Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

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New York Rep. Wants Ban on 3D-Printed Gun Magazines

| Thu Jan. 17, 2013 9:56 AM EST

When University of Texas Law School student Cody Wilson published a YouTube video last month of an AR-15 he'd made with the assistance of a 3D-printer, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) sprang into action. He announced new legislation (actually a reauthorization of the 1988 Undectable Firearms Act, which expires at the end of the year) that he said would "stop so-called 'wiki-weapons.'" As I reported at the time, Wilson's response was fairly understated. He believed his plan to make and test guns made with printed plastic parts—and then post all of the instructions online—was legally sound, and had no intention of backing down.

Last week, Wilson published a new video. This time, his AR-15 is outfitted with a different printed plastic component—a 30-round magazine, the same kind President Obama proposed outlawing in his new gun control package. Take a look:

Israel's response: ban plastic magazines too. Wilson's response:

WikiWeb DevBlog/Tumblr

If nothing else, it should make for a fun set of hearings—if it gets that far.

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Gun Group: We're Giving Away a Free Assault Rifle for Freedom!

| Mon Jan. 14, 2013 11:19 AM EST

Most dangerous thing in our inbox this morning: the above promo from the Second Amendment group Georgia Gun Owners, which is giving away a free AR-15 assault rifle to one lucky member on February 7. You get a carbine! You get a carbine! You get a carbine! The AR-15 was the weapon used by gunman Adam Lanza in last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. It was also among the firearms included in the 1994 assault weapons ban (and subsequently legalized when the ban expired nine years ago). Per a press release, the GGO "hopes to alert, activate and mobilize gun owners in every corner of the state to oppose the Feinstein Gun Ban and others being touted in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere across the country." (The entry form adds: "Void where prohibited.")

In compliance with federal law, the lucky winner will be subjected to a background check—although the federal background check database is woefully incomplete. But the larger context, as the New York Times reported on Friday, is that rumors of impending gun control legislation are really the best thing that's happened to the firearms industry in a long time. Dealers across the country are running out of arms and ammunition, and background checks for new gun purchases—which tracks closely to overall gun sales—increased 58.6 percent in December 2012 compared to December 2011. As a gun seller in Des Moines, Iowa, told the Times: "If I had 1,000 AR-15s I could sell them in a week."

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