Tuesday, June 18, 2019 by Melina Druga

Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) introduced legislation last week that would make it illegal to distribute online blueprints and instructions that detail how to automatically program a 3D printer to produce or manufacture a firearm.

The 3D Printed Gun Safety Act is in response to a lawsuit the Trump administration settled in 2018 with gun proponents. The administration agreed to permit the online posting of schematics for the 3D printing of firearms.

3D printed firearms are made out of plastic. This makes them untraceable because they do not have serial numbers. It also means they can bypass metal detectors at security checkpoints. (Editor’s note: Almost every 3D printed firearm contains metal parts which would set off metal detectors. Firearms with no metal parts are already illegal)

When instructions for 3D printing firearms and firearm parts are available online, they can easily be accessed by those intending to commit gun crimes, felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people, Markey’s office said.

The bill was cosponsored by more than 50 senators and representatives and is supported by the Violence Policy Center, the States United to Prevent Violence, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, March for Our Lives, Everytown for Gun Safety, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Orange Ribbons for Jaime.

Last year, Congress members urged tech companies to block 3D gun blueprint distribution.

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