3D-Printed Guns

Xinhua/Sipa USA

Proposed Federal Law Would Ban Production Of 3D-Printed Firearms

July 27, 2018 - 4:19 pm

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) -- A new gun scourge faces us – semiautomatic weapons made on 3D printers with exotic materials that are apparently effectively deadly, undetectable to metal detectors, and untraceable because they have no serial numbers.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) is introducing a bill to ban the production of 3D-printed firearms. He explained to WCBS 880’s Joe Avellar Friday why the action has to be taken.

“The State Department under President Trump reached a settlement with Defense Distributed, which publishes, or wants to publish the designs for people to create these 3D guns. So that means as of August 1, next week, people – they could actually hand out or, you know, give out the designs, and people could start doing this if they have a 3D machine, and as you say, it’s largely untraceable, and you know, they’re making them at home or in the business, and you know, no one’s going to know what they are,” Pallone said.

The guns will be made at home rather than purchased – though not without complication.

“These machines are large and they’re expensive, and the materials aren’t particularly durable, so you know, I don’t know how many people have these machines or would have the ability to purchase one,” Pallone said. “But the fact of the matter is if they do, there’s going to be just something that we won’t be able to monitor at all, and that’s what’s really bad about it.”

Someone could take one of the 3D-printed guns on a plane, and someone who wanted to do evil things would have an incentive to get the 3D printer and the instructions, Pallone said.

“I never doubt the ability of people that want to, you know, murder people or cause injury to find a way if it’s not traceable, frankly,” he said.

Pallone said lawmakers are trying to determine how to handle a ban of the publication of 3D gun printing instructions online.

“I think we’re going to have to ban the design as well as the production of them, you know, on a machine. We might also have something about warnings, you know, that says that, you know, it’s illegal under federal law to use this machine for that purpose, so various things that we’re thinking up. But basically, it would be banned, yes,” he said.

Pallone said he expects the proposal to have bipartisan support. Congress is currently adjourned and does not return until Labor Day, though the bill might be introduced before that during the August recess.

“But the bottom line is that this has got to be stopped, because it’s a real opportunity to produce guns at home, at a business, that are not traceable,” Pallone said.