Reality Check: Trump administration explanation on 3D-printed guns misses the mark

by Garry Watts August 2, 2018, 1:16
Reality Check: Trump administration explanation on 3D-printed guns misses the mark

"If people have the ability to download these guns arbitrarily, the danger to the public is going to be huge", Best said.

In an emergency hearing over the phone this week, Shapiro's office asked a judge for a restraining order to block Defense Distributed's website in Pennsylvania, which was granted.

Just one day before instructions to make 3D-printed untraceable, plastic guns would be made available online, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order.

The belief led to home and other plaintiffs to file a lawsuit in 2015 against the state department, which was quietly settled in 2018.

Senator Bill Nelson, a Democratic from Florida, filed a bill in the Republican-controlled Senate to block publication of 3-D printed gun blueprints, saying the weapons can evade detection systems and are "a direct threat to our national security".

The controversy was even a talking point on President Donald Trump's Twitter account earlier Tuesday. Now, Wilson says he wants his website to become the Wikipedia of downloadable weapons.

But just how risky are so-called 3-D printed guns, and why has this emerged as a hot topic?

Once these untraceable guns are on our streets and in our schools, we can never get them back. But gun industry experts have expressed doubt that criminals would go to the trouble, since the printers needed to make the guns are very expensive, the guns themselves tend to disintegrate quickly and traditional firearms are easy to come by.

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President Trump on Tuesday weighed in on 3D-printed guns - a day after eight U.S. states sued the government for an emergency ban on blueprints for the potentially untraceable weapons.

As a result, the state attorneys are also suing the Trump administration for making the settlement with Wilson.

"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public", the president said.

Wilson said in an online video that the blueprints were downloaded more than 400,000 times before they were taken down in 2013. 'Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense'.

A 1988 federal law - drafted with NRA support - barred the manufacture, sale or possession of an undetectable firearm. Anonymous manufacturers will make guns created to evade security; criminals will easily obtain firearms they aren't allowed to buy; and law-enforcement agents will struggle in vain to trace weapons used in crimes.

Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)-are not so much aimed at 3D printed guns in general as they are toward online files set to be shared by Cody Wilson's Defense Distributed.

Blueprints for 3D printed guns would have been legally available online at midnight.

Although DIY gunsmithing is legal in many forms under US law, including when it's done with a 3D printer, critics have pushed back against the government's settlement, saying it would undermine domestic and worldwide gun control efforts by greatly expanding access to untraceable homemade guns. The company said it has also blocked access to users in New Jersey and Los Angeles.

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