Gun owners who can’t buy high capacity ammo magazines because of new laws have another option: Print them.
Gun control measures passed or proposed in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre have targeted magazines that can feed 30 rounds or more into the firing chambers of AR-15s and other semi-automatic guns. New York has banned magazines holding more than seven rounds, and a federal bill proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would ban magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
But the laws are at least one step behind technology. Using 3D printers and schematics available on the Internet, gun owners can manufacture a fully functional, plastic magazine clip. Plans are free, although getting access to a 3D printer may prove expensive, at least for now.
“If you can download it, you can have it,” said University of Texas law student Cody Wilson, who is part of Defense Distributed, a group that has created the design for what they refer to as a “Cuomo Clip” along with other gun parts. It is all under an initiative they refer to as the Wiki Weapon Project.
“It’s basically to head them [legislators] off at the pass, which we have,” Wilson added, noting that “hundreds of thousands” of visitors have gone to his group’s site to download the CAD file for the ammo magazine since it was first posted in mid-January.
The “Cuomo Clip,” named for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who pushed the high-capacity clip ban through the Legislature, is made from a plastic filament similar to the type of material used to manufacture LEGO building blocks. It is also loaded with a large spring that helps to push rounds of ammo into the gun chamber.