DefCad Pulls All Model Files At State Department Request

The State Department requested that Defense Distributed pull their 3D printer files because they might be in violation of ITAR regulations which prohibit distributing weapon blueprints and technical documentation overseas and they have complied, pulling all downloads. Forbes reports

Wilson argues that he’s also legally protected. He says Defense Distributed is excluded from the ITAR regulations under an exemption for non-profit public domain releases of technical files designed to create a safe harbor for research and other public interest activities. That exemption, he says, would require Defense Distributed’s files to be stored in a library or sold in a bookstore. Wilson argues that Internet access at a library should qualify under ITAR’s statutes, and says that Defcad’s files have also been made available for sale in an Austin, Texas bookstore that he declined to name in order to protect the bookstore’s owner from scrutiny.

At the official* GitHub document repository the Liberator pistol model files are still available if you dig through the git repo history.

The project founder, in a video requested donations, claimed they would never take down any files … so much for that.

* The official repo’s contact information uses TorMail, meaning the person who administers the GitHub account cannot be traced, so nobody, including the State Department, can prove that the “official” repo is in fact official and not run by an unaffiliated third party.

Many thanks to noob and Phillip for the tip.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Michael

    Arrgh. The secret to fighting gun control is being saner and more reasonable than the opposition. Not by taking a page from the occupy and anonymous nutters and pretending to be part of some sort of underground revolution.

    While I’m not against DIY development of weapons (being pro-gun means accepting that banning as simple a mechanical device as a firearm has serious problems), the video portrays DEFCAD as part of some revolution.

    You can argue that, but either way it scares people in the middle. The antis will always be antis of course, but why gun control has been so successful in propagating amongst developed nations (though not in stopping crime) is that it convinced people in the middle that guns were bad and the people who used them were on the fringe of society.

    • Michael

      And please no replies with “You’re either with us or you’re against us”. That fight talk might make you feel big on the internet but every quote like that gets posted on some damn MSNBC special and we’re closer to losing the fight. It matters what the electorate thinks. We have to convince people. Its a democracy.

      • Nicks87

        No, it’s a constitutional republic and it’s always the left that demands “resonable” but then makes unreasonable excuses for us to give up more rights and freedoms.

        • Esh325

          It’s not just the “left” trying to pass gun control, it’s both sides. Pat Toomey was the main architect of the failed gun control bill. John MCcain even came out to support it. In the past, Republicans have passed gun control. Mitt Romney signed an AWB in his state as gov of Mass. Ronald Regan added further regulations to machine guns in 1983, and lobbied to get the first AWB ban passed. George H. Walker Bush banned the importation of foreign made “assault weapons”. George W.Bush even supported the AWB.

          • Guys I’ve been a bit more understanding on some borderline political comments because of the current situation but lets not continue along this line.

          • phigmeta

            Pat, Mit, and McCain are all examples of “reasonable” republicans that have produced FAILURE.

            Reagan was an wrong (ya know its allowed to disagree with people in your own party) in guns, and bush………… thank god for term limits

          • Esh325

            Yes, you can disagree with your side, but I’m just tired of partisan bullshit from Republicans and Democrats that do exactly what they are accusing the other side of.

        • Tell that to the 17th amendment… We are more a democratic republic than anything else since.

    • phigmeta

      Actually the secret to fighting anything is to push your opposition into making bad choices.

      1) Your trying to convince who? nutjobs that have a mental illness about guns, they think that these objects are evil things that do evil things? You never going to convince them.

      2) What happens here is, a) the gov overreacts b) the public sees the futility of the governments actions.

      Your peddling the ideas of “be more reasonable” and the anti folks have depended on that in the past.

      FUCK THIS NO POLITICS SHIT, your gun rights are fucking political GET OVER IT…. so the LEFT OK the fucking left have used the request for “reasonable” in the past and in-fact even now they talk of “reasonable measures”

      SO NO, we won’t be the more “reasonable” side of this debate. I don’t negotiate my rights, and I don’t bend to those that wish to control me.

      Deal with it.

      P.S. Its not a democracy, and our rights are not up for a vote.


      • FourString

        “we won’t be the more “reasonable” side of this debate. ”

        Okay, man, that kind of inflammatory talk is definitely not what gun owners need. We need intelligent responses that persuade people on a line by line basis not “OK NO ALL YOU LEFTISTS SUCK”

        • Nicks87

          Ok, so you want a reasonable debate with people who arent reasonable, that makes sense, lol.

          • FourString

            I wasn’t talking about gun control politicians, I was talking about appealing to middle ground voters by calm persuasion. No, if you have a smart debate with unreasonable people you still come out on top. See Ted Nugent’s debate with Piers Morgan, where viewers saw how unreasonable Morgan was because of Ted Nugent’s logical approach in face of all unreasonableness. So yes, having a reasonable debate with unreasonable people works better than being just as unreasonable.

          • FourString

            Note how (typically liberal) college students in the CNN audience came away impressed with Nugent’s arguments and are likely to vote in favor of 2a.

        • phigmeta

          Reasonable debate and compromise give both sides something they want, what you are proposing with “reasonable” is what sane people call “negotiated surrender”

          I shall have no part of it sir, we are not the one surrounded

          You line of thinking is EXACTLY why we have lost in the past,

          MY LINE of thinking is why we are winning.

          LEFTIST Senate majority, Weak Rep. House Majority and a FDR leftist pres.

          AND WE ARE STILL WINNING….. why?

          Because we decided that our right are not up for negotiation.

          • FourString

            Wrong. Refer to Ted Nugent vs. Piers Morgan. Tell me again how being reasonable, calm, and rational hurts the cause.

            I never said compromise. I said persuade. There’s a difference, you know.

          • phigmeta

            Tell me again how Piers Morgan has won anything?

            Your argument fails when you compare it to the facts.

            1994 saw gun owners being “reasonable” and they lost their shirts.

            2012 saw gun owners being “unreasonable” and look where it got us.

            Oddly its the very fact that in 2012 people like me, who look much more like everyone else, college educated, higher tax bracket, persons who refuse to bend and can explain my hard stance to the same people who hated DCMA, can now explain gun rights


            You say I look like a “right winger” but the liberal voters around me see me a a successful guy, who knows his shit, and is NOW MAKING THE SAME ARGUMENT THAT THEY MADE AGAINST DVD Encryption.

            Tell ya what, you keep on with all that “reasonable” talk

            I will continue to convince folks that banning tools is silly and pointless.

          • FourString

            Bro wtf? Did you even watch that video? When the fk did I say piers won genius? Nugent obviously beat Morgan through rationale and logic, on a line by line basis. That’s MY point, which you clearly didn’t get.

          • phigmeta

            Well and Nugent is well known for his middle of the road thinking….

          • FourString

            Hmm well I don’t know about you but my perception is that he’s not a radical by any means, just a sane logical man like you or me.

          • phigmeta

            Thats not the perspective that most liberals have bro.

            I think you see my point now.

          • FourString

            Not all liberals think the same. You’ve never heard of moderates? I think you see my point now. this false division of America the media creates, you’re only buying into it, thus hurting what should be common sense support for 2a. Think not about groups but individuals.

          • phigmeta

            you may have a point, that may partially due to the place I live (the polarity has been pretty strong here), though it is interesting to see the influence that Obama and gun control has had on the folks here.

            Seattle is a weird place, they talk about government control and higher taxes like its a good thing.

            Till someone proposes a tax on coffee, then they suddenly become Ronald Reagan.

          • FourString

            You don’t have to be middle of the road to appeal to the middle. You just have to be articulate and persuasive. Again I think you misunderstand what being persuasive and reasonable means. By no means does it signify compromise. You have those two ideas/concepts mixed up in your head.

          • phigmeta

            Yet you argue that DefCad is hurting your ability to persuade others.

            Well then maybe you ability to articulate a persuasive argument is just not that persuasive.

            I can tell you, living in a liberal, anti-gun area of Washington state; I have converted far more “liberal” minded folks via the hard line argument that governments are control and rights are endowed than I ever could with “oh i don’t want you to be scared of a plastic thing”

            And defCad, and the reaction to it has helped greatly when dealing with folks who UNDERSTAND technology and appreciate the right to exchange information freely.

            Honestly everyone else is going to be dead in 50 years or doesn’t vote anyway.

          • FourString

            “Yet you argue that DefCad is hurting your ability to persuade others.”

            Okay… when the HELL did I say that? Again do you really think you are persuasive when you shove words d down others’ throats? Or if you stereotype everyone’s views?

          • phigmeta

            soz again it fucking hard as shit to separate you from Michael not because of you, rather because DISqus is a brutal bitch

          • FourString

            No worries I understand now

          • FourString

            However, I completely agree with you on the validity of Def CAD (pardon autocorrect). It’s a good example that shows, disproving any stereotype, that gun owners are highly intelligent and can take advantage of cutting edge technology.

          • Phigmeta

            Well its actually more than that.
            It brings guns and gun right questions to the same people who fund big anti-gun groups.

            After all, if they can restrict a gun blueprint they can restrict code, or even thoughts printed on the internet.

            Most “middleground” folks are less anti or pro and much more i don’t care

            Now that this issue has been brought to their domain, well its hard to argue that the government has a right to restrict a file that lets you make something that is legal to make.

            meaning … its working.

          • Michael

            Yeah I know what you mean phigmeta by “converting”. A lot of polite smiles and uh huhs.

            The funny thing is, from

            “You say I look like a “right winger” but the liberal voters around me see me a a successful guy, who knows his shit, and is NOW MAKING THE SAME ARGUMENT THAT THEY MADE AGAINST DVD Encryption.”

            You’re really self absorbed aren’t you? You feel really good about thinking you’re FIGHTING THE FIGHT; but all you do is rant to your neighbors and, ironically, vote.

            And honestly, just like Defcad, you’re just another bag of hot air. Once the government cracks down on you you’ll fold. Why? Because the masses outnumber you. And if the government convinces them, while you’re ranting and raving and buying flags, that you’re a whacko, then zap. You’re gone.

            Now I’d rather that not happen, because I believe that even if you are as nutty as you choose to portray yourself as, I believe people have rights.

            What you don’t understand Fourstring is trying to tell you is persuasion does not equal compromise. To win you have to convince the majority. That does not require you to back away from your rights; in fact its exercising one of them to protect another. If you think from the get go that they are all out to get you, fine. Indulge in your fantasies.

            But by God do not think that they fear you. You can call them sheep all you want but they are still Americans. They, as I, do not coddle to threats. While the antis themselves may hide away, the people they’ve convinced that you’re a crazy whackjob will go forth and rid you from society. It’s happened. You’re being naive.

          • Phigmeta

            Yeah I totally see your point, after all we can see that its people like you who are saving us from ourselves.

            Thankyou so much for all your doing. /sarscasm

            And I am the self absorbed one. HA

            You don’t have to fear me, or anyone actually.

            BUT if you don’t understand technology by this point in your life, its pretty much a fact that 1 of 2 things are true

            1) Your older than 60
            2) Your not a voter

            You understand now why I said “Honestly everyone else is going to be dead in 50 years or doesn’t vote anyway”

            But yeah you want to take that as a threat?
            My god your a born fucking victim aren’t you.

            Here’s MORE THAN JUST A THREAT…. its a PROMISE

            Eventually you are going to die.

            You dumbshit, I wasn’t threatening to kill you or even suggesting that anyone else would either.

            I WAS EXPLAINING that if you don’t understand the futility of stopping information on the internet your are either so old or out of touch that your opinion JUST WANT MATTER in 50 years.

            Its just a fact. DefCad is pushing the boundaries of what is and is not enforceable They are laying the groundwork for ensuring that information shall not be controlled.

            You trying to advocate for restrictions of information in an age where that kind of thinking is ….. outdated

            Your thinking like a dinosaur

          • FourString

            Did I ever call you an extreme right winger here? Do you really expect to win arguments by shoving your own words down someone else’s mouth?

          • phigmeta

            soz i got you confused with the post below

          • FourString

            Well, I use standard English, not some idiosyncratic jargon with meanings different than the Oxford dictionary’s definition of the word. If there’s any confusion it’s due to your schemas that lop “persuasion” and “compromise” together, not to mention your blanket generalization of all liberals as anti gun, nor your irrelevant appeal to authority regarding your income and education.

          • FourString

            Oh I misread your post (as in sorry you’re so confused with my post below), but much of what I said still stands. No worries, yeah, it happens.

      • Michael

        Congratulations! You’ve fit the stereotype they want to put you in. An anti-government right wing extremist who refuses to accept that we’re in a democracy who is actively goading the government.

        I’m trying to convince the public, which is what you’re trying to convince as well, if you’re claiming that eventually “the public sees the futility of the governments actions.”

        The difference is you won’t, because you assume that the public agrees with DEFCAD, which it doesn’t. And don’t show me the youtube statistics, since at this point its mostly been circulating amongst gun blogs which is preaching to the choir.

        Shut down DEFCAD and no one gives a crap. Hell, send them off to Guantanamo and no one will bat an eye. As long as they can portray it as, just like you, another right wing extremist out against society. Which you do a very good job of portraying yourself as. Good job. I hope it makes you feel big and tough.

        We put him away to keep you safe. Just like Waco. Mistakes were made, but in the end, we put the bad guys in the ground. God bless America.

        And don’t say “THERE’LL BE BLOOD IN THE STREETS”. Yeah there might be. But it’ll be yours, and once again, no one will bat an eye.

        To saner readers, the people we should be taking notes from are the early civil rights activists. They got what they wanted because they convinced middle america that racism was a serious ill in American society. And they did it by being humble and stoic and reasonable. Hell their leader got a national holiday.

        You cannot always assume you are the majority. Because if you aren’t, intimidation tactics don’t work. You’re just another extremists. Another bug that is easily crushed, to the applause of those without the stomach to fight.

        • Michael

          I mean I’m sorry for double posting, but do you really think Al Qaeda has been successful ANYWHERE? It has goaded the US government to do a lot of REALLY STUPID THINGS, that has made a lot of Americans question the usefulness of its actions, but has it been successful? Is there anywhere on earth, other than Iran (and that is debatable) that is its ideal medieval islamic state? Is there anywhere they can set up shop in the open without being immediately blown to bits?

          And they do more than post angry messages on the internet.

        • Phigmeta


          Its not a “anti-government right wing extremist” ideal


          My points are easier to win. Here let me give you an example.

          YOU: Well we voted and it was decided that we have the right to speach, and guns, as well as a bunch of other stuff we can do.

          ME: The goverment SHALL NOT infringe on your RIGHT to speech or defend yourself.

          Who just won that argument?

          You keep living in a world where the masses decides what you can do, you will get a few sheep as converts.

          I will continue to explain the virtue of rights that you possess and that no one shall ever be allowed to take as they please.

          Lets see who has more on my side

          • n0truscotsman

            Phigmeta kicking ass and taking names.

            let it be known that people are fucking morons if you think this country is a “democracy”. they should do everyone a favor and take middle school civics all over again.

      • FUCK THIS NO POLITICS SHIT Are you talking about our policy?

        • phigmeta

          actually yes, its like saying “i don’t support porn, but I like naked ladies”

          We didn’t make it that way, they did.

          • phigmeta

            *pictures of naked ladies

          • FourString

            I don’t know about you but my penis says that everyone can get behind naked ladies (no pun intended) whereas firearms politics is a far more controversial topic. The two can’t exactly be equated.

          • phigmeta

            “everyone can get behind naked ladies ”

            Well done, well done.

            … something something something about “nobody controls THIS GUN” went zipping though my mind.

          • FourString

            Granted it would be great if everyone contributed thoughtful responses but if you’ve seen other blogs like The “Truth” About Guns, you’ll see that unrestrained political discussions tend to devolve into flame baiting and shouting over one another.

      • n0truscotsman

        phigmeta, im with you 100%.

        that is why im done with this site.

        while the rest of us were working night and day, doing everything in our power to preserve our rights, TFB just sat on the sidelines with its “no politics” rule.

        you do realize that attitudes like this led to the passing of the 94 AWB. “oh no, dont worry, well compromise and be friends with the opposition. lets not get political”


        Its time to go on the offensive. flatten their entire house of cards and make them wish they never danced on the graves of the kids of sandy hook to push a agenda. only this way can we guarantee the fight stays with the ballot box rather than the cartridge box.

        • Feel free to leave anytime but don’t bring your attitude here. We have that policy because every time a discussion like this starts the crap hits the fan and the subject of the post goes away.
          I like to keep the warnings against political discussions mild but this has got to stop now. I don’t like deleting comments but if need be I surely will.

  • Mr. Fahrenheit

    There’s an awful noisy brouhaha over this thing.

    I think the government is “Streisand effect[ing]” the Liberator.

  • Combaticron

    A “request” by an organization backed by many men with guns is not a request at all.

    • FourString

      your avatar looks like a person upside down and a fore grip right side up.

  • Robert Paulson

    Respectfully, is a project to create a website that would be freely share files; it has not been launched or has any infrastructure.

    Defense Distributed and are the websites associated with designing and selling firearms. That is the FFL holding organization and thus far has complied with all the laws.

    For the Americans here who would like to get these files, they may legally do so; this take down was associated with their organization making it available for download abroad.

    • Ripley

      It’s, not .com.

  • This is why I always believed it was problematic of them (Them being Defense Distributed) to get licensed as an FFL, and I assume a SOT. As an FFL/SOT you pretty much have to comply with ITAR. If they were just a group making files and distributing them, and testing prototypes, I highly doubt they would have these issues. But now they are “official” as licensed FFL’s. Ignoring the governments request to take down the files means they get their license/SOT revoked. Really, they should never have gotten licensed to begin with.

    • Getting licensed was a questionable move. of course we don’t know what goes on behind the curtain.

      • But one can figure that if they did not, that someone would come along and tag them as a manufacturer… without a license.

    • flyingburgers

      Anybody has to comply with ITAR, FFL or not, otherwise you get thrown into jail. That’s pretty clear. The issue really is whether the information is under the free speech/university provisions of ITAR, which is a different question.

  • Komrad

    I previously had little interest in these files not having access to 3D printing. When I heard the news, I went out and torrented a copy and emailed copies to interested friends, precisely because I’m not supposed to.

    Streisand effect indeed.

  • This will not matter because people can share the blue prints freely now anyway.

  • John

    This stinks of a publicity stunt designed to intentionally create a Streisand Effect.

  • RocketScientist

    HAHAHAHA, the government wants to remove information from the internet. That’s cute. Last night, when my buddy and I read this story over some scotch, he immediately downloaded ever DefCad torrent on Pirate Bay and seeded them heavily. I can’t imagine he’s the only one to react similarly.

  • tincankilla

    That last line is kind of petulant. I think its fine that he took them down, as its helping him prove his point: that gun control as it’s now formulated is a foolish idea, that the internet makes national gun control regimes obsolete, and that governments are indeed threatened by some chintzy plastic single shot in the hands of people.

  • Anon1

    Passing on another mirror:

  • Sherman Watkins

    This is the second unofficial site with these files I’ve seen just today. The horses left this particular barn a long time ago.

  • mefournow

    I bet this was the plan the whole time, troll them into action, provoking the public rights backlash.

  • bazker

    Who need this 3Dprinting nonesence if you can make the same gun with some pipe, spring etc.
    Or if you dont have ammo – with pipe etc + 2 boxes of matches, some nails

  • KM

    So why is this being covered after the take-down as opposed to when the test-shot was a success? Isn’t it Firearms not politics? This is Politics not firearms

    • It is “Firearms not Politics” and you like most other readers want it kept that way. If it comes down to it I’ll have to start deleting post since my first two request seem to have been ignored.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      We post frequently about DD and DefCab. I don’t feel obliged to post **everything** they do, any more than I feel obliged to post everything Steyr or SIG do. I personally classify this as law not politics.