Two bills in New York City aim to keep 3-D printed guns off the streets.
The first bill, introduced by a New York City councilman Lewis Fidler (D-Brooklyn), limits the production of 3-D printed guns to licensed gunsmiths, and requires gunsmiths to notify the New York Police Department 72 hours prior to using a 3-D printer to make any gun part.
In the New York State Assembly Codes Committee, a different bill would outright ban the sales, use, and manufacture of 3-D printed guns.
Both of these bills go further than current federal regulation, which allows for the home manufacture of guns, provided the guns are not resold and fall within certain size and function restraints. The most notable restriction is that the receiver, which houses the working parts of the gun, has to be at least 20 percent completed by the person making it at home. This is such an established part of private gun assembly that there's a thriving market for 80 percent complete receivers.
Creating a full gun with a 3-D printer meets that requirement. While 3-D printed gun pioneer Defense Distributed got in trouble with the State Department for making gun plans available online, individuals who possess the necessary printer are free to make gun parts on their own until either of these laws pass.
This is fascinating because lawmakers are trying to regulate away a problem that doesn't exist yet. While some criminals get their guns from crooked gun makers, that's a problem that predates 3-D printing, and is only part of the highly saturated American black market gun trade. Right now, 3-D printed guns can only fire one bullet at a time, and poorly assembled guns explode when fired. Commercially produced guns are far more effective, available in greater numbers, and can even be assembled from kits full of untraceable parts.
At their very best, these pieces of legislation are preemptive, trying to future-proof the law against the inevitably better homemade guns of that will come with time. It's a bold move, but until home manufacture is cheaper than purchasing a gun off the black market, don't expect this legislation to save many lives, especially not with 310 million guns already in the U.S.
Anyone can make a gun if they wanted to. A couple pieces of pipe, nails etc. This is just another means. Will it really make people less safe? Or will it even the odds with the criminals and there will be less crime? Only time will tell.
If you consider the benefits (harder to get a gun/weapon by a minute fraction) and costs (how do you enforce this?) for a second, you see that this kind of legislation is a joke.
At best, this is good to keep politicians busy and people distracted away from real and important issues.
New York doesn't enforce the laws they have on the books. Why make more laws? Who was that musician that they caught with a gun and didn't charge him? Just another politician trying to fool the idiots in New York. They ought to get rid of the crooks.
Next they can ban pictures of guns.
Y is this such a big deal. If anyone has ever worked with a 3d printer they know how much they suck right now. If someone was pointing a printed gun at me I would just stick my finger in the barrel. I would probably be safer than they are at that moment if they did pull the trigger. Myth busters test that one for me. You would be better off using a pice of pex water pipe than a 3d printed barrel. If you know anyone that bought a 3d printed gun, you should try to sell them some ocean front property in Arizona or some such thing.
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So a licensed manufacturer is fine if they manufacture a firearm using traditional methods, but if they want to use a 3d printer for ANY part, they have to notify the police? Is that for each part they print, or just once? And why would you even care if they, again, are a LICENSED manufacturer? This has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with fear and using that fear to try and introduce more restrictions as a kneejerk reaction.
Leave it to New York to try and restrict one more thing. It is the Empire state after all, with emperor Cuomo running amok. I need to move to Texas, the last bastion of the American way.
Today's magic is tomorrow's technology.