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3D gun download makes big bang in Spain

Cody Wilson, the US student who on Monday announced he’d created a 3D printer-generated gun capable of firing bullets like any regular weapon, has told Spanish daily El País that Spain is by far the biggest downloader of the model’s design.

3D gun download makes big bang in Spain
Cody Wilson has been named one of Wired magazine's 15 most dangerous people in the world. Photo: Youtube screenshot

The 25-year-old from Texas shocked the world earlier this week when he gave evidence of how his 3D printer design works.

Having already released the blueprint for a gun that can be downloaded from the Internet, Wilson told national newspaper El País that Spaniards are currently the biggest downloaders of his ‘Liberator’ gun model.

“I’m not joking,” he told the Spanish daily. “At this stage, Spain is by far the biggest downloader of the Liberator.

Wilson’s weapon, made up of 16 pieces of plastic, requires only regular screws to be assembled and can use a variety of ammunition.

His design has caused controversy around the world as it allows anyone with a 3D printer, worth an average €6,000 euros on the market, to arm themselves with a deadly weapon without any need to hold a license.

Spain’s gun license laws are far stricter than those of the US, leading experts to believe the Liberator could become an easier way to have access to fire arms.

But Wilson's group, Defense Distributed, thinks everyone should have access to a gun and is working to make it possible through Defcad.org, a depository for weapon designs.

“I believe the degree of accessibility to weapons is only one of the factors influencing the degree of violence in the US, Wilson told El País.

“Education and standard of living are more relevant in my mind.”

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CRIME

Spain police start wearing bodycams to boost security

Spanish police have begun wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public in a move aimed at ensuring greater security that is gaining ground in Europe and the US.

Spain police start wearing bodycams to boost security

The interior ministry said the bodycam was launched Monday and would be “rolled out on a gradual basis to all police officers”, without saying how many were involved in the initial stages.

Spain’s TVE public television said the tiny cameras were being attached to the officers’ uniforms and could be activated either manually or automatically.

The main Spanish police union JUPOL hailed the move on Twitter, saying it was in response to “a request that the union has been making”.

“It will guarantee security, both for us to avoid any kind of misrepresentation of our interventions, as well as for the public, who will be able to clearly see the police’s professionalism and that there is no abuse of power nor excesses,” union spokesman Pablo Pérez told TVE.

Forces in Europe and the United States are increasingly turning to such technology to boost transparency following a string of fatal shootings and other claims against police over the past decade.

“The cameras are being used under public safety protocols in order to record everything that happens in the event of an unwarranted offence during an operation,” Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska told TVE ahead of the rollout.

“If they are activated, it is to guarantee security and really be transparent so that the officers’ actions can be seen and checked,” the minister said.

“This means security for both the police and the public,” he added, suggesting that in time, they would also be available to Spain’s Guardia Civil rural police force.

France began trialling bodycams, known as “pedestrian cameras”, in 2013
before a gradual rollout in 2015 in a move welcomed by police, but greeted with scepticism by rights groups who said there was no guarantee they would be always activated.

Police in London and New York also began pilot schemes in 2014 with credit-card-sized cameras clipped onto their uniforms with the technology gradually deployed over the following years.

But the cameras have had mixed success. The absence of any legal obligation governing their use can also limit their scope to uncover police misconduct.

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