Darkwallet’s Cody Wilson has been denied shipping support from FedEx over a device, which allows anyone to manufacture the bodies of anonymous firearms at home.
Wilson, who is co-founder of “firearm-access nonprofit” Defense Distributed, unveiled the computer-controlled (CNC) mill (similar to a 3D printer), dubbed the Ghost Gunner, last year, but has been told by FedEx it will not be shipped to customers on “legal” grounds, Yahoo! reports. The US$1,500 piece of equipment, while not able to produce a fully-finished product, does allow users to manufacture bodies of an AR-15 rifle without a serial number.
In a statement, FedEx explained:
“We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated.”
According to Wilson, who has been in negotiation with FedEx regarding B2C shipping since the start of the month, the company had also begun “demurring on the rates” and that it “would not give [him] a reason in writing” for the decision. “I understood that the company held itself out as catering to the firearms industry with special rates,” he wrote in a blog post carried on industry news portal Ammoland Tuesday.
Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA and the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America, pointed out to Yahoo! however that manufacture of firearms by individuals in the US is not against the law.
“This is not that problematic. Federal law does not prohibit individuals from making their own firearms at home, and that includes AR-15s,” he told the publication.
Wilson echoed this position rather more bluntly. “This is no big deal, right? It’s just a mill,” he repeated from a conversation with a FedEx contact. “You guys ship guns. You’ve shipped 3-D printers and mills, right? You’ll ship a drill press, right? Same difference.”
The reasoning behind the decision is difficult to confirm, but could lie in the licensing and anti-competition laws, which protect its significant presence nationally. Wilson is still awaiting further developments.
Yesterday, Cointelegraph carried news of Magic, a personal assistant-styled part-decentralized shipping service allowing users to order anything for bitcoin to anywhere via an instant message command from their phone. While nevertheless a third party, Magic stipulates only that orders must be “legal” in order to be processed.
Cryptocurrency-funded projects, shipping via alternative methods would hence be a practical solution, negating the need to deal with less flexible engrained industry names. In 2014, both German outfit ZmartPart and US-based ISG began accepting bitcoin for 3D printing, with ISG even facilitating CannabisCoin at the same time.
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