Israeli TV Program Sneaks 3-D Printed Pistol Into Knesset Without Being Detected

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The staff of the Channel 10 television program "Tzinor Layla" (Nightline) printed a pistol on camera using a 3-D printer and twice managed to get it into the Knesset building in Jerusalem.  

A reporter on the program even managed to get within a few meters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The plastic pistol was tested in a firing range under the supervision of a former police commissioner, and successfully fired a live bullet at a cardboard target.

After the parts of the pistol were printed and the gun was assembled, the program staff wanted to check whether the security systems in Israel are prepared for a threat of this kind. The researchers entered the offices of the chairwoman of the Knesset Interior Committee, Miri Regev. On another occasion the pistol was brought in by reporter Ori Even to an event in the Knesset in which Prime Minister Netanyahu was participating. He passed all the stages of the security check, which even included an inspection with a magnetometer, and approached the prime minister without anyone noticing the pistol.

Knesset Security Officer Yosef Grif said in response to Channel 10 that "this is a new phenomenon that confronts all the security systems in Israel and abroad with an entirely new type of challenge. In the Knesset, as in all the government ministries and public institutions, the subject is now being examined in order to provide a solution as soon as possible."

It was also reported that "the Knesset security officer is in constant contact with the other security organizations in Israel in order to reach a quick and optimal solution to the new threat that has been created."

The Prime Minister's Office replied on behalf of the Shin Bet security service: "The method of operation described in the report is known and familiar to the security system. In addition to the inspection system there are a number of overt and covert circles of security. This is an irresponsible act that could have endangered those carrying out the dubious 'journalistic assignment' and caused them serious harm."

About two months ago the Forbes website reported that Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old law student from Texas, had created the first pistol ever produced on a 3-D printer. Wilson started an organization called Defense Distributed, and received permission to produce weapons in the context of a company connected to the organization. Wilson and others produced the lower part of an AR-15 (an assault rifle from the family of the M16) on the printer.

In addition, suspicions were aroused regarding a 3-D file of parts for printing and assembling a semi-automatic pistol called The Liberator, which is available for downloading on the Internet. Although Wilson removed the files from his website by demand of the U.S. State Department, they have already been disseminated on social networks. This month it was reported that legislators in New York and California are working to issue regulations that will require owners of printed weapons to register them with the police.

A model of a Defense Distributed AR 57 printable gun.Credit: Kamenev
PM Netanyahu gets up to give his speech in the Knesset, March 18, 2013.Credit: Emil Salman

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