By now, you’ve probably seen all the news regarding Defense Distributed, company founder Cody Wilson, and 3D-printed guns. As of last week, his story has shown up everywhere from The New York Times’ podcast The Daily to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Issues surrounding 3D-printing firearms and firearms parts have recently come up in the Senate and been addressed by White House officials.
For Ars readers, this may feel a bit like déjà vu. We’ve covered Wilson and his company at Ars for more than five years now; we’ve met him in Texas and California.
But it’s easy to get lost in all of this new coverage of his saga, so we thought we’d try to help clarify the major details and the current state of it all. Similar to the beginner’s guide to bitcoin we put together at the height of cryptocurrency hype, we’ve gathered the most common questions that come up in the comments section or over a cup of coffee. Hopefully, these nine topics can help clear up some confusion regarding this strange intersection of technology and the law.