Reps. Deutch, Wasserman Schultz, Schneider, and Maloney Introduce Bill to Block 3D-Printed Gun Blueprints

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Washington, D.C., August 3, 2018 | comments

Today, U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (FL-22), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Brad Schneider (IL-10), and Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) introduced legislation to block the online publication of files that include automatic instructions used to make fully functional firearms using 3-D printers. 

3D-printed guns are fully-functioning firearms that can be made of metal or plastic using a 3D printer. Guns printed using plastic can be virtually undetectable when carried through a metal detector or past security screening checkpoints.

Despite the State Department’s argument and a longstanding ban that has prohibited Americans from publishing such files online, the U.S. Justice Department decided to abruptly settle a lawsuit last month that will allow people to start posting blueprints for 3D-printed guns online. This week, a federal court blocked the publication of blueprints for 3D-printed guns after attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia filed suit.

The 3D Printed Gun Safety Act has been endorsed by Everytown for Gun SafetyGiffords, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and March for Our Lives.

“This isn’t about freedom of information; this is about our national security and our public safety. Today’s 3D printers can easily and cheaply fabricate sophisticated, deadly weapons. They can make high-strength plastic firearms that are untraceable and undetectable. That’s unacceptable,” said Rep. Deutch. “President Trump should never have allowed this settlement to happen, and now, Congress needs to step in to ensure that internet access does not equal gun access.”

“At a time when Congress hasn’t done anything tangible to prevent gun violence, the widespread availability of untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed guns would further threaten our ability to keep our children and our communities safe. This vital legislation is urgently needed to keep lethal weapons out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz.

"If plans for homemade plastic guns are readily available on the internet, with just a few clicks individuals could avoid a background check and build a deadly firearm undetectable by security systems," said Rep. Schneider. "These 3D-printed guns are a threat to the safety of our nation and communities, and I’m glad to join my colleagues in introducing a bill to keep these blueprints from being posted online. I’ve previously introduced legislation to crack down on untraceable “Ghost Guns” bought and shipped as unassembled kits, and will continue to work to close loopholes allowing individuals to evade our nation’s background check system."

“The idea of untraceable, undetectable guns available to anyone, even violent criminals and domestic abusers, with the click of a mouse is utterly terrifying. The Administration’s decision to allow the online publishing of 3D printable gun blueprints is an insult to the countless families who have suffered from our national epidemic of gun violence,” said Rep. Maloney. “When more than 90% of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases, allowing anyone to download and print a firearm without scrutiny is not only dumb, it's undemocratic. Preventing these deadly blueprints from being distributed online is simple common sense and will save lives.” 

The legislation filed today is the House companion to legislation authored by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), S.3304. The bill would make it illegal for anyone to intentionally publish a digital file online that programs a 3D printer to automatically manufacture a firearm.

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