FedEx Refuses To Ship Perfectly Legal Milling Machine (Which Can Also Craft Gun Parts), Can't Provide A Coherent Reason Why

from the baby,-bathwater dept

I recently toured a maker space in Burlington, and while I lack the inclination to build amazing contraptions out of Raspberry Pis, soldered metal and imagination myself, there's a Lego-loving corner of my brain that has an endless appreciation for the fusion of technology and creativity aided by modern marvels like 3D printers. It probably goes without saying that inexpensive and/or communal 3D printers, milling machines and other tools have opened the door toward a massive realm of new innovation, whether that's building less expensive prosthetic limbs, robotics or drones.

Of course, the fact that a lot of this technology can also help build weapons has resulted in no limit of hysteria that has a great potential to hamper a lot of the better aspects of this technological evolution. The latest case in point comes courtesy of FedEx, which is refusing to ship a computer controlled (CNC) mill dubbed the Ghost Gunner. Sold by Defense Distributed, the $1,500 machine can carve any number of aluminum objects from digital designs. With a few cheap extra parts, it can also help craft untraceable, semi-automatic firearms. This, apparently, has worried the FedEx legal and marketing departments:
"This device is capable of manufacturing firearms, and potentially by private individuals,” FedEx spokesperson Scott Fiedler wrote in a statement. “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."
Of course, we're entering an era where anything can be built at home, and just because firearms are among them, that doesn't make the tools illegal. Any lathe or mill can be used to help make a firearm; Defense Distributed appears to have gotten attention because of founder Cody Wilson's salty demeanor, and the fact it's specifically marketing their milling machine as a potential firearms maker. Again though, that doesn't magically make the ownership of such technologies against the law:
"But buying, selling, or using the Ghost Gunner isn’t illegal, nor is owning an AR-15 without a serial number, says Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA and the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America. "This is not that problematic,” he says. "Federal law does not prohibit individuals from making their own firearms at home, and that includes AR-15s."
When pressed, FedEx hasn't been able to give a decent reason why it has suddenly added milling machines to its list of unshippable materials alongside hazardous waste and corpses. As we've noted when discussing the hysteria over firearm printing instructions or legislative efforts to thwart gun printing, this is a genie that's well out of its bottle, and no limit of cajoling the agitated djinn back into confinement is likely to be successful. Still, it seems inevitable that we try, in the process stumbling on and over a myriad of technological potential in the misguided quest to roll back the clock to a simpler age.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:34am

    FedEx has a point.

    The problem here (as I've posted elsewhere) is he's billing this item as something to make gun parts, and FedEx doesn't ship things intended primarily for the manufacture of weapons. If the advertizing said "CNC machine perfect for milling small parts such as metal straws, rifled barrels, triggers for mechanical devices and other small metal parts that need to withstand explosive force", FedEx probably wouldn't bat an eye shipping it. But that's not what he put on the shipping invoice. He's marketing it as a firearms manufacturing tool. That's also the reason they provided.

    They're all about CYA, not about preventing the proliferation of firearms parts of CNC milling machines.

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    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:46am

      Re: FedEx has a point.

      " If the advertizing said "CNC machine perfect for milling small parts such as metal straws, rifled barrels, triggers for mechanical devices and other small metal parts that need to withstand explosive force", FedEx probably wouldn't bat an eye shipping it. But that's not what he put on the shipping invoice. He's marketing it as a firearms manufacturing tool. That's also the reason they provided."
      So if I take a mannequin, advertise it as a "rotting dead body" (TM) and sell it, FedEx will refuse to ship that too? The fact that something is marketed in a particular fashion doesn't change the nature of that very thing's molecules, or the law.

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      • icon
        RonKaminsky (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:56am

        Re: Re: FedEx has a point.

        > doesn't change the nature of that very thing's molecules, or the law.

        My reading of the post you are replying to is that FedEx is not refusing to ship it because it is illegal. This is merely a business decision: FedEx is refusing to ship it in order to reduce its chance it will be sued (or be hurt by negative PR) over a subsequent shooting incident.

        If the other AC is correct, however, that FedEx has no problem with shipping actual firearms and ammunition, then this looks like a really strange business decision...

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        • icon
          Designerfx (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: FedEx has a point.

          There are no excuses for opaquely stupid business decisions that even trivial common sense would show happen to be stupid.

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          • icon
            Karl Bode (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: FedEx has a point.

            See that's what I'm thinking. If we stop shipping items based on bad PR caused purely by marketing of the product, even if the product itself doesn't violate the law, what the hell are we doing?

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            • icon
              ltlw0lf (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 2:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: FedEx has a point.

              If we stop shipping items based on bad PR caused purely by marketing of the product, even if the product itself doesn't violate the law, what the hell are we doing?

              Creating an opportunity for competition from companies who don't have an issue with transporting legal merchandise from one place to another. So long as it is legal to transport legal merchandise, and there are no artificial barriers to the business (which sadly, may be the case.) If it becomes illegal to transport legal merchandise, than we have much bigger problems. If CNC machines become illegal merchandise, then we have much bigger problems as well.

              If UPS (who, in the Ars Technica article say they won't transport these CNC machines as well,) and FedEx wish to leave money on the table, let them, so long as they don't then run to their buddies and complain and quash someone else who is willing to pick up the money and transport legal merchandise in their place.

              It sucks, and will likely make this endeavor cost more in the short run as they search for another company, but in the long run it just means more competition that is sorely needed. Isn't this exactly how capitalism works?

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      • identicon
        god, 4 Mar 2015 @ 1:50am

        Re: Re: FedEx has a point.

        er, no they won't refuse you genius, because it does not become a rotting dead body.

        A mannequin advertised as a "rotting dead body" still is a mannequin and not an actual rotting dead body. A CNC machine marketed as a "gun making machine" can still make guns. Phew.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Mar 2015 @ 9:59am

          Re: Re: Re: FedEx has a point.

          I'm pretty sure an improperly contained rotting dead body has more legal implications than a gun-parts mill.

          Assuming it is a rotting dead body, eventually it actually becomes hazardous materials that require professional processing.

          A gun mill, even if used to mill guns doesn't actually commit any crimes until waaaaaay down the line when someone's assembled a gun than gone and committed a crime with it. By far, most guns are not used commit crimes throughout their entire existence as a gun. Gun mills don't ever. (Not true. In some states AK-47s are blatantly illegal to possess when fully assembled, more because communism than evil gun.)

          If Fedex's policy is not to ship anything that might some day facilitate the commission of a crime, that would rule out an awful lot of stuff that I bet they gladly ship every day.

          So refusing shipment of a gun mill sounds completely political. It sounds like discrimination against a fringe group because it's still somehow okay to discriminate against guys who like making guns.

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  • identicon
    David, 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:39am

    Bad article mistake

    The milling machine is not called "Ghost Runner" but rather "Ghost Gunner". It's been rather explicitly marketed as something useful for creating gun parts even though it is a general purpose CNC machine.

    And the reason it has been marketed as such is exactly to cause reactions like the one it did, pointing out that general-purpose products may trigger gun control regulations when considered thoroughly.

    Similar to how general purpose color copiers are problematic when viewed in money counterfeiting context.

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    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:48am

      Re: Bad article mistake

      Fixed the product name, thanks -- apparently I thought Gunner sounded cooler.
      "Similar to how general purpose color copiers are problematic when viewed in money counterfeiting context."
      Right, but FedEx isn't refusing to ship copiers because they can be used in counterfeiting. Just because a milling machine is advertised as a gun maker doesn't change the law or the actual device being shipped.

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      • identicon
        Jerry Siebe, 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:08pm

        Re: Re: Bad article mistake

        Right, but FedEx isn't refusing to ship copiers because they can be used in counterfeiting.

        I don't think that's hitting on the same issue here.

        Take that same color copier, market and brand it as a counterfeiting device, then try shipping it FedEx/UPS. Do you really think they won't also take exception to it then.

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      • icon
        randomjoe (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:12pm

        Re: Re: Bad article mistake

        > Right, but FedEx isn't refusing to ship copiers because they can be used in counterfeiting.

        I think the point is that FedEx may refuse to ship a package labeled "counterfeiting equipment", even if it merely contains a color copier.

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        • icon
          Karl Bode (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:21pm

          Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

          I don't feel like that decision makes any sense either. Again, what does it matter how a device is marketed?

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          • identicon
            PRMan, 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

            From a legal INTENT perspective, it absolutely matters.

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            • icon
              Karl Bode (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

              Can you clarify further? I'm very curious about this...

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                It seems logical that if FedEx ships products thr name or label of which imply to a reasonable person criminal intent in the use of that device, they could be held liable, whether it's appropriate or not, for facilitating criminal activity since the label would indicate that they "knew" of the possible intent.

                If they shipped a product labeled, "kitchen knife with which to stab your wife," and the recipient stabs his wife, then I'm guessing FedEx would get sued for facilitating that act, at least in civil court. So the CYA approach seems reasonable here. They can always change their minds later and this isn't hurting their business much.

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                • icon
                  beltorak (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:03pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                  I think you have the right of it. I would like to point out however that the CYA approach only seems reasonable because this legal tort domain in These Modern United States is batshit crazy. It's purely a defensive move on FedEx's part.

                  Just like PayPal cancelling a business person's account because someone made a payment to them with a joke of a memo "for cocaine".

                  Yes, it's the same stupid that gives rise to "zero tolerance" policies, and yes, FedEx would undoubtedly be on the receiving end of a lawsuit for exercising common sense.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                  I'd imagine that any product named "kitchen knife with which to stab your wife," is almost certainly a gag gift ... perhaps something that vibrates ;)

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                  • icon
                    Sheogorath (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 3:14pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                    Cheapest vibrator ever: put your phone on silent mode and wrap it in clingfilm before sticking it in the obvious place and calling it from another phone. Job done!

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 3:25pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                      There's a free "app" that turns an Apple iPhone into a full-fledged "body massager" - but I don't think the iPhone can quite be used to "stab" anyone.

                      http://eapps.pro/app/body-massager/

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                      • icon
                        Sheogorath (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 1:33pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                        Now, if anything could make me get a crApple device, it would be the thought of holding it against my perineum with that app activated!

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 3:55pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                      There's a free "app" that turns an Apple iPhone into a full-fledged "body massager" - but I don't think the iPhone can quite be used to "stab" anyone.

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                • icon
                  Karl Bode (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                  But what's being advertised in this case is a device that can legally construct legal weaponry. Can it really be argued that by shipping this product FedEx knowingly supports use of that product to murder? If that's the case, it seems like we'd be seeing a lot more instances of companies refusing to ship all manner of product for fear of legal liability.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:53pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                    "If that's the case, it seems like we'd be seeing a lot more instances of companies refusing to ship all manner of product for fear of legal liability."

                    That would be a double-edged sword, as a shipping company could be setting itself up to be sued for illegal discrimination of some kind or another. For instance, imagine banning the shipping of birth-control or abortion information or products (notwithstanding that the US Post Office did exactly that in the past, considering such things "obscene")

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 3:58pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                    I was specifically referring to the hypothetical scenario proposed in the earlier comment, "I think the point is that FedEx may refuse to ship a package labeled "counterfeiting equipment", even if it merely contains a color copier."

                    The milling machine marketed to make weapons parts seems a little blurrier of an issue. If they were expressly marketed as a device for making untraceable weapons in order to get away with murder, it'd be pretty clear cut that FedEX should stay away from it.

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                • icon
                  tqk (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 3:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                  ... this isn't hurting their business much.

                  ORLY? I would not trust them to ship it for me now. I'd be worried about sabotage. I'll never ship FedEx again.

                  This's why common carrier status ought to be ubiquitous. They shouldn't need to care about what's in the box. That's between the DoJ and the receiver.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:03pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                    Why would FedEx's decision here affect your decision to ship with them unless you made a living selling milling machines? It's not that controversial of a topic to take such a stand on. But beyond that, you're one person. This won't cause a boycott of FedEx by many people. And beyond even that, I don't choose to ship FedEx because I have a UPS store nearby and if I received FedEx, it's because some vendor that I purchased a product from chose to use FedEx. So even your own boycott of them might be useless since you don't always know which shipper a vendor will use to send you something (if you make purchases online). The world will continue to spin. This a pebble in a pond.

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                  • icon
                    nasch (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 10:28am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                    I'll never ship FedEx again.

                    Someone mentioned UPS won't ship them either, are you going to boycott them too?

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                    • icon
                      tqk (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 10:59am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

                      You can hire any kid, or homeless person, to drive across the US in a pos car. The wheels of industry won't stop if FedEx and UPS aren't there doing it. It's just another annoyance.

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        • icon
          Dan (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 2:20pm

          Re: Re: Re: Bad article mistake

          'I think the point is that FedEx may refuse to ship a package labeled "counterfeiting equipment"'

          Perhaps so. It's important to note, though, that counterfeiting is illegal, while making gun parts (and indeed, entire guns) is perfectly legal in most of the United States without any special licensing, registration, or anything else.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:47am

    I'm not sure what the Previous Anonymous Coward was talking about in terms of Fedex normally refusing to "ship things intended primarily for the manufacture of weapons."

    They have no such restriction, and regularly ship all sorts of weapon-related tools and parts. FedEx also ships actual firearms, and actual ammunition.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 7:01pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Feb 25th, 2015 @ 11:47am

      They will also ship high grade explosives, although it's not shipped with common mail.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:51am

    Uber for parcels when?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 11:58am

    I don't pay my parcel shipping service to police my parcels any more than I pay my ISP to police my traffic.
    Their job is to deliver the packages from point A to point B.

    I understand if the package presents a health danger to the men and women of the company, but a moral danger is unacceptable.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:01pm

      Re:

      This growing trend of companies sticking their noses and butting into people's business where they have non themselves is starting to piss me off.

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  • icon
    AricTheRed (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:08pm

    Looks like a case for the ACLU!!!

    Denied service because the service provider does not like your position regarding constitutionally protected activities?

    Can't get in to a restaurant cause of your religion, "race", or sex?

    Want to have a fabulous cake at your same sex, non-denominational Wedding?

    Want to live in a custom built home, in a certain neighborhood, where only decent pink folk currently live?

    Want to ship your little CNC milling machine that your customers may make firearms components with, even the little bit of metal that the ATF considers to be the regulated firearm itself, which is perfectly legal under federal law?

    Call the ACLU defenders of The People!!! Oh wait never mind…

    From the ACLU's site:

    https://www.aclu.org/racial-justice_prisoners-rights_drug-law-reform_immigrants-rights/second-a mendment

    Gun Control
    Updated: 1/17/2013

    The Second Amendment provides: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    ACLU POSITION
    Given the reference to "a well regulated Militia" and "the security of a free State," the ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right. For seven decades, the Supreme Court's 1939 decision in United States v. Miller was widely understood to have endorsed that view. This position is currently under review and is being updated by the ACLU National Board in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in D.C. v. Heller in 2008.
    In striking down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court's decision in D.C. v. Heller held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, whether or not associated with a state militia.

    The ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court's conclusion about the nature of the right protected by the Second Amendment. However, particular federal or state laws on licensing, registration, prohibition, or other regulation of the manufacture, shipment, sale, purchase or possession of guns may raise civil liberties questions.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 4:35pm

      Re: Looks like a case for the ACLU!!!

      I suspected as much. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 7:54pm

      Re: Looks like a case for the ACLU!!!

      I dunno. That last paragraph seems like they're saying they'll defend fair treatment under the law, even if they disagree with the law. Maybe I'm being overly generous in my interpretation, but it seems like they'd be fine defending someone's right to purchase/make/own a firearm, even if they approach it in a "Skokie Nazi" fashion.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Cal, 27 Feb 2015 @ 5:10am

      Re: Looks like a case for the ACLU!!!

      "Given the reference to "a well regulated Militia" and "the security of a free State," the ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right. For seven decades, the Supreme Court's 1939 decision in United States v. Miller was widely understood to have endorsed that view."

      Why don't we see what the people who WROTE the US Constitution says it means, and the courts of that time - and beyond - before there were filled with Domestic Enemies (traitors, but was playing nice) of the USA and the American people say about the Second Amendment.

      Oh, and this quote by George Washington applies to this article.

      "A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies." George Washington

      Notice that even back at that time he felt that there would come a time that we would have enemies serving within our governments and that we needed to make sure that we had OUR OWN "manufactories" so that we would not be dependent upon those who serve within our governments. Our framers knew history, and everything else, much better then anyone educated today. Sad isn't it.

      How many of you today are aware that those who serve within our governments were FORBIDDEN to create governmental professional law enforcement or to keep a "standing" (full time) military?

      James Madison, the Father of the US Constitution: “... large and permanent military establishments ... are forbidden by the principles of free government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark.”

      Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12 specifies that there shall be no military beyond that of two years. The Militia of each state is charged with our nations defense here within the USA until and unless the congress has declared war and a “standing” military is raised:

      “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years”.

      Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, floor debate over the 2nd Amendment, I Annals of Congress: “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to PREVENT THE ESTABLISMENT OF A STANDING ARMY, the bane of liberty….”

      James Madison: "An efficient militia is authorized and contemplated by the Constitution and required by the spirit and safety of free government."

      Tench Coxe: “Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American... THE UNLIMITED POWER OF THE SWORD IS NOT IN THE HANDS OF EITHER THE FEDERAL OR STATE GOVERNMENTS BUT, where I trust in God it will ever remain, IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.”

      Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural, explained that: "a well-disciplined militia" is "our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them" and also a guarantee of "the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; [and] economy in the public expense."

      Samuel Adams: “It is always dangerous to the liberties of the people to have an army stationed among them, over which they have no control ... The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no danger of their making use of their Power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them..”

      Our governments - state and federal - were to use the Militia, us, when needed to enforce things or to defend our states, our nations so that we could NEVER become a police state.

      Representative Jackson, first U.S. Congress, when it met and turned to defense measures in 1791: “The inhabitants of Switzerland emancipated themselves by the establishment of a Militia, which finally delivered them from the tyranny of their lords.”

      The New Hampshire ratifiers called for a guarantee (the Second Amendment) that: Congress shall never disarm any Citizen...”.

      The Pennsylvania minority at its ratifying convention demanded a guarantee of a very broad right to arms, that: "the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own State or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game."

      Joel Barlow, Revolutionary War veteran, and American whose political writings were debated on the floor of Parliament said of the US Constitution: "… not only permitting every man to arm, but obliging him to arm.”

      Daniel Webster: “Where is it written in the Constitution, in what article or section is it contained, that you may take children from their parents and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the folly and wickedness of the government may engage itself? Under what concealment has this power lain hidden, which now for the first time comes forth, with a tremendous and baleful aspect, to trample down and destroy the dearest right of personal liberty? Who will show me any Constitutional injunction which makes it the duty of the American people to surrender everything valuable in life, and even life, itself, whenever the purposes of an ambitious and mischievous government may require it? ... A free government with an uncontrolled power of military conscription is the most ridiculous and abominable contradiction and nonsense that ever entered into the heads of men”.

      Cockrum v. State: “The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers delegated directly to the citizen, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power”

      Andrews v. State explains, this "passage from Story, shows clearly that this right was intended, as we have maintained in this opinion, and was guaranteed to, and to be exercised and enjoyed by the citizen as such, and not by him as a soldier, or in defense solely of his political rights."

      Nunn vs. State:'The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the milita, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right”.

      Bliss v. Commonwealth: “Arms restrictions - even concealed weapons bans - are unconstitutional, since arms bearing is an individual right and the legislature may not restrict any aspect of such a right.”

      Black's Law Dictionary, 3rd Edition: "The body of citizens in a state, enrolled for discipline as a military force, but not engaged in actual service except in emergencies, as distinguished from regular troops or a standing army."

      Thomas J. Jackson: “The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.”

      Thomas Jefferson:“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.”

      John Norton Pomeroy: “The object of this clause [the right of the people to keep and bear arms] is to secure a well-armed militia.... But a militia would be useless unless the citizens were enabled to exercise themselves in the use of warlike weapons. To preserve this privilege, and to secure to the people the ability to oppose themselves in military force against the usurpations of government, as well as against enemies from without, that government is forbidden by any law or proceeding to invade or destroy the right to keep and bear arms.”

      State Gazette (Charleston): No free government was ever founded or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state.... Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the  freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.

      Ask yourself this, WHEN did those who serve within our governments start dismantling the Militias of the several states?

      In the early 1930's. They went at it with gusto soon after Joseph Stalin said in 1933: ”The United States should get rid of its militias”.

      Those who serve within our governments were never given the authority, and the Second Amendment itself says "shall not be infringed" which means that no one serving within any of our governments may alter in any way that PROTECTION.

      Each state's Militia is made up of “We the People” protecting our own interests, homes, states, nation, and enforcing our governments. The Militia has as its constitutionally assigned duties to:

      Enforce the US Constitution and each state's Constitution,
      Enforce and keep the “Laws of the Union” (which are constitutional laws ONLY),
      Protect the country against all enemies both domestic and foreign, and
      “to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”.

      The US Constitution guarantees to each state its own “Republican form of government”. It is every state's Militia that is the ONLY Constitutionally assigned force to “counter Invasions” and “Domestic Violence” within our nation.

      Clause 15: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel invasions."

      Notice that no where is "law enforcement mentioned, nor is calling out the Military which is not allowed to exist - now you know why the Pentagon keeps us in false and unlawful/illegal wars. No standing military and they lose a lot of power, money, positions. Think about it.

      The forefathers wouldn't put the militia under federal control as there was always a chance that those in office would turn traitorous against the people. They already had learned, and history taught – then and now, that people in places of power could not be trusted. So they broke it up; the people ARE the militia and would keep the best interests of the people themselves at the forefront of all decisions made. Then they assigned the duty of organizing, arming, and disciplining each state's militia to the federal congress; and to each state the appointment of their Militia's officers and their training; all under Article I, Section. 8, Clause 16.

      “To provide for organizing, ARMING, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re: Looks like a case for the ACLU!!!

        "the ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right."

        Yet the ACLU had no objection to the federal government's massive crackdown on the 1990s militia movement that sprang up in response to the Waco and Ruby Ridge massacres. (Maybe these militias were insufficiently "well regulated"?)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 10:13am

          The ACLU, like any human-run organization, has its biases.

          They've always been conspicuously quiet about the second amendment.

          I'm not saying it's right, but from what I've encountered of activist fronts, they seem universally unable to unconditionally hold to their philosophical ideals in the real world. In most cases, it appears in the way they triage their cases.

          I learned this by working for certain fronts to promote specific bills only to discover they've ceased endorsing that bill (such as when gay marriage was controversial in California).

          In the case of the second amendment, yeah it sucks that gun-owners rights are left by everyone else to let the NRA handle it. And the NRA is, in turn, represents the cause with a conspicuous lack of finesse or decorum.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 10:34am

            Re: The ACLU, like any human-run organization, has its biases.

            I'm not saying it's right, but from what I've encountered of activist fronts, they seem universally unable to unconditionally hold to their philosophical ideals in the real world.

            Not many are able to do that.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:09pm

    Perfectly Legal

    The plain fact is... it is perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearms in the USA for personal use, as long as you are not selling them.

    This device cannot manufacture a whole gun, but can take an AR-15 lower receiver that has been ~80% completed ( not a firearm at this point), and finish it in about an hour ( now legally considered a firearm). You could also do it using standard tools in about 3 hours... so he is selling a perfectly legal device for $1500 that will save you about 2 hours and cost more than just buying a fully functional gun.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 3:52pm

      Re: Perfectly Legal

      I wonder if the fact that you can do it totally quietly, no paperwork and background checks, is what's really freaking everybody out.

      Two hours per is twelve per day, that's the beginning of a revolution in a month. Or everybody everywhere with an M16 slung over their shoulder.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 10:20am

        The revolution isn't going to need guns.

        Guns are nice in a pinch, but in a smooth operation, guns should be incidental.

        The revolution is going to need bombs. Explosives. Boom-booms.

        Stealth and sabotage is the name of the game. Kill the infrastructure that allows law enforcement and government agencies to spy on the people.

        And these mills, even if they're DRMed against gun parts will probably still be able to make bomb parts just fine.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 26 Feb 2015 @ 6:45am

      Re: Perfectly Legal

      The plain fact is... it is perfectly legal to manufacture your own firearms in the USA for personal use, as long as you are not selling them.

      You left out the words "for now". The only reason that it's not illegal to make your own guns is that up until now, making a gun has required expensive equipment, knowledge and skill. Once it gets to the point that any moron can select a design, hit the PRINT button and end up with a collection of parts ready to be assembled, it will be made into a felony so quick your head will spin.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 11:41am

        An unenforceable felony, perhaps.

        I suspect for the second wave, the police will SWAT and seize every local who buys one, until they're all owned by police gun enthusiasts.

        By the third wave, there will be too many out there, but owning one will be considered crime paraphernalia and used to justify a SWATting or the seizure of the house.

        By the fourth wave, these machines will be almost guaranteed to be used to manufacture gun parts and sabotage devices, in that the insurgency forces will need to be armed.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:14pm

    I wonder if there was a quiet letter or a couple meetings with DHS about MUH TERRORISM and surveillance, and FedEx decided that the business wasn't worth whatever hassle was being talked about. We know that certain packages get intercepted, opened, and altered already, which makes me wonder about what the government could do with the software of a CnC machine directly hooked up to someone who might totally be a terrorist guys honest's PC.

    Just a thought.

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    • identicon
      Dave Xanatos, 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:56pm

      Re:

      This was my thought. Perhaps they are experiencing extra-legal pressure from some three letter agency. "Please be a nice company and cooperate by..."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Shawn (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:17pm

    UPS wont ship it either

    A UPS spokesperson wrote in a statement that the company will only ship guns and gun parts between holders of a federal firearms license. In a follow-up statement, it confirmed that it won’t ship the Ghost Gunner either. “UPS reserves the right to refuse to provide transportation service for, among other reasons, any shipments that create legal, safety or operational concerns,” writes spokesperson Dan Mackin. “UPS is continuing to evaluate such concerns with regard to the transportation of milling machines used to produce operable firearms but, at this point in time, will not accept such devices for transportation.”

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    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:22pm

      Re: UPS wont ship it either

      Interesting. Did you contact them for this statement or read it somewhere?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:30pm

      Re: UPS wont ship it either

      Everyone's playing Public Relations now.

      All the carriers, including the USPS, will ship gun *parts*. It'd be ridiculous to have to go through an FFL for springs or sights or metal pins. But it's easier to just play PR than try to explain that to a reporter.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Re: UPS wont ship it either

        That's correct. The only component that must go through a FFL is the legal firearm, i.e., the part with the serial number. It doesn't matter whether it is just that part (receiver) or the assembled firearm containing it. All of the other parts can be shipped freely. However, there's even an exception to this: you can legally ship a firearm directly to a manufacturer for repair and they can return it directly to you - by UPS, FedEx, or whomever.

        For further shipping silliness, shippers like UPS charge a HazMat fee to deliver primers (the ammunition component that makes it all go bang) or gunpowder (the part that *burns* really fast when the primer goes off). However, there is no HazMat fee if the very same primers are installed in empty cartridge cases, or if you're shipping loaded ammunition that has both powder and primers.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 10:43pm

        Re: Re: UPS wont ship it either

        It IS all about PR.

        The manufacturer gets untold amount of free advertising.
        The carrier gets to wrap itself in the flag and publicly show due regard for legalities.
        That's a true red, white, and blue win-win.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    mattshow (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:30pm

    [quote]
    "This device is capable of manufacturing firearms, and potentially by private individuals,” FedEx spokesperson Scott Fiedler wrote in a statement. “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."[/quote]

    My take on this statement is: someone up the chain in FedEx saw this product, which is advertised as a tool to help people make guns, and got spooked about the potential legal and PR issues. Now they're not going to ship it until the lawyers and PR folks tell them it's fine. Since this product probably represents about .0000001% of FedEx's total revenue, sorting this out probably isn't anyone's top priority. In fact, given that lawyers and PR people don't work for free, its probably more cost-effective for them to just not bother sorting this out at all and just choose not to ship the item.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 12:38pm

    Just a friendly reminder that, however scary the prospect of DIY firearms, that doing so is economically cost-prohibitive compared to a gun store purchase. And if you're dealing with a criminal org that has the $$$ to burn on this activity, odds are the government will have plenty of other legal tools to combat them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:02pm

    Although it's just speculation, I strongly suspect that the anti-2nd-Amendment Obama regime was the hidden hand behind this whole affair. That would make this just the latest example of the federal government trying to shut down lawful (but controversial) activities by pressuring private companies in key service industries to refuse service. We've seen it before with payment processors blacklisting anyone the Feds point a finger at, from pro-1st-amendment "leak" sites to DMCA-compliant torrent and usenet index sites.

    One could argue that this sort of 'backdoor' pressure is warranted when it's against people and companies in foreign lands outside the control of the US government. And that's certainly how the policy started. But like most things the government starts, there's the inevitable 'mission creep' that will soon develop. So tactics that were developed for dealing with out-of-reach foreign entities constantly trickle down to other things ... such as domestic law enforcement -- or maybe we should say "outside-the-law enforcement."

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 10:33am

      Re:

      Although it's just speculation, I strongly suspect that the anti-2nd-Amendment Obama regime was the hidden hand behind this whole affair.

      What is it that the Obama administration has done in opposition to the 2nd amendment?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 1:02pm

        Re: Re:

        "What is it that the Obama administration has done in opposition to the 2nd amendment?"

        Primarily by getting the ATF (through his buddy, DOJ head Eric Holder) to *re-interpret* decades-old laws, so that things that always were legal in the past suddenly become illegal, despite no actual change in law. The ATF gets to interpret and re-interpret gun laws (and reverse its earlier decisions) as it sees fit, and since few people have the money to fight the ATF all the way to the Supreme Court (yes, the ATF likes to play hardball) the ATF's opinion essentially takes the rule of law.

        The "death by a thousand paper cuts" list is long, so I'll just point out the latest action that just happened a few days ago. The AFT has changed its mind about a common rifle ammunition, 5.56 M855 military surplus, that the ATF has judged as legal for the last 30 years.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/frankminiter/2015/02/24/why-is-the-atf-moving-to-ban-common-rifle-ammo/

        T his is a repeat of what happened a few months earlier, when the ATF changed its mind about another military-surplus rifle round, the 5.45 7N6, which it now considers an illegal armor-piercing handgun round because the ATF recently approved an application for a company to build a pistol that shoots 5.45x39mm. Many pro- 2nd Amendment people felt this was a dirty trick by the ATF, to give its official stamp of approval to a handgun design that fired rifle ammunition (for a gun that was apparently never even made) and then banning the high-velocity ammunition by re-classifying it as handgun ammunition.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:03pm

    Techdirt refuses to host perfectly legal racist, misogynistic, and homophobic content...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    amoshias (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:11pm

    Please, PLEASE don't tell me you're siding with Defense Distributed.

    Cody Wilson is the kind of idiot libertarian who is more interested in giving "the establishment" the finger than actually exercising any common sense... and actually trying to ACCOMPLISH anything. This is a perfect example. You want to ship out 3-d printers? Wonderful. Do that. You want to scream at the top of your lungs "HEY THIS MACHINE PRINTS OUT GUNS" while you're doing it? Why are you surprised when a company like FedEx doesn't want to deal with the hassles you cause?

    Does the fact that a 3-d printer can make a gun make it against the law? No. Does marketing your 3-d printer as a gun factory make reasonable people at least start wondering if they'll be legally liable for shipping it? YES. FedEx is right, juvenile libertarian is a moron, there's just nothing to see here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:19pm

      Re: Please, PLEASE don't tell me you're siding with Defense Distributed.

      "Please, PLEASE don't tell me you're siding with Defense Distributed"
      Absolutely not. I realize what Wilson is and that he's intentionally bringing most of this on himself because he has a loud mouth. That said, I still don't think banning the shipping of perfectly legal items because of the way they're marketing sets a particularly great precedent.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:22pm

      Re: Please, PLEASE don't tell me you're siding with Defense Distributed.

      Whether people like it or not, manufacturing your own gun for personal use is 100% legal in the USA. This was the basis behind Cody's earlier creations, the Liberator 3-D printed handgun and the printed ar-15 lower receiver, which is the only part that is regulated. This milling machine was just the next logical step for this 2nd Amendment activist/anarchist, since the plastic printed ar-15 receivers tended to crack (as well as melt) in heavy use.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chris Rhodes (profile), 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Please, PLEASE don't tell me you're siding with Defense Distributed.

      You're acting like it wasn't Cody's entire goal with DD to show how arbitrary the law is, and how hollow the corporate stooges' and politicians' justifications are. Seems to me that he's doing a great job of it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 2:23pm

        Re: Re: Please, PLEASE don't tell me you're siding with Defense Distributed.

        You're acting like it wasn't Cody's entire goal with DD to show how arbitrary the law is, and how hollow the corporate stooges' and politicians' justifications are. Seems to me that he's doing a great job of it.

        Actually, I don't think that's his goal at all. His public statements and his website's ABOUT page have clearly-stated goals, which have nothing to do with what you've written. I will admit I know nothing about him and could well be wrong, though.

        If you're right, though... to be honest, that's exactly the type of 'libertarian' nonsense I was ranting about in my original post. If you prefer to "show how hollow the corporate stooges' justifications are" than actually ACCOMPLISHING anything, well, job well done. Really, nobody out here EVER thought that a massive company like FedEx would avoid controversy. Congrats - you've got yourself in the newspapers, and proven that corporations are moral cowards. Put it on your tombstone.

        Absolutely not. I realize what Wilson is and that he's intentionally bringing most of this on himself because he has a loud mouth. That said, I still don't think banning the shipping of perfectly legal items because of the way they're marketing sets a particularly great precedent.

        Karl - it actually sounds like we are 100% in agreement here. Which is why I wish some narcissistic idiot wasn't pushing as hard as he can to MAKE SURE that these companies are going to use a set of bad facts to set a terrible precedent. Because once that precedent is set, it provides cover for other companies who want to do the same thing; it drives the discussion in Washington; it means that the marker has already been placed in a bad location for when someone wants to try restricting things even more.

        Bravo, Cody Wilson. Bravo.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 8:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Please, PLEASE don't tell me you're siding with Defense Distributed.

          The weird little sticking point for me is what could happen if Wilson managed to get a lot of attention by screaming that "FedEx is shipping CNC machines, any of which can be used to manufacture guns!" Would FedEx then decide to stop shipping all 3-D printers?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 11:46am

      Being a jackass and offending people...

      ...is 100% legal in the United States.

      And we have a lot of folks who are denied rights and services for less. It's the Hustler / raunchy porn free speech rule: when we protect outrageous or offensive speech, it demonstrates that less offensive speech is protected.

      When we protect the rights of those of us who are most despicable and offensive, it means that the rights of us who are less so are also protected.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 1:56pm

    The heck, man?! Does FedEx examine every single thing it ships and then ask some government spook "Mother, may I?" before shipping it?
    If FedEx ships a router or hard drive is it guaranteed to end up with NSA backdoors in it?!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 2:19pm

    Unfortunately I am in complete agreement with FedEx. Even though it is perfectly legal. I make enough business that I can turn away something that sounds questionable. I would rather deal with lost business then a frivolous lawsuit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nazabazoo, 25 Feb 2015 @ 3:22pm

    Dud link?

    The phrase "unshippable materials" in the original article links to a page that has three things on it that look like links, but do nothing and go nowhere when clicked.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Karl Bode (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 5:20am

      Re: Dud link?

      Odd, all three of those open up additional categories when clicked for me.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 6:27am

        Re: Re: Dud link?

        What browser are you using, and is it configured insecurely (e.g. scripts or Java enabled)?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 10:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Dud link?

          You're blocking javascript and you're surprised when some links don't work?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Nazabazoo, 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Dud link?

            I'm certainly surprised when what *should* be plain text content doesn't work. There's absolutely no reason why some website should need me to trust their code running on my box just to do what can easily be done with plain old HTML. I expect to need to whitelist sites to play games on them or other interactive, complicated stuff. Not simply to read some text.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 10:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dud link?

              Well in case it's news, lots of sites, for many years now, have been taking what should be plain text and/or plain links and dressing it up/obscuring it with anything from javascript to java to flash to who knows what else. Lots of web designers either do not understand, do not care about, or are not given sufficient time to implement the concept of graceful degradation. Combine those two factors, and when you disable such active features of your browser, many websites stop functioning properly. I imagine this will continue to be the case or even worsen since it's very unlikely the vast majority of web users will even understand what javascript et al are, let alone start blocking them.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 12:07pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dud link?

                That non-working link that requires Javascript (or whatever else) can be accessed by pulling the page source code and fishing out the link. (I do that all the time whenever web pages don't work.) Here is the first one:

                http://images.fedex.com/us/services/pdf/SG_TermsCond_US_2015.pdf

                In this case it seems that Javascript does not even do anything, it simply hides the URL behind a fancy pull-down box. Many sites do that sort of thing these days, using Javascript and Flash for "special effects" that do absolutely nothing utility-wise. Yes, it's extremely annoying and I will dread the day when Techdirt "modernizes" it's website and adds similarly useless eye-candy.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 3:42pm

    Not so fast...

    Being a publicly traded company, Fedex is under legal obligation to maximize profits. Turning away profitable business to satisfy executives' personal political tastes violates that obligation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 26 Feb 2015 @ 10:40am

      Re: Not so fast...

      Turning away profitable business to satisfy executives' personal political tastes violates that obligation.

      But turning away profitable business to avoid negative PR, lawsuits, or fines does not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 3:52pm

    beating plowshares into ... Kalashnikovs?

    As a final thought, I wonder if this guy came to UPS to ship an ordinary garden shovel -- with instructions how to turn it into a Kalashnikov "assault" rifle -- would UPS say "nyet"?

    http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/179192-DIY-Shovel-AK-photo-tsunami-warning !

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2015 @ 5:33pm

    OMG Guns!

    That's the entire issue at play here, ignorant people seeing the word gun and freaking out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CNC shop owner, 26 Feb 2015 @ 12:49am

    nearest CNC shop knows better

    FACT:
    you can make guns by yourself (in your basement) with EVERY CNC machine, and even with "old school" manual mills...

    you just need to teach yourself machining basics ...

    ignoring this fact is kind of stupid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    genius, 26 Feb 2015 @ 3:55am

    erasing serial numbers...

    Is it legal to erase the serial number of a gun in the USA?
    why doesn't EVERYBODY do that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      pcdec, 26 Feb 2015 @ 7:26am

      Re: erasing serial numbers...

      It is illegal to alter or remove the serial number on an existing gun. It is legal to make a gun without a serial number. There are restrictions. You can only make the gun for yourself with no intent to sell or transfer it. The NFA also restricts making certain types of guns. For example you can't make a "machine gun".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dàvep, 26 Feb 2015 @ 5:34am

    @49: "Being a publicly traded company, Fedex is under legal obligation to maximize profits. Turning away profitable business to satisfy executives' personal political tastes violates that obligation."

    Such a "law" isn't enforcible since it isn't possible to determine whether profits are indeed "maximized".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dàvep, 26 Feb 2015 @ 5:54am

    http://www.wired.com/2014/10/cody-wilson-ghost-gunner/

    "But this CNC mill, sold by Wilson’s organization known as Defense Distributed for $1,200, is designed to create one object in particular: the component of an AR-15 rifle known as its lower receiver."

    https://ghostgunner.net

    It was designed, built, and marketed to create this one very-specific thing (to skirt around the laws regulating that thing).

    If he was interested in selling a generic CNC machine, he could have easily done that.

    Is it legal for FedEx to refuse to ship it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 9:18am

      Re:

      Davep:
      The first item on his page states clearly that this is an open-source, general purpose CNC mill. The face that he provides the files necessary to finish the AR-15 lower receiver is the only questionable fact. The machine itself IS a general purpose CNC mill, and apparently a good one. I certainly DO question his wisdom and marketing prowess in labeling it as a gun finishing tool, knowing that the Government and the Liberals would jump on that fact feet first. Not too bright!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 6:44am

    Common carrier

    Are FedEx, UPS, etc. considered common carriers? If so, could decisions like this compromise that status? (The spokesperson may have been clever to say that they're investigating the legal status, which isn't exactly a refusal of service.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 3:52pm

      Re: Common carrier

      "Are FedEx, UPS, etc. considered common carriers? If so, could decisions like this compromise that status?"

      Because the Obama regime is very anti-gun, it's certainly not going to mind when common carrier companies overstep their legal authority for the purpose of gun control. Eric Holder, upon leaving office, even admitted being sorry that he did not do more in the way of gun control measures, apparently oblivious to the fact that the DOJ's job is supposed to be to enforce Congress's laws, not create their own.

      Because Congress never addressed the issue of (serial number free) home-made guns among its numerous gun-control laws, the DoJ/ATF has been basically shooting from the hip, telling people what's legal and what's not by making up laws on the fly and unleashing SWAT raids and mass-confications against people and companies who dare to stand up for their legal rights.

      The ATF shut down gun "build parties" last year, insisting that companies that rent out CNC machines on their shop floor for the intended purpose of helping people build their own gun is illegal. Cody Wilson's Ghost Gunner was no doubt a direct reaction to that ATF policy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 8:55am

    Gimme a break!

    I guess what bothers me about this whole fiasco is the fact that ANY machine tool, lathe, mill, drill press, etc., can be used to manufacture gun parts. They've been made since before there were machine tools. The fact that this is a computer controlled tool, and that the idiot selling it labeled it as a weapons manufacturing device, has NO bearing on the issue. ANY CNC tool can be used thus. So, I guess the real crime is writing the software and pattern files for the machine to make gun parts from. Pretty stupid IMHO.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Feb 2015 @ 9:15am

      A Rose by anyother name would smell as sweet.

      I suspect a good part of the problem for these people is the name of the product. Ghost Gunner just sounds like a legal headache. Home CNC or some other friendlier sounding name might limit the trouble.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dàvep, 26 Feb 2015 @ 7:04pm

    @79: "The first item on his page states clearly that this is an open-source, general purpose CNC mill."

    I saw that. There's lots of other noise that drowns that out.


    @79: "The face that he provides the files necessary to finish the AR-15 lower receiver is the only questionable fact. The machine itself IS a general purpose CNC mill, and apparently a good one. I certainly DO question his wisdom and marketing prowess in labeling it as a gun finishing tool, knowing that the Government and the Liberals would jump on that fact feet first. Not too bright!"

    Why do you question it?

    It was done deliberately.

    Clearly, the intent if the seller is the purpose of building the gun part. There isn't any ambiguity about that.

    Why is it FedEx's job to sort it out? Especially, since the seller is deliberately "confusing" the issue?

    If a customer is being a dick, a provider isn't required to service him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:29pm

      Re:

      Which is exactly why I question his wisdom. Why would he deliberately place himself in a position to be challenged by the Government and by shippers? It makes no sense. If he wants to sell a general purpose CNC mill, fine. If he wants to add the files necessary to finish an AR-15 lower receiver, fine. Advertising it as such and making it look like that's the ONLY thing it does is just asking for trouble.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 9:39pm

        Re: Re:

        Why would he deliberately place himself in a position to be challenged by the Government and by shippers? It makes no sense. If he wants to sell a general purpose CNC mill, fine.

        Maybe he doesn't particularly care about selling anything, and just wants to make a point.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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