Bitcoin-backed 'Wiki Weapon' plans go dark

A Texas nonprofit that produced the first 3D printed gun -- and raised funds in bitcoins for the project -- has removed the blueprints from its website.

AccessTimeIconMay 10, 2013 at 9:36 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2021 at 10:43 a.m. UTC

A Texas nonprofit that garnered worldwide media attention for producing the first 3D printed gun -- and raised funds in bitcoins to help pay for the project -- has removed the blueprints for the weapon from its website.

Twenty-five-year-old University of Texas law student Cody Wilson runs a company called Defense Distributed, which he calls "Home of the Wiki Weapon Project." Earlier this week, the company posted files with details on how to print a weapon called "the Liberator" at its DEFCAD site. On Thursday, however, those files were "removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls," the site announced.

"Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information," the site added.

Wilson originally sought to raise funds for his printed gun project through crowdsourcing at Indiegogo, which removed his project citing breach of company rules, according to the Guardian. Wilson later collected $20,000 worth of bitcoin donations to help pay for the project. However, his first 3D printer was repossessed by the printer company, Stratasys, when the company learned of his plans.

Following news of the 3D-printed gun, US Congressman Steve Israel renewed calls for passage of his Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act, which would make it illegal to "manufacture, own, transport, buy, or sell any firearm, receiver, or magazine that is homemade and not detectable by metal detector and/or does not present an accurate image when put through an x-ray machine."


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