State Department Halts 3D Printed Guns: Too Late?
Back in September, we blogged about the scary prospects of 3D printed weapons. Fast forward eight months: the first fully printed weapon works, and its designs have been posted and can be downloaded for free over the Internet. Although the State Department moved quickly to shut down the host-site, the ready-to-print and fully functional design had been downloaded over 100,000 times.
Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we have worked tirelessly to advance sensible laws to prevent gun violence. We continue to work hard to improve our system of background checks, and believe it is necessary to keep those who are dangerous, including violent criminals, from getting weapons. Even those who do not want to expand our system of background checks agree that background checks work in preventing many criminals from getting weapons (they just ignore the loopholes that make our current system fallible). As if we needed any greater loophole than already exists, add the printed weapon to the list.
If criminal access to weapons wasn’t already scary, consider the fact that plastic weapons can’t be detected by metal detectors.
Recognizing the grave threat of the printed weapon, the State Department told Defense Distributed (the non-profit set up by a Texas law student who designed the weapon) to take the blueprints off of their site.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) are working to create new legislation that would ban 3D printed weapons. So how will we effectively stop people from downloading the designs?
Image courtesy of Defense Distributed