Deadly Danger from 3D Printer: Assassin of Halle Put on High Tech

              Friday, October 11, 2019

The 3D printer technology makes it much easier to build weapons yourself.
(Photo: REUTERS)

              If the self-made submachine guns of Stephan B. had not constantly jammed, Hall would certainly have more victims to complain about. But weapons from the 3D printer are becoming more reliable. Blueprints and artwork circulate on the Internet.
              The weapons of the assassin of Halle repeatedly failed. On his video, which Stephan B. streamed live into the internet, he was repeatedly cursed loudly. "Was'n wrong? My face, man, lad! Oh, shit." If the two self-made submachine guns had not kept interlocking again and again, Halle's murder would most likely have caused even more casualties. In his manifesto, which was published on the Kohlchan website – the German equivalent of the controversial US Platform 8chan – uploaded, he described in detail his arsenal. Among them were two submachine guns designed by the British weapons activist Philip Luty, who wanted to demonstrate for the free possession of firearms. While the "Luty SMG 9mm Parabellum" the assassin from Halle was made entirely of metal parts, the second Luty submachine gun was also with plastic parts built from the 3D printer. The investigators have discovered a corresponding printer in the living quarters of Stephan B. The perpetrator did not only rely on high-tech, but also on very simple technology: his equipment included a so-called slam-bang shotgun, which consists in the core of only two tubes and a simple trigger. Weapons maker scene relies on hybrid weaponsWeapons from the 3D printer have been a topic for years: In 2013, the Texan Cody Wilson put the plans for a weapon from the 3D printer into the net. The gunman and activist was supported by the weapons lobby organization Second Amendment Foundation. His one-shot plastic gun "Liberator" (Liberator) sparked worldwide fears: Not only because with the digital blueprints virtually anyone can get a gun, but also because the gun is not recognized by classic metal detectors at security gates. The 3D Printer technology makes it much easier to build weapons yourself. Compared to the self-made weapons made of sheet metal and steel weapons from the 3D printer can be built without manual skills. The machines "print" the weapon parts in the layer printing process from plastic to tenths to hundredths of a millimeter, so they can work much more precisely than laymen who do not have a classic gunsmith training. Cody Wilson holds a plastic gun from a 3D printer called the "Liberator." (Photo: picture alliance / dpa) So far, the plastics used have generally not been able to withstand the high pressure created when firing a cartridge. Therefore, the gunsmith scene relied on hybrid weapons that combine metal parts for barrel and chamber with plastic parts for the magazine or the barrel of the weapon. The "Plastic Luty" of the Halle assassin was also a hybrid model made of plastic and metal. However, it is foreseeable that even more complex weapons can now be manufactured completely in the 3D printer. The plastics used withstand ever higher temperatures and withstand greater pressure than previous generations. Blueprints and 3D print templates for the 3D printer guns circulate on the Internet. Interested parties do not even have to move in the "Darknet", but are also in the open Web fündig.Manufacturers of 3D printers want to accept the abuse of their devices by Waffennarren and extremists no longer. So the leading French manufacturer Dagoma fights with manipulated blueprints against the production of firearms. "The weapon files that we change look just like the original, but the finished printed products are not usable," said Dagoma co-founder Matthieu Régnier. These "false" firearms models have already been downloaded 13,000 times. However, the scene will succeed in the future to track down building plans for weapons from the 3D printer, which were not manipulated – also because it was the radical-liberal US gunman Cody Wilson always manages to prevail against prohibition applications. Weapon Activist Not Experienced 3D Printers Era In June 2018, the US government under President Donald Trump made a settlement with Wilson, who suspended a ban on US President Barack Obama's term. However, several US states are trying to stop the spread of the 3D blueprints. Since 2018, Wilson has been selling kits, software and a special CNC machine for those weapons that will not come out of the printer through a separate company. The offer includes a semi-automatic assault rifle kit modeled on the AR-15. For example, the gunmen killed in Parkland and Las Vegas with the AR-15. British weapons activist Philip Luty, who delivered the weapons templates in Halle, did not live to see the 3D printer era. He died of cancer in 2011 shortly before he had to answer to a court in the UK for a terrorism lawsuit.

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