United States

Blumenthal Demands Ban on 3D-Printed Guns

Demands to ban do-it-yourself weapons are coming from many corners, but the man who began publishing the plans says it’s his first amendment right to post them online.

This week, a federal judge in Washington issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of 3-D printable gun blueprints. Now US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wants to ensure that ruling becomes permanent.

Opponents say these plastic guns can go through security undetected in airports and airplanes, courthouses, schools, and any place where guns could be stopped at the door could be more vulnerable to the possibility of gun violence.

“The idea that you could download a plan and print a weapon that looks like this and that’s equivalent to the weapons that our military personnel carry in war zones without having to pass a background check, without having that weapon be traceable is terrifying,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

Demands to ban do-it-yourself weapons are coming from many corners. Friday, lawmakers, clergymen, police, and anti-violence groups stood together in Hartford calling for action.

“The last thing that our community needs right now is the ability to access gun making kits online,” said Pastor Marichal Monts of Citadel of Love.

The man who began publishing the plans for a functioning pistol five years ago says it’s his first amendment right to post them online.

"I don't think you should have the ability to control your access to it on the internet or your ability to print it on a machine,” Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed told NBC News.

When a federal judge blocked the publication of Wilson’s plans this week, several gun rights activist groups released similar instructions online anyway.

"Someone can try to post it online, but it's illegal and they will suffer the consequences of being in violation of a very serious federal law,” said Bob Ferguson, the Washington State Attorney General who asked for the injunction.

Opponents point out that not only are these plastic guns undetectable, but because they can be printed at home, there’s no background check for the person who might then pull the trigger.

“Ninety deaths every day, 90 people every day now parish as a result of gun violence,” Blumenthal said during Friday’s press conference.

It’s a number Blumenthal expects to grow because he says these guns will soon be in the hands of terrorists, mass shooters, on inner city streets and even in churches. He wants to make any gun without a serial number illegal.

“What’s needed is a ban. An outright prohibition,” said Blumenthal.

Wilson told NBC News that his guns were intended to be more a symbol of the Second Amendment than a serious gun. Wilson said they’re only good for a few shots and don’t hold up to heat, breaking easily.

However, other online 3D gun makers have popped up with more advanced weapons systems.

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