Local businesses keeping watchful eye on 3D-printed guns debate

Just one day before instructions to make 3D-printed untraceable, plastic guns would be made available online, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order.

Eight states and Washington, D.C. sued the Trump administration to stop the Austin-based company from posting the downloadable blueprints. The U.S. district judge who made the decision said there's a possibility these guns could cause "irreparable harm."

Before the decision, President Donald Trump said 3D-printed guns "doesn't seem to make much sense."

Some gun rights groups point out laws allow people to make their own guns now and say this isn't all that different.                     

Inside an old Arlington home sit the cutting edge pieces of technology that are the tools of the trade for Bridget Ayres’ 3D-printing business, 3DLIRIOUS.

“As soon as I found out you could scan humans, basically the ceiling opened up and the light came and I was there,” she said.

Over the past few years, her and husband have continued to grow the business. The technology has quickly grown, too, with 3D blueprints for guns now making all the headlines. It’s something that is not part of Ayres’ business model.

“I've had people ask me if I can make something like that for them,” she said. “We don't.”

The 3D-printed gun controversy first blew up in 2013. An Austin-based business run by Cody Wilson came up with the designs. The Obama administration said it violated federal law and Wilson sued. Then under the Trump administration, a settlement was reached last month allowing the designs to be posted August 1.

David Prince runs Eagle Gun range locations in North Texas. He understands concerns about the guns’ ability to be detected, but laws already make it illegal for people to possess undetectable guns. He believes if people want to do harm, it's easier to get a gun illegally or find another way to do it.

“If people are intent on doing evil, they are going to do it,” he said. “I think this is much to do about nothing on that gun. I really do.”

Prince says making your own gun, gunsmithing, has been around for a long time. He says this is just another way of doing it.

“The only thing different in this situation is that it’s non-detectable, it’s polymer or plastic. It makes it a little more controversial,” he said. “Making your own guns has been a case all along.”

Although the Austin-based company said it would start allowing downloads on Wednesday, the blueprints for at least one gun have been posted on its website since Friday.