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In a Security Test, 3-D Printed Gun Smuggled Into Israeli Parliament 280

Posted by timothy
from the up-close-and-personal dept.
GenieGenieGenie writes "After all the talk of printed guns and the problems they pose to traditional methods of perimeter security, we get a live demo courtesy of some rather brave journalists from Israel's Channel 10, who took the plastic weapon known as the Liberator past security into the Israeli parliament, and held it within meters of the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I say brave because had they been caught pulling this stunt, which involved taking their toy out of the bag while sitting in the audience of a speech by the prime minister, they would have faced some real steel. Haaretz has the video (sorry, Hebrew only at the moment) [Google-translated version of the article -- Ed.] where you can follow the breach (from ~6:30) and see them pass the metal detector and the moment when the gun comes out. The movie also shows some testing of the gun in a police-supervised weapons range. Parliament security officials said that 'this is a new phenomenon and they are checking the subject to give it a professional solution as quickly as possible.' I hope this doesn't mean we will now officially face an era of ever more intruding security checks at entrances to events like this." Would-be Liberator printers, take note: the testing shows the barrel violently separating from the rest of the gun.
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In a Security Test, 3-D Printed Gun Smuggled Into Israeli Parliament

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  • of course... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by houbou (1097327) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:12PM (#44183929) Journal
    this will get compounded when these 3-D printed weapons are actually made up of parts which on their own have a look and feel and a different functionality. And imagine when they are able to get these 3-D weapons to be made of alternate, yet compatible parts. Things will just get a little more..... interesting..
    • Re:of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaHat (247651) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:19PM (#44183989) Homepage

      Which is part of a broader idea... whose idea was it to use metal detectors as gun detectors?

      Sure it made sense a while back, the same way that assuming computers would remain analog, that the locomotive was the most reliable way to travel long distances, or investing in Zeppelin futures was a sure fire win.

      Time & technology change... and detection methods must change with them.

      • Re:of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by interiot (50685) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @09:08PM (#44184395) Homepage

        whose idea was it to use metal detectors as gun detectors? Time & technology change... and detection methods must change with them.

        If non-metallic guns were truly viable, they would have been used 20 years ago to sneak past metal detectors and kill judges and politicians and airplane pilots. Plastic manufacturing has been around for a long time, the only thing 3D printers do is reduce the cost. There are well-funded spy agencies and a few individuals who would have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single gun. And yet none has materialized: [1] [thefirearmblog.com] [2] [straightdope.com] [3] [urbandictionary.com]

        • Re:of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DaHat (247651) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @10:15PM (#44184867) Homepage

          If non-metallic guns were truly viable... blah blah blah

          Or you could say "if nukes were a truly viable way for small of non-state actors... clearly they would have been used decade ago"
          both are equally false. As time, technology, and availability of information increase... the ease of constructing such weapon increases and we will see their eventual use.

          No doubt you thought the same about malware and viruses a few years back.

          • Re:of course... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by lgw (121541) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @11:25PM (#44185283) Journal

            At any given point in the technology curve, it's going to be easier to make a plastic gun in a real factory with a $10 M research budget than with a 3D printer. Yet there are no plastic guns. I've heard of mostly-ceramic uppers with steel springs, but a good spring is a requirement even for a revolver.

            What you get with plastic is what we see: a zip gun that's good for 1 shot if you're lucky. You can make a wooden cannon too, but I wouldn't recommend it.

            • by DaHat (247651)

              Yet there are no plastic guns.

              Mass produced? No... but for the purposes of US federal law both the 3d printed Liberator and the AR lower Defense Distributed created are classified as firearms.

              For those who want a reliable and long lasting firearm... today they will go with a metal one.

              If however someone doesn't care about it lasting a long time, being able to be shot multiple times, but is worried about detection... then making something plastic is the way to go as sometimes... a single lucky shot is all yo

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by Anonymous Coward

                Plus, guns in the US are required by law to have enough metal in them to set off a metal detector. For a big manufacturer, if you have to include metal for that, you might as well make the whole thing out of metal given all the other benefits in mass production.

              • then making something plastic is the way to go as sometimes... a single lucky shot is all you need.

                Igw's point still stands. While I'm sure it'll happen at some point, nobody to date has been killed, or even faced a serious assassination attempt, by an assassin attempting to use a plastic gun. Not even the CIA's rather incompetent and rather silly attempts to assassinate Castro, at one point attempting to poison his cigars, has attempted the use of a plastic or otherwise non-metallic firearm.

                The Liberator is printed using the same ABS plastic that Legos have been made from for decades. Just like legos

        • by thoth (7907)

          The reason expensive undetectable guns haven't materialized is lack of demand. Spy agencies aren't going to pay for a million dollar weapon since if their agent is caught, having an exotic expensive weapon is a giant neon glowing sign that says "state sponsored assassin". Besides, 20 years ago the suicide bomber wasn't a thing. Now it is, folks that seriously want to kill judges, politicians, and airplane pilots take everyone else down with them.

          • by DaHat (247651)

            Well said, plus, state actors have other tools at their disposal. Why go with a one off and rather expensive gun... when you can poison someone with polonium 210 [wikipedia.org], or with ricen and an umbrella [cnn.com], or just a group of assassins [wikipedia.org].

            Government actors like to get away with what they did and with minimal traces... individuals are not always as caring... which brings us to another aspect, to quote Without Fail by Lee Child::

            "John Malkovich was looking to take out the President of the United States, and Edward Fox was lo

      • by anagama (611277)

        Until the casing, bullet, and primer can be made from non-metalic substances, getting the gun past detectors might be easy but getting the ammo in to make use of it substantially harder. Right now, they'd be better off 3d printing knives because an empty gun is just a way to get yourself killed.

    • It's actually pretty easy to address with dogs that can smell gun powder. This report has more shock value than anything else.

  • by cliffjumper222 (229876) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:15PM (#44183957)

    Plastic guns? Been there, banned those... http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/100/hr4177

    • by DaHat (247651)

      That law only applies to the US... or at least those who obey US law.

      • by InvalidError (771317) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:44PM (#44184203)

        Considering the near-impossibility of managing copyright infringement, it is extremely doubtful that governments will be any more successful in preventing the proliferation of "illegal 3D patterns" online and preventing people from printing them on their personal 3D printers.

        I smell billions of dollars getting wasted on attempting to prevent the inevitable in our future just like billions have been wasted on copyrights to preserve failing business models.

        They need to focus more on addressing the root causes.

        • Spending billions of dollars protecting the ruling class is never a waste.
        • by westlake (615356)

          Considering the near-impossibility of managing copyright infringement, it is extremely doubtful that governments will be any more successful in preventing the proliferation of "illegal 3D patterns" online and preventing people from printing them on their personal 3D printers.

          But governments can control the composition, sale and distribution of the raw materials needed to print a practical plastic weapon.

          It might be possible to chemically tag these materials, as explosives are tagged.

          Fire your gun and it will leave trace evidence behind.

          • The guns are made out of ABS. While, to my knowledge, 3D printer machines use small ABS pellets, I assume they could be made from shavings of other shapes, and there's enough LEGO in the market that rogue gun makers could buy second-hand parts to melt down for decades.

          • by lgw (121541)

            I think a "printed 3D gun" is far more likely to have a few metal parts milled - but the whole thing is pointless.

            If you live in a city, right now there a shop with a CnC mill in your city putting on a "make your own gun" event. It's moderately priced and straightforward, with an existing legal framework. There's probably a 4th of July special.

            It does require special parts that aren't milled, and are pretty much only sold for the purpose of making your own gun, and are still legal. You can't sell the gun

            • by DaHat (247651)

              Again, it depends on the purpose of the firearm.

              If your intent is to say "Look at this... I made my own gun, lets take it out to the range and shoot it a few time"... then yes.. a milled firearm is the way to go.

              If your intent is however "Look at this plastic gun... those security guys will never know I have it until it's too late"... then metal is a liability.

        • by Solandri (704621)

          it is extremely doubtful that governments will be any more successful in preventing the proliferation of "illegal 3D patterns" online and preventing people from printing them on their personal 3D printers.

          It's worth noting that one of the first applications of Copyright law outside of books was to the proliferation of illegal 2D patterns. Weave patterns used in cloth textiles were determined to be protected by copyright (technically they still are, but most common patterns are in the public domain now).

        • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

          They need to focus more on addressing the root causes.

          Note, you used the plural "causes". One of those causes is pure crazy - paranoia, schizophrenia, or even temporary insanity like many drugs including bath salts can instill.

          There is no cure for crazy, at least not yet. And there will never be a cure for the type of temporary insanity that suddenly wells up into a blind rage like in the movie "Falling Down".

          Until you reach every person on the planet who is at risk, you can't cover all of the root causes

    • And of course, like drugs, murder and copyright circumvention, the fact that it's banned means it longer happens. Thus, security officers don't need to take it into consideration when securing an area.

      Right?

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      Because criminals follow the law, right?

  • I hope this doesn't mean we will now officially face an era of ever more intruding security checks at entrances to events like this.

    Too late. Bend over, Citizen. We need to search you for any remaining decency you may be hiding. If you don't, you're a filthy anti-american terrorist. Your freedom is very important to us... which is why we're taking it away.

  • by MasseKid (1294554) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:19PM (#44183987)
    Is the availability of 3D printing. The plastics needed to make single use firearms exist to make them much stronger than the "junk" used in 3D printers. Furthermore, a plastic bottle of 5 lbs of gun powder doesn't set off a metal detector either. You don't even need a 3D printer to make that.

    The truth of the matter is if you are able to get within a few feet of someone, you don't need a 3D printer or any other fancy machines to make a weapon to kill said person.
    • by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:30PM (#44184059)

      a plastic bottle of 5 lbs of gun powder doesn't set off a metal detector either.

      Neither does a ceramic canister of high explosives.(which would be far more destructive than a plastic gunpowder device) Which is why the TSA looks at your naked body at the airport. Either way, the privacy and decency of sane and innocent individuals will be shredded and reduced to sawdust moistened with the tears of our founding fathers.

    • The difference is the means of manufacture. Manufacturing guns used to mean specialist equipment, specialist suppliers. They could be tracked, their activities monitored, and authorities could be sure they were only manufacturing legal (ie: detectable) weapons. The easy accessibility of 3D printing means that every basement in the world is now a potential (albeit, crappy) gunsmithy. Decentralization of manufacture means that tracking and monitoring no longer cut it to keep tabs on production.

      The analogous s

      • by Kenja (541830)
        Really? Cause I can build a zip gun (which is what we're talking about) with off the shelf parts from Home Depot.
        • The term "zip gun" isn't particularly well-defined - it usually just means an improvised gun, put together with whatever parts are around. 3D printed guns don't really meet that definition. Besides, 3D printing is in its infancy. Yeah, the Liberator, is a one-shot gun just as likely to take out the shooter's fingers as it is the target, but it's also the very first iteration of these things. People aren't reacting to the capability of 3D-printed guns now, they're trying to anticipate the impact of 3D printe

  • by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:20PM (#44184001)

    You can machine a plastic weapon on conventional equipment too.

    Nonmetallic weapons go back many years. Here's a WWII ceramic grenade:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_4_grenade [wikipedia.org]

  • by AJWM (19027) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:20PM (#44184007) Homepage

    A 79-cent plastic water pistol filled with cyanide* is even more lethal, and just as easy to get past security.

    Sure, the assassin will likely die from the cyanide too, but what are the odds of him surviving long with a one-shot gun anyway?

    *(and sealed to prevent premature leakage; substitute other poison of your choice)

  • Isn't the middle east more of a 'bomb violence' neighborhood than a 'gun violence' one? It seems like there isn't much point in smuggling in the world's shittiest pistol when widely available techniques for bringing in enough explosives to spatter the audience far and wide are available...

    • Guns, especially guns of this sort, are easier to conceal, work at a distance and are lighter than the 5-10kg of C4 you would need to haul in past the guards in order to harm the speaker from where they were comfortably sitting. And the bomb scenario carries with it the price of not being able to view your accomplishment because the brain you use in order to perform said observation will be spattered across the ceiling.
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        Guns, especially guns of this sort, are easier to conceal, work at a distance and are lighter than the 5-10kg of C4 you would need to haul in past the guards in order to harm the speaker from where they were comfortably sitting. And the bomb scenario carries with it the price of not being able to view your accomplishment because the brain you use in order to perform said observation will be spattered across the ceiling.

        I strongly suspect a potential assassin in the Israel parliament would not have a long life expectancy no matter what technique was used.

        • Depends on ethniticity, I suspect. Remember, the last time Israel lost a Prime Minister (equivalent to US President, sort of) was relatively recently -- in the mid-90's. The assassin shot the PM in the middle of a crowd. He survived. He was arrested. He was tried. He's in jail now.

        • by DaHat (247651)

          I strongly suspect a potential assassin in the Israel parliament would not have a long life expectancy no matter what technique was used.

          So? You assume that all assassins wish to get away free and clear after their deed. Some do (mostly state actors)... others are more than willing to die shortly after they've taken their shot/explosion.

          See Malkovich vs Fox styles.

  • by fazey (2806709)
    What is all the hype with saying LOOK ITS MADE OF PLASTIC!!! I SMUGGLED IT IN!!! No kidding... its made of something they don't detect... I hope people who sit there and do this get executed. All you are doing is pushing the envelope for them to regulate 3d printers. Thank you for your contributions.
  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:46PM (#44184219)
    I don't see why 3d printed guns are such a big deal. It isn't like making a gun is difficult. People in prisons(limited materials) have made zip guns before. To me, it sounds like there's a group of people who feel threatened by 3d printers. They're probably manufacturing folk doing everything in their power to keep printers from catching on. I mean why else would people be trying to do so much anti PR against 3d printers? It is no great feat to make a gun without a 3d printer.
    • by i.r.id10t (595143)

      it sounds like there's a group of people who feel threatened

      You could've finished the sentence there.

    • Governments are scared of technology that allows people to be creative, particularly if they can share that creativity. It fosters an independent spirit, and that's something that questions authority.

  • What's the point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by verifine (685231) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:46PM (#44184231)

    The whole point about weapons is intent. It's never so convenient as portrayed by government, to be the simple presence of a weapon. Who is to say that the intent of person with the weapon is other than to preserve the life of the prime minister, the king, the president? Who gets to say that simply because a weapon is present that the worst possible scenario is the only possible one?

    To the AC that asked about the 'bullet,' PLEASE, you've been misled. Maybe even consistently. The bullet is the part that comes out of the barrel at high velocity. What you (perhaps) meant to say is "Don't they also need ammunition?" It's a 'round of ammunition' or it's a 'cartridge.' Don't be misled by media morons and ask about 'bullets.' I've visited many gun stores where you can buy bullets. They're quite necessary if you're going to reload ammo. One store in Rapid City SD was particularly awesome. They had lots of 750 gr. .50 cal bullets–in a barrel. They were expensive, but then if you shoot .50 BMG, it's an expensive hobby. I still wish I'd bought a few, just as souvenirs.

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      While you are technically correct, in colloquial usage bullet and ammo are interchangeable for the same thing.

      • by ScentCone (795499)

        in colloquial usage bullet and ammo are interchangeable for the same thing.

        No, this isn't true. The only demographic among which that mis-use is common is the group that has no idea what they're talking about. The millions and millions of people who've been in the military or who personally own and use firearms, and pretty much anybody literate who's ever read a coherent sentence on the subject, would never make that stupid mistake.

        It's sort of like how "the web" and "the internet" aren't the same thing.

    • by rts008 (812749)

      The whole point about weapons is intent.

      True, indeed.
      Mankind has been using objects and materials found around him to kill his fellow man for tens of thousands of years, non-stop.
      Dead is just as dead, whether it's from being shot with a 3D printed gun, or from being bashed in the head by a rock. The specific tool used is pointless to worry about....the intent to kill is the only thing that really matters.

      The most dangerous weapon is, and always has been, the human mind.
      Good luck trying to control and regulate that!

  • Here is an easy fix: remove parliaments.They are an unnecessary slow down for fighting terrorism anyway.
  • um, ammunition? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:59PM (#44184335) Journal

    So granted, they got a piece of plastic in the shape of a gun through security. The article says "a plastic pistol shooting live ammunition" but doesn't say whether any ammunition was actually present. Why is this important? Because the ammunition contains metal, (and propellant. Surely they're testing for chemical agents) and I'd be interested in whether they could get *that* through security. I suspect not.

    Overall, I can see where this could cause a furor, but it'd be just as easy, for instance, to get an all plastic/rubber crossbow into the chamber, with the added advantage that an arrow can defeat Kevlar soft armor. (An arrow tip is just a bit of metal, which could be disguised as a variety of innocuous things.) There's always a way, given enough determination, which is why experienced security personnel are on the lookout even in a supposedly secured location.

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      You could make ammunition without metal, and some propellants are easily detectable with the right casing materials.
      Of course this will significantly affect efficiency and failure rate.

  • by Arakageeta (671142) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @09:16PM (#44184473)

    It strikes me that a 3D printed gun doesn't need to actually look like a gun at all. Indeed, a 3D printed gun could use colors/markings and form of existing toy guns (a nerf gun that fires real bullets!), or perhaps it could look like a toy dinosaur that actually shoots bullets from its head. Perhaps I am stating the obvious, but it never occurred to me during all these discussions about 3D printed guns. Something like this puts security/police/secret service officers facing people armed "toys" in a terrible position.

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      All that's really needed is a barrel and something to struck the primer. You can use a simple pipe as a gun.

    • by lgftsa (617184)

      The head would probably be a better grip, so the exit would naturally be the ... other end.

    • by lgw (121541)

      Well, if you want a good, accurate concealed gun, you use a camera, as that naturally has a scope and it's often acceptable to point it at people. Stuff of spy books forever.

  • I say "suicidal."

    I would not chance a brain dead stunt like this to test the security of a high school in Nebraska.

    I say brave because had they been caught pulling this stunt, which involved taking their toy out of the bag while sitting in the audience of a speech by the prime minister, they would have faced some real steel.

    • Not ... necessarily. Israeli security forces are an interesting thing.

      A friend of my dad's tells a fun story. He went back to Israel in the mid 90's for a short visit (he's Israeli, but living in the US), and went for a little hike in the desert. While hiking, he found a spent anti-tank missile tube -- sort of like the launcher tube for the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_antitank_missile [wikipedia.org]. He thought that was pretty cool, so he took it with him.

      Some time later, he's travelling back to the US and tak

  • Irrelevant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blindseer (891256) <blindseer@earthlink . n et> on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @10:20PM (#44184895)

    I may have missed something in the translation but I saw no mention of ammunition getting past security. Unless the ammunition was also made of plastic then a metal detector would still find a loaded firearm.

    Try again with a loaded plastic gun, let us know how that works out for you.

    Now, assume for a minute that even a loaded 3D printed gun can get past security. What do we do about it then? Perhaps we should arm the good guys inside the security perimeter so that they can shoot back should a bad guy with a gun get in.

    Gun free zones are free killing zones. Every mass shooting I can recall, except one [wikipedia.org], happened in a gun free zone. Problem is that when (not if) a murderer gets inside that gun free zone there is no one that can shoot back. When armed good people are present someone might still get killed but it's also quite certain the murderer will be among the people shot.

  • I don't get this fascination with using computer controlled additive manufacturing to produce shitty firearms. If you want to use computer controlled manufacturing to produce firearms, better to get a CNC mill and use subtractive methods. Golmatic [emcomachinetools.co.uk] used to have a gallery of CNC manufactured firearms parts (out of steel, which actually works!). Looks like they're using trains [golmatic.net] now.
  • This is nothing but scaremongering to spook the masses about the evils of the latest technology. Of course the article fails to mention that people have been improving guns out of secondary materials in places from prisons to school yards for decades. They also fail to properly highlight the fact that the 'gun' blew up when fired and would have maimed the person actually attempting to use it.

    The only person that should be scared by this article is the person foolish enough to spend several times the cost of

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