There’s much debate over whether there’s anything to be worried about re: 3D printed guns. Sure, you can theoretically produce an untraceable plastic gun in the comfort of your garage, but it’s easier said than done and the result is often unreliable and quick to break.
That’s not enough to reassure the ATF, though. NPR reports that after months of tests, the guys at the bureau have decided that they are pretty concerned at the prospect. Sure, sometimes guns made from lower-quality materials simply shatter in your hands. But the technology is advancing fast:
“When these 3-D firearms are manufactured, some of the weapons can defeat normal detection such as metal detectors, wands, and it could present a problem to public safety in a venue such as an airport, an arena, a courthouse,” says ATF assistant director Richard Marianos.
Lest enterprising criminals get any ideas, though, the ATF also included in its report video of what happens when you’ve 3D printed a lemon. Your average drug dealer probably won’t be buying a MakerBot anytime soon: