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Defense Distributed: The Death of Gun Control?

By: José Niño

Editor's Note: This article was originally published by mises.org and is republished here with permission.

Is gun control on its deathbed?

Cody Wilson, founder of the 3D printable gun activist group Defense Distributed, recently won a landmark case against the State Department. Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) reached a settlement with the Department of Justice that now allows for people to 3D print firearms without government interference.

Defense Distributed’s clash with the State Department originated in 2013, when the State Department demanded Defense Distributed remove the files for its Liberator pistol. Although Defense Distributed initially complied with the State Department’s demands, they did not go out without a fight. In 2015, Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation teamed up to fight the State Department’s mandate.

Fast-forward to the present and Defense Distributed initially channeled its inner David against the federal government Goliath. However, Defense Distributed could not enjoy a proper victory celebration after federal judge Robert S. Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order on the publication of 3D blueprints.

A Game-Changing Victory
A temporary hiccup, the latest restraining order placed on Defense Distributed may end up being an exercise in futility when it’s all said and done.

In the 21st century, technology is frequently changing the rules of politics, in which traditional forms of political control are slowly being phased out.

Defense Distributed’s initial triumph against the State was a much needed moral victory for gun rights activists.

In present times, gun rights have been under assault at the state and federal level. With blatant calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment and a bipartisan consensus rallying around the need for sweeping gun control legislation, gun rights appeared to be on the chopping block.

Despite the roadbloacks ahead, Defense Distributed has given concerned owners a bit of breathing room and is opening up new avenues for human freedom.

Crypto-Anarchy in Action
Defense Distributed’s endeavors are one of the most poignant expressions of crypto-anarchism, the realization of anarchy in cyberspace.

Timothy May, author of The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto, shares one of the most powerful aspects of crypto-anarchism: “Just as the technology of printing altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, so too will cryptologic methods fundamentally alter the nature of corporations and of government interference in economic transactions.”

The history of humanity is one of power-hungry individuals using coercive institutions like the State to subjugate people and control their livelihoods. Eventually, certain groups who grew tired of the status quo of oppression rose up and attempted to create new political orders.

But two major junctures in economic history have fundamentally changed citizens’ relationships with their governments—the emergence of industrial capitalism in the 19th century and the Internet’s arrival in the late 20th century. Now, when governments try to curtail a certain activities, the market finds a way meet consumer demands.

José Niño is a Venezuelan-American political activist based in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.