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house Bill H.R. 7115

Should Disseminating 3D-Printed Gun Blueprints Be Illegal?

Argument in favor

3D-printed guns are unregulated and untraceable, and their availability will only worsen America’s gun violence epidemic. Allowing blueprints for these guns to be sold and shared would make it exponentially easier to get guns, endangering public safety.

Catherine 's Opinion
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11/25/2018
This is dangerous and irresponsible. This emboldens those who wish to use weapons for nefarious reasons, who might not have access to traditional guns, to have ready access and circumvent the safeguards we have in place to prevent some individuals from having weapons and cripples the ability to accurately monitor possession of weapons.
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Michael 's Opinion
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11/25/2018
At what point did we lose our minds whereas we feel the need to even ask this?
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Jose's Opinion
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11/25/2018
Plastic guns allow for individuals armed with guns to go undetected, thereby harming larger numbers of people than we’ve already seen.
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Argument opposed

The danger of 3D-printed guns is overblown. Most people won’t go to the trouble of trying to print guns. Whether the federal government can constitutionally prohibit the sharing of 3D-printed gun blueprints without violating free speech protections is debatable.

Pete's Opinion
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11/25/2018
Before you say yes or no. Do research. You can NOT have a fully functional weapon with only a 3D printer.
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Lynn's Opinion
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11/25/2018
No. Obsess about something important for a change. Besides, the problem is self-correcting in the first place. Most blow up in the shooter’s hand the first time the trigger is pulled. Do that twice, and you can’t print ANYTHING anymore. See? Much ado about nothing.
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Matt's Opinion
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11/25/2018
Digital blueprints are simply pieces of code. Code is speech and is protected by the first amendment. We are going down a very slippery slope if we do something like make this illegal. Knowledge in itself should not be illegal.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedNovember 2nd, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 7115?

This bill would aim to ban the production of 3D firearms by prohibiting the sale, acquisition, distribution, or import of kits and blueprints for 3D weapons. It’d also require homemade firearms to have serial numbers.

Impact

3D-printed guns; homemade firearms; and law enforcement

Cost of House Bill H.R. 7115

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced this bill to prevent the distribution of blueprints for 3D firearms:

“Given the gun violence epidemic plaguing our communities, the last thing our country needs is an unregulated and untraceable source of lethal firearms,” said Pallone. “We need sensible solutions to reduce gun violence, not AR-15s available at the stroke of a fingertip. I cannot allow the Trump administration to endanger more of our children by appeasing the gun lobby and allowing unfettered access to weapons of war.”

Shortly after introducing this bill, Rep. Pallone wrote a letter to 3D printing companies, asking that they detail the steps being taken to limit the production of undetectable and untraceable firearms. In his letter, Rep. Pallone requested that the companies consider developing technology to prevent 3D guns from being printed, and take steps to discourage the printing of firearms altogether:

“Made-at-home guns that are not registered, known as “ghost guns,” are already on the rise. Individuals obtain these firearms without serial numbers, without undergoing a federal background check and without registering them with law enforcement.  These untraceable firearms have been associated with a number of crimes. Allowing broader access to the 3D printing of plastic guns will only add to this troubling problem. Not only could we see an increase in untraceable guns, the problem could be magnified because these plastic firearms are undetectable as well.  Individuals bringing plastic guns without metal parts through metal detectors at security checkpoints pose a unique threat to secure facilities including airports, concerts, stadiums, and government buildings… I know that some 3D printing companies are taking steps to prevent 3D printed guns. I commend those efforts but also seek more information regarding prevention measures.”

Eight U.S. state attorneys general in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit to block the distribution of 3D-printed gun designs online.

Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, a company that makes design schematics for homemade 3D-printed guns, argues that sharing design files is protected speech. He calls attempts to block 3D gun blueprints’ distribution an “ideologically-fueled program of intimidation and harassment,” and characterizes legal threats from AGs Grewal and Feuer as “unconstitutional prior restraint,” a term applying to government efforts to suppress publication of information it deems harmful.

Avi Reichental, the founder, CEO, and chairman of XponentialWorks, a venture, advisory, and product development firm in California, argues that 3D-printed guns aren’t as dangerous as much of the political discourse would lead one to believe:

“A 3D-printed gun ultimately functions just like any other gun… [A]re 3D-printed guns dangerous? Of course they are. All guns are dangerous. That’s their whole point. Do 3D-printed guns represent an existential threat to our society? No way. First off, although the availability issue is highly relevant, the technology itself does not yet scale. There is no economically or technically viable way to equip an army with 3D-printed guns now, nor in the foreseeable future. Moreover, there is still a significant knowledge and craftsmanship barrier to creating your own guns. Despite online forums and DIY instructions, making a gun that doesn’t blow your own hand off is still challenging enough that not everyone will try it. Market economics still rule our actions. And the fact is that if you really want a gun, there’s one significantly easier, cheaper, and completely legal way to obtain one without 3D printing: Buy it… And what about the government’s attempts to regulate 3D-printed guns more strictly? Let’s be real: There are countless ways to disseminate information in our always-connected cloud computing universe, including through the dark web and distributed or decentralized file sharing. With all due respect to the judicial system, a judge’s order is not going to shut down these kinds of activities. Applying linear law enforcement thinking to govern exponential tech-enabled behaviors like 3D gun printing is like applying a Band-Aid to a gushing wound. The dangers of 3D-printed guns make for good headlines, and regulators and politicians like headlines. But let’s face it: 3D-printed guns are only as dangerous as the individuals—currently not many in number—who make them with ill intent.”

This bill has 16 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.


Of Note: 3D gun blueprints are currently considered data governed by International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and can’t be published with State Department approval. The Trump administration has proposed new regulations to remove downloadable gun blueprints from this classification, allowing anyone to post 3D gun blueprints.

In July 2018, the State Department settled a lawsuit with Cody Wilson’s company, Defense Distributed, that allowed it to release 3D-printed gun blueprints online. That prompted 19 states to file a lawsuit blocking the files’ distribution due to public safety concerns, leading to a temporary restraining order on the blueprints’ distribution. The case is now awaiting resolution in court.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Sven Loeffler)

AKA

3D Firearms Prohibitions Act

Official Title

To prohibit the sale, acquisition, distribution in commerce, or import into the United States of certain firearm receiver castings or blanks, assault weapon parts kits, and machinegun parts kits and the marketing or advertising of such castings or blanks and kits on any medium of electronic communications, to require homemade firearms to have serial numbers, and for other purposes.

    This is dangerous and irresponsible. This emboldens those who wish to use weapons for nefarious reasons, who might not have access to traditional guns, to have ready access and circumvent the safeguards we have in place to prevent some individuals from having weapons and cripples the ability to accurately monitor possession of weapons.
    Like (168)
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    Before you say yes or no. Do research. You can NOT have a fully functional weapon with only a 3D printer.
    Like (106)
    Follow
    Share
    At what point did we lose our minds whereas we feel the need to even ask this?
    Like (108)
    Follow
    Share
    Plastic guns allow for individuals armed with guns to go undetected, thereby harming larger numbers of people than we’ve already seen.
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    No. Obsess about something important for a change. Besides, the problem is self-correcting in the first place. Most blow up in the shooter’s hand the first time the trigger is pulled. Do that twice, and you can’t print ANYTHING anymore. See? Much ado about nothing.
    Like (60)
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    Share
    Digital blueprints are simply pieces of code. Code is speech and is protected by the first amendment. We are going down a very slippery slope if we do something like make this illegal. Knowledge in itself should not be illegal.
    Like (53)
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    This shouldn’t even be a question. All fire arms should be regulated and accounted for. You CAN make a functional fire arm with 3D Printing. It isn’t cheap, but making a Gun is possible. At this time you can’t make more than a handgun. We need to begin regulation while this technology is young enough.
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    What part of shall not be infringed is not understood.
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    1) "If society is honest and historically accurate, the only question that has any relevance to the gun control debate is, 'Do you trust those in government, now and forever in the future, to not take your life, liberty, or property through the force of government?' If the answer to that question is 'no,' the gun control debate is over." - KrisAnne Hall 2) Good luck enforcing your prohibition. I know that's always been super effective every other time you've tried it.
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    What is wrong with people?
    Like (23)
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    The dissemination of code and printing of guns should be illegal. Concerns that the average individual will attempt to print guns worries me less that the idea that well funded groups may engage in the mass printing of guns for illicit purposes. This methodology would serve anyone wishing to sew chaos and discourse in this country by providing cheap guns to anyone who would be unable to acquire a gun through more legitimate means.
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    You can create gun laws until you are blue in the face. There’s just one problem, bad guys don’t follow the law.
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    Making this illegal will not stop criminals... leave gun owners alone
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    Another pointless attempt to stop crime by passing a law that no criminal will follow and that bans inanimate objects which are almost never used in crimes to begin with. This is not only stupid, but is completely pointless as nothing more than virtue signalling.
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    Why is this even a question? Aren’t there enough guns and violence. We are firing tear gas at children and women. The country is a disaster
    Like (17)
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    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Given that the nature of politics is the fight of the Free People against the oppression of the State, the vote should be No. these kind of laws only affect law abiding citizens. If you believe criminals would obey this law then you have my pity. Because only a dumbass would believe it. Oh and speaking directly to the Bill. It is a blatant attempt at changing the legal language of what an “assault rifle” is to the most common mechanism in the civilian market the semi-automatic firing system. This is a prime example of government overreach and an attempt to outlaw your Second Amendment right. Any free man or woman should strike this down with their vote. I appeal to my representatives to do exactly that.
    Like (16)
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    Distributing 3D models, whatever they’re for, can’t be made illegal. Partially because it’s digital media and thus regulated as free speech, and partially because it’s a digital file transmitted from one computer to another. Which is basically impossible to regulate. That said, why is this a concern? It’s not like it’s illegal to own a gun, only illegal to use it improperly. You can make it illegal to distribute the file, but if someone wants to commit a crime with a gun, what’s to say they won’t commit a crime by downloading the gun model too?
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    Are we stupid? Do we even have to ask such a question? How many more f@&king guns does this country need? How many more mass murders?
    Like (15)
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    We have enough trouble with gun violence in this country! That is unreal!
    Like (12)
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    What the fuck yes are people just full blown fucking stupid now a days
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