Could a plastic gun kill the prime minister?

Gun made using 3D printer brought into the Knesset without security noticing; Knesset: Gov't needs to learn how to deal with problem.

July 4, 2013 14:51
3 minute read.
PM Netanyahu speaking at opening of Knesset

Netanyahu at Knesset 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

“Nothing we talk about has meaning if we can’t ensure our security,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at a conference last Monday in the Knesset.

Little did the prime minister know, a Channel 10 reporter was sitting in the audience with a gun pointed at him.

Uri Even, a reporter on Tzinor Layla, the channel’s nightly Internet culture program, revealed on Wednesday night that he created a plastic gun using a 3D printer, was able to get it past Knesset security twice, and brought it within 10 meters of Netanyahu.

A source in the Government’s Bodyguards Department told The Jerusalem Post that the bodyguards were never prepared for the advent of working plastic guns and were never warned of their existence.

“I’d heard of it for the first time on TV last night,” the source said.

Even downloaded files created by Defense Distributed, an organization founded by 25-year-old Texan law student Cody Wilson “to defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution... through facilitating global access to, and the collaborative production of information and knowledge related to the 3D printing of arms; and to publish and distribute, at no cost to the public, such information and knowledge in promotion of the public interest.”

Wilson’s 3D gun prototype, called the “Liberator,” can be found easily on filesharing websites, though they were removed from his site by the US Department of Defense. Even created a plastic gun with the help of a 3D printer manufacturer, tested it out at a shooting range, and found that the gun works with .38 caliber bullets.

Then, Even went to the Knesset, where a hidden camera filmed him going through security without any problems.

The Channel 10 reporter visited MK Miri Regev (Likud Beytenu), chairwoman of the Knesset Interior Committee, which deals with police issues.

“Are you joking?” Regev asked with consternation. “I’ve never heard of this. Police will have to learn to deal with it. This is incredible.”

Even visited the Knesset with his plastic gun again, attending a June 24 conference in honor of 75 years of local government.

He assembled the gun – but did not load it – in broad daylight, in an outdoor plaza in front of the Knesset after going through security.

Then, he sat in the audience while Netanyahu spoke with his gun between his legs.

Knesset security chief Yossi Grif said that plastic guns are a new phenomenon that requires all security systems in the world to prepare for a new challenge.

“In the Knesset, like all government offices and public institutions, we are examining the subject in order to give a professional response as soon as possible,” he stated. “I am in constant contact with the rest of security services in order to reach an optimal solution as quickly as possible for the new threat.”

Another source in Knesset security explained that the shortcoming is not necessarily theirs, and that any mall, airport or ministry still does not know what to do with guns that no metal detector can find.

The Prime Minister’s Office responded for the Shin Bet to Tzinor Layla that they are familiar with plastic guns.

“In addition to security checks [at the entrance to government buildings] there are visible and hidden security circles,” the PMO stated.

Regev told The Jerusalem Post that she may call an Interior Committee meeting on the plastic gun threat.

However, she did not see a problem with Even bringing a gun into the Knesset for the sake of a news story.

“He did his job as a journalist, and the security forces in the State of Israel need to learn lessons from this,” Regev said. “It’s good that they realize that there are new challenges they need to figure out how to overcome as technology develops.”

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