How Myanmar rebels fighter are using 3D-printed arms/ Source: France 24 observer
Did the German-Kurdish weapons designer who uploaded the FGC-9 gun design to DEFCAD expect it to be produced in such large quantities by Myanmar rebels? This occurred because of the decentralized nature of the web and the affordability of desktop 3D printers.
3D Printing Firearms in Myanmar Rebels
On February 1, 2021, civilian Myanmar rebels in the country rose up in opposition to a military coup and have been fighting the armed forces, known as the Tatmadaw, ever since. The Myanmar rebels, unlike the government military, do not have easy access to factory-produced weaponry. Because of this, they’ve started using 3D printing.
3D Printed Guns Fighting the Government in Myanmar/ Source: Grey Dynamics
In 2020, DEFCAD user JStark1809 uploaded a design for a gun he called the FGC-9 (F**k Gun Control-9). The weapon is composed of 3D-printable components including the upper and lower receivers, pistol grip, and stock. Electrochemical machining is planned for the barrel’s production.
The printer alone is projected to cost $200, while the machining equipment adds another $100 to that total, for a total of $300 to $500 in fixed costs associated with the device. According to JStark1809, the construction time was somewhere between 1.5 and 2 weeks. Moreover, others have updated the design to make it more adaptable and printable, including a 3D printable trigger mechanism for firing control, after JStark1809 released the weapon and it was shared on sites like Odysee.
The average citizen during Myanmar rebels may have encountered 3D printing before. In 2016, MakerBot promoted the usage of their 3D printing devices for agricultural tools. There have been reports of 3D printed weapons being deployed against the junta as far back as December 2021, making them at least a year and a half old on the field of combat. Apparently the guerrillas have figured out how to mass produce the rifles, which cuts down on expenses and assembly time.
Whether or whether JStark1809 anticipated that his invention would get into the hands of a Myanmar rebels army is moot; the fact is that it did. POPULAR FRONT will release a documentary in 2020 including a meeting between filmmaker Jake Hanrahan and the gunsmith, who tells Hanrahan that “to bear firearms is a human right.” There is an executive branch in whichever body exercises authority over you. The military and police both carry weapons. To overcome such injustice, [people] require the same power at the personal level.
The German Federal Criminal Police Office conducted a house raid on 28-year-old “Jacob D.”, aka JStark1809, the following year. He had a heart attack and was discovered two days later in his automobile in front of his parents’ house. The coroner concluded that natural causes were to blame, notwithstanding the unusual nature of the illness for someone of such a young age.
3D Printed Weapons and Gun Control
Several key issues are raised by the insurgents’ account in Myanmar rebels. For one, 3D-printed weaponry have improved to the point that they may be useful in underground conflicts. We’ve documented that 3D printing isn’t essential to successful do-it-yourself gunsmithing and is, in fact, most effective when used in tandem with other production methods. More widespread use of metal filament, however, will reduce the demand for such auxiliary production methods.
We also know that corporations and armies are working hard to perfect 3D printing for use in battle. For instance, one startup has created a 3D-printable anti-drone weapon. Drones made using 3D printing technology have also shown to be beneficial in Ukraine. As such, the civil conflict in Myanmar acts as a test bed for 3D printed weaponry, which might have implications for strategic thinking throughout the world.
Furthermore, some supporters for gun control may find this issue confusing because the struggle of the citizens in Myanmar rebels is often considered as a noble one, as are most stories of resistance against a military coup. Those who support the guerillas might see the capacity to produce weapons as crucial in their struggle to restore democratic rule. Although it’s unlikely that the United States would suffer the same fate as other industrialised countries, it’s still possible and would be good news for gun rights supporters. Therefore, there may be an acceptable compromise of reasonable regulation that advocates from both camps could support.
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