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mclumber1

A Landmark Legal Shift Opens Pandora’s Box for DIY Guns

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Two months ago, the Department of Justice quietly offered Wilson a settlement to end a lawsuit he and a group of co-plaintiffs have pursued since 2015 against the United States government. Wilson and his team of lawyers focused their legal argument on a free speech claim: They pointed out that by forbidding Wilson from posting his 3-D-printable data, the State Department was not only violating his right to bear arms but his right to freely share information. By blurring the line between a gun and a digital file, Wilson had also successfully blurred the lines between the Second Amendment and the First.

 

"If code is speech, the constitutional contradictions are evident," Wilson explained to WIRED when he first launched the lawsuit in 2015. "So what if this code is a gun?”

 

The Department of Justice's surprising settlement, confirmed in court documents earlier this month, essentially surrenders to that argument. It promises to change the export control rules surrounding any firearm below .50 caliber—with a few exceptions like fully automatic weapons and rare gun designs that use caseless ammunition—and move their regulation to the Commerce Department, which won't try to police technical data about the guns posted on the public internet. In the meantime, it gives Wilson a unique license to publish data about those weapons anywhere he chooses.

https://www.wired.com/story/a-landmark-legal-shift-opens-pandoras-box-for-diy-guns/

 

 

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Fuck that is some scary shit when you read that. Maybe them rules should be updated for the more modern times, or fuck it. Everything else seems to be going to hell in a hand basket anyways 

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10 minutes ago, silentbob said:

Fuck that is some scary shit when you read that. Maybe them rules should be updated for the more modern times, or fuck it. Everything else seems to be going to hell in a hand basket anyways 

 

Sounds like you need to invest in a 3D printer!

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1 hour ago, mclumber1 said:

 

Sounds like you need to invest in a 3D printer!

 

Well being Canadian I’m not too concern for here. So I shall just stay the fuck out of the states until the close is clear.

 

. . . .although it is funny you mention a 3D printer. My mom is looking into getting one soon, but to make cookie cutters. 

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As someone who thinks that we need to repeal the second and just ban all the guns, I think this is the correct ruling. Code is speech, and it should be treated as such. If they want to ban the making or distribution of unmarked guns (is that already illegal?) then fine, but banning the code is both a clear first amendment issue and quite impossible.

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17 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

As someone who thinks that we need to repeal the second and just ban all the guns, I think this is the correct ruling. Code is speech, and it should be treated as such. If they want to ban the making or distribution of unmarked guns (is that already illegal?) then fine, but banning the code is both a clear first amendment issue and quite impossible.

 

Unmarked/unserialized guns are not illegal as long as you don't resell it after you make it.  There is a booming market right now for 80% finished receivers (which is what the feds consider the "gun"  part of the gun).  You get the 80% receiver shipped right to your door, you finish the machining of the part, and then you assemble the gun.  I contemplated going this route when I built my AR a few months ago, but I decided against it because I didn't want to invest in a drill press at the time. 

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50 minutes ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

Gun people continue to be fucking weird

 

My first reaction as well. No judgment so long as it remains benign, but definitely weird in a potentially bad way. 

 

Like, DIY an anime girl pillow or some hentai stuff is also weird, but to me this is weirder than that because one is much more inherently benign. Both should be legal (in this case) but yeah. :p 

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All this signals to me is that the first amendment is antiquated. Unfortunately, I'm pretty pessimistic that we can get any amendment to it and if we did, I'm also pessimistic that it would be a good amendment rather than a backwards one.

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32 minutes ago, legend said:

All this signals to me is that the first amendment is antiquated. Unfortunately, I'm pretty pessimistic that we can get any amendment to it and if we did, I'm also pessimistic that it would be a good amendment rather than a backwards one.

 

What way is the first amendment antiquated?  In what ways would you want the government to restrict speech?

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1 hour ago, mclumber1 said:

 

What way is the first amendment antiquated?  In what ways would you want the government to restrict speech?

 

This seems like a decent example.

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1 hour ago, mclumber1 said:

 

What way is the first amendment antiquated?  In what ways would you want the government to restrict speech?

For one, money isn't speech and corporations don't have a right to free speech

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16 minutes ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

For one, money isn't speech and corporations don't have a right to free speech

 

Would free speech apply to unions?

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2 hours ago, legend said:

All this signals to me is that the first amendment is antiquated. Unfortunately, I'm pretty pessimistic that we can get any amendment to it and if we did, I'm also pessimistic that it would be a good amendment rather than a backwards one.

The problem with regulating speech, is that it requires humans to decide what should and shouldn't be restricted and also lacks context. 

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As we get closer and closer to a technological age of abundance, people will have easier and easier access to what they want without government involvement across the board. This kind of thing will get much worse imo. Would be nice if we had stable, intelligent institutions that could find novel ways to adapt to it. 

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3 minutes ago, mclumber1 said:

 

Would free speech apply to unions?

Probably not. I'm not a fan of any sort of corporate personhood. If you have something political to say, you shouldn't hide behind an army of anonymous donors. For this purpose, I consider political speech a wholly separate idea than commercial speech.

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3 hours ago, legend said:

All this signals to me is that the United States Constitution is antiquated. Unfortunately, I'm pretty pessimistic that we can get any amendment to it and if we did, I'm also pessimistic that it would be a good amendment rather than a backwards one.

There - I've fixed that for accuracy! :p

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1 hour ago, Boyle5150 said:

The problem with regulating speech, is that it requires humans to decide what should and shouldn't be restricted and also lacks context. 

 

I think there are some more reasonable lines between this and other speech, but overall I agree with you and that's why I said I'm not confident that even if we could get an amendment that it would be a good one that we'd be glad to have. Ultimately, people are the bottleneck here.

 

1 hour ago, Rev said:

As we get closer and closer to a technological age of abundance, people will have easier and easier access to what they want without government involvement across the board. This kind of thing will get much worse imo. Would be nice if we had stable, intelligent institutions that could find novel ways to adapt to it. 

 

Enforcement of it is tricky for sure. But I'm not sure there would be no value even if you couldn't do it perfectly. Would ultimately be an empirical question we could try to evaluate, but once again, I don't have much confidence that our government or the people in this country could approach it in the right way.

 

 

1 hour ago, SFLUFAN said:

There - I've fixed that for accuracy! :p

 

I'm comfortable with your alteration :p 

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3 minutes ago, legend said:

 

Enforcement of it is tricky for sure. But I'm not sure there would be no value even if you couldn't do it perfectly. Would ultimately be an empirical question we could try to evaluate, but once again, I don't have much confidence that our government or the people in this country could approach it in the right way.

 

I'm not sure I totally follow what you mean but I agree with the end. We don't have stable intelligent government institutions to figure this stuff out right now.

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3 minutes ago, Rev said:

I'm not sure I totally follow what you mean but I agree with the end. We don't have stable intelligent government institutions to figure this stuff out right now.

 

Meaning, you could make a law and punishments about distribution of the code and even though the nature of technology means people will still distribute it often getting away with it, the possibility of being caught distributing it with the punishment it brings may be an imperfect, but still helpful, deterrent. Whether any given set of laws and policies would in fact bring a beneficial deterrent is the empirical question.

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Just now, legend said:

 

Meaning, you could make a law and punishments about distribution of the code and even though the nature of technology means people will still distribute it often getting away with it, the possibility of being caught distributing it with the punishment it brings may be an imperfect, but still helpful, deterrent.

Oh, yeah, this specific problem can be overcome probably. I was trying to make a broader point about the ultimate nature of technology. At its core, its function is helping people get what they want easier, and if the people can get what they want locally, then it's much more difficult for the government and law enforcement to keep its hands in. A huge landmark would be the ability to generate energy without having to be connected to a power company for instance. And 3d printing will likely get worse. Once you can buy a 3d printer that manages multiple types of material including steel, you'll likely be able to create almost anything you want through your home for pennies. So I'm saying this is just the beginning. I think it might be a tractable problem, but our current government institutions would make a huge mess out of any attempts to regulate anything this unprecedented imo.

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1 minute ago, Rev said:

Oh, yeah, this specific problem can be overcome probably. I was trying to make a broader point about the ultimate nature of technology. At its core, its function is helping people get what they want easier, and if the people can get what they want locally, then it's much more difficult for the government and law enforcement to keep its hands in. A huge landmark would be the ability to generate energy without having to be connected to a power company for instance. And 3d printing will likely get worse. Once you can buy a 3d printer that manages multiple types of material including steel, you'll likely be able to create almost anything you want through your home for pennies. So I'm saying this is just the beginning. I think it might be a tractable problem, but our current government institutions would make a huge mess out of any attempts to regulate anything this unprecedented imo.

 

 

Cool. Yeah I think we agree.

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2 hours ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

Probably not. I'm not a fan of any sort of corporate personhood. If you have something political to say, you shouldn't hide behind an army of anonymous donors. For this purpose, I consider political speech a wholly separate idea than commercial speech.

 

This is the right answer. Corporations as people is a laughable concept invented by big money to protect itself from us. Law school basically teaches this as if it's a given at this point but rightly teaches that the distinction was given to help corporations and no one else.

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