I’ve remarked that 3D printing represents an end to any hope that gun control could or would ever be a viable concept. Now, anyone anywhere can print out the parts necessary to assemble a firearm. Gun control laws are effectively powerless to stop it.
A prime example of that was found in New York City where a propmaker working on Broadway’s The Lion King was recently arrested.
Cops from the Midtown South precinct arrived at the Minskoff Theatre on West 45th Street at 12:30 p.m., and went backstage to collect Ilya Vett, 47, the assistant supervisor for the prop department.
Vett, of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, was in the midst of 3-D printing “a hard black plastic object which, based on my training and experience, is shaped like a revolver,” a cop swore in Vett’s criminal complaint.
“I brought the 3-D printer in [to the theater] from my workshop because my workshop is too dusty,” Vett told cops, according to the complaint.
“It’s mine … I was making the gun as a gift to my brother,” the complaint said he added.
“He lives upstate and has a firearms license. There’s a website that has plans for the gun. I downloaded the plans onto the SD card in the printer.”
Manhattan prosecutors reduced the charges, leaving Vett facing one count of attempted criminal possession of a firearm — which is still a felony, though at the lowest level. The charge carries anywhere from no jail to a maximum of four years prison.
There’s no mention of how police were alerted to the act, though making it in the theater wasn’t the brightest move humanly possible. More people to see it meant a greater chance someone would recognize what it was, after all.
But what if Vett kept the printer at his home?
Despite New York City’s much-vaunted gun control laws, Vett would have still been in possession of a firearm. It doesn’t matter that he was supposedly making it for his brother. He would have had a gun in his grubby little paws despite the gun laws.
Yes, in this case, he tried it and was arrested because he was stupid.
Or, more correctly, probably because he was ignorant and unthinking. If he’d been acting with nefarious intent, it’s unlikely he would have taken the printer to the theater at all. But because he probably believed he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he did what he did.
But in the process, he showed that the days of pretending New York City can keep guns out are long over. We already knew that, of course. We have decades of history proving that firearms still find their way into the city. But now, they can be made right there inside the city by anyone with the equipment.
And the equipment is becoming far more common and cost-effective.
Couple that with all the other technology that’s already made it possible to build a firearm, and the days of gun control are over. If only the gun grabbers could get the message.