My thoughts with 3D printing are more for rapid prototyping. What if I wanted to custom build a firearm, and needed to make sure that the parts all fit together, that the stock had the right feel, and dimensions for my body. I could spit a stock out of plastic, verify that things snapped together correctly, and then ship the design off to a legit mill shop to be made out of billet.
I foresee this making custom anything, much cheaper, and quicker. Be in guns, or car parts, or flower pots.
Any schmo can buy and upper assembly and even have it delivered to their home without paper work. That makes it "theroectically" possible for someone to print a lower, pay cash for an upper at the local fun store and have a completely undocumented modern rifle.
Other interesting factors would be the ability to produce lowers compatible with full auto components such as the DIAS.
It definitely creates a quandry, but only within a certain family of rifles and it's still not anywhere as close to "push a button, out pops a rifle" as the tittle would imply.
Criminals can easily purchase or acquire what they want and do not need to invest time and effort to make part of a weapon when for much less they can buy the whole firearm.
Rapid proto-typing, which 3D printing is, isn't meant to replace traditional manufacturing. It's meant to make the prototyping phase cheaper, and quicker, then it's traditionally been.
I see this as being a huge leap forward for designers of any tangible product, be it car parts, firearms, or tea kettles. It's a way to see how an idea would look, and feel, in the real world, for pennies when compared to traditional methods.
I suspect legal acquisition of any firearm without a background check will bother a lot of people.
None of those things are "legally" possible where you live.
Guess which state has more gun violence between the two of us?
I am sure California with its laws has more. I have never felt secure in any way as a result of any restrictions we have enacted here. Outside of the debate people have over whether these laws work, I find the inability to enforce them due to disrupting technology fascinating.
2000 years ago salt was currency and as such it would have been a tightly controled and highly coveted comodity.
Now it's so common it's given out for free with your meal.
Due to the huge amounts of electricity required for its production, aluminum was worth more than gold in the 19th century. Now it's so cheap people throw it away.
Someday making "gun type" weapons will be about as exotic as making a cross bow.
Hopefully we'll be more evolved by that time.