CBS’ FBI pushes the false notion that there are all plastic guns that can fire multiple shots (Season 4, Episode 13, February 22, 2022). Might you be lucky to successfully fire one shot of a very small caliber bullet? Possibly, but you are taking a real risk. This gun is shown being fired four times with a large caliber bullet and no problem.
As for the materials, in order to manufacture a gun with an FDM 3D printer, one can choose between several types of thermoplastics. However, it is usually either PLA or ABS that is used for this purpose. But even these thermoplastics are not perfect for the fabrication of a functional gun. PLA is softer, so a part made from it typically deforms very quickly. ABS is harder, but it only means that it will crack and break rather than deform. Therefore, the user can usually only fire one bullet before a thermoplastic part breaks – the explosive force of firing a bullet being too powerful. For example, in 2013, a police department in Australia tested out a 3D printed gun: they were able to fire a 17 centimeters bullet, but the plastic immediately exploded once the bullet was discharged.Aysha M., “3D printed guns: where are we now?” 3D Natives, September 2, 2020.
The biggest objection to these plastic guns is that they will make it hard to solve crimes.
Gun control activists push for registration as a way to solve crime. In theory, if criminals leave registered guns at a crime scene, they can then be traced back to the perpetrator. But in real life, guns are usually left at the scene of a crime only when the gunmen have been seriously injured or killed. Also, guns used in crimes are rarely registered. In the exceedingly unusual instances that they are, they aren’t registered to the person who committed the crime. However, with both the criminal and crime weapon present at the scene, police can solve these crimes even without registration.
In a 2001 lawsuit, the Pennsylvania state police could not identify any crimes solved by their registration system from 1901 to 2001, however they did claim that it had “assisted” in a total of four cases, for which they could provide no details.
In a 2013 deposition for District of Columbia vs. Heller II, the plaintiffs recorded that the Washington, D.C. police chief could not “recall any specific instance where registration records were used to determine who committed a crime, except for possession offenses.”
During testimony before the Hawaii State Senate in 2000, Honolulu’s police chief stated that he couldn’t find any crimes that had been solved due to registration and licensing. The chief also said that his officers devoted about 50,000 hours to registering and licensing guns each year. This is time that could have been spent on traditional, time-tested law enforcement activities.
New York and Maryland spent tens of millions of dollars putting together a computer database on all new guns sold in the past 15 years, even recording the ballistic fingerprint of each gun. But even these states, which strongly favor gun control, eventually abolished their systems because they never solved a single crime.John R. Lott, Jr., “Democrats Pushing Gun Registry as Precursor to Gun Ban,” Real Clear Politics, February 4, 2022.
Here is a video on Hollywood’s bias against guns.