABLE DIMENSIONS:
      175 X 75 X 60MM (~6.75 X 2.95 X 2.35")

      MAXIMUM PART DIMENSIONS:
      230 X 90 X 100MM (~9.05 X 3.50 X 3.90")

      OVERALL FOOTPRINT:
      330 X 280MM (~13 X 11")

      WEIGHT:
      20KG (~45 POUNDS)

      SPINDLE SPEED:
      10,000+ RPM

      REQUIREMENTS:
      WINDOWS 7 OR HIGHER. MAC VERSION TBD

      Beyond files of our own .DD format, Ghost Gunner is meant to accept TinyG code from any CAM program. The platform is open and the plans and files will be disclosed to the public domain.

      I expect it will be easily usable with Linux.

      https://ghostgunner.net/faq.html [ghostgunner.net]

      GhostGunner uses industry standard ER-11 collets, and ships with both 1/4" and 5/32" collets. Changing end mills is a simple process and full instructions are included. FYI: 'drill bit' is an incorrect term to describe an end mill, which cuts both radially and axially; drill bits only cut axially.

      3D printable jigs are used to hold the part in place as each milling step is performed. For example, milling an 80% AR-15 lower receiver requires 2 jig pieces to secure the lower in place while the trigger pocket is milled, and then two more jig pieces are installed to drill the trigger pin holes. As most 80% firearms require deep pocket milling, GhostGunner's mounting table is parallel to the end mill shaft. This orientation maximizes 3D printed jig strength, minimizes jig complexity, and mechanically aligns the part to the machine upon insertion into the MakerSlide-patterned, Open Source T Slot stainless rails. No glue or tape required... this is a real CNC with real mounting solutions.

      For other Open Source designs, Defense Distributed developed a custom spindle that exceeds the quality, accuracy, and cutting capabilities of any sub-$400 spindle we've tested. We also developed a custom signal conditioning PCB called GrbIO that reduces RF noise generated by the several stepper motors used on the machine.

      https://ghostgunner.net/blog.html [ghostgunner.net]

      November Update No. 1

      The Ghost Gunner demand was so overwhelming, and the orders so strong, that we realized we were able to build a much higher quality machine.

      Improvements in our Mark III design:

      * Single piece powder coated 1018 steel exoskeleton to improve rigidity per unit weight
      *Reinforced A36 steel end plates to further improve rigidity
      *A new open source GrBLDC brushless motor controller shield for Arduino.
      *Oversized 125W NEMA 23 BLDC motor, electronically throttled to 72W.
      *Spindle incorporation of industry standard ER11 collet system, supporting tools up to 5/16”

      Early buyers got a price ranging from $999 to $1299.

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