Deutch, Sens. Markey, Menendez Call for Ban on 3D Printed Guns
Today, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Congressman Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10), and Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act, legislation to prohibit the online distribution of blueprints and instructions that allow for the three dimensional (3D) printing of firearms. Last year, the Trump administration inexplicably settled a lawsuit against it brought by downloadable gun proponents and agreed to permit the online posting of schematics for the 3D printing of firearms.
Because 3D printing allows individuals to make firearms out of plastic, these guns may be able to evade detection by metal detectors at security checkpoints, increasing the risk that a firearm will be used to perpetrate violence on an airplane or other area where people congregate. And the increasing availability of 3D printers means unlicensed individuals, including felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous individuals, could obtain a firearm by manufacturing it themselves. These firearms are also untraceable since they do not have a serial number for law enforcement to reference. If the instructions for 3D printing firearms and firearm parts are available online, people intending to commit gun crimes may create untraceable firearms in order to avoid accountability for these crimes. The 3D Printed Gun Safety Act will make it illegal to distribute online digital files that can automatically program a 3D printer to produce or complete the manufacture of a firearm.
“3D printers are increasingly used to manufacture everyday goods easily and cheaply; but, we cannot allow individuals to make deadly firearms with the same ease," said Congressman Deutch. "These printers are capable of making high-strength plastic firearms that are untraceable and undetectable – something criminals and other individuals prohibited by law from possessing a firearm could use to evade our laws. Congress must take care to ensure that internet access does not equal gun access.”
“With the click of a mouse, anyone is able to download a computer file and use a 3D printer to manufacture a semi-automatic weapon,” said Senator Markey. “We now live in a world where a 3D printer cartridge can become as deadly as a gun cartridge. We cannot allow the online availability of downloadable firearms to add fuel to the fire that already is a massive gun violence public safety crisis. I thank Senator Menendez and Congressman Deutch for their partnership on this life-saving legislation.”
“3D printable firearms present a new threat in our schools, on our airplanes, in our churches and synagogues, and across our communities, and making blueprints for these deadly weapons available online gives anyone with a 3D printer a license to kill,” said Senator Menendez. “We’ve seen too many lives lost to gun violence, too much suicide, and too many young people slaughtered in mass shootings that we must do everything we can to stop the bloodshed. Make no mistake, do-it-yourself plastic guns are not only deadly, but all the more menacing because they are undetectable, untraceable and anyone with an internet connection can download the instructions to print one.”
A copy of the legislation can be found here.
This legislation is endorsed by: Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, March for Our Lives, Orange Ribbons for Jaime, Violence Policy Center, and States United to Prevent Violence.
Other Representatives co-sponsoring the legislation include Reps. Chu, Cárdenas, Casten, Castor, Cisneros, Clark, Clarke, Connolly, Crist, Davis, Davis, Dean, DeSaulnier, Espaillat, Evans, Hastings, Huffman, Jayapal, Kelly, Lee, Maloney, Meng, Norton, Payne, Peters, Quigley, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Schakowsky, Shalala, Soto, and Titus.
Other Senators co-sponsoring the legislation include Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), (Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Robert Casey (D-Penn.).
Last year, Senators Markey, Menendez and colleagues sent a letter multiple social media platforms calling on the CEO’s of Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Craigslist, Reddit and Twitter to proactively block any distribution of 3D gun blueprints on their platforms.