One of the hottest new trends in technology is three-dimensional printing. Being able to download blueprints and create any object in the comfort of your own home would be nothing short of revolutionary. You might one day be able to “print” toys for your kids, replacement parts for your car, or even medicine. There’s virtually no limit to what could be printed.
That fact has New York Congressman Steve Israel worried: What if the bad guys start printing themselves an arsenal of illegal weapons? To combat this threat from the future, Israel is introducing a renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act (H.R. 1474) that includes a ban on 3D printed guns and 3D printed gun parts.
“Law enforcement officials should have the power to stop homemade undetectable magazines and major components from proliferating with a simple click of a print button,” says Israel.
Before you dismiss the bill as premature, it’s important to note that a startling amount of progress has been made on the front of 3D weapons. A non-profit collective that calls itself Defense Distributed has made it a goal to “produce and publish a file for a completely printable gun.” While the group has come up short so far, it has had success with printing parts of guns, including the type of high-capacity magazines congress is currently trying to ban.
Gun policy has become an incredibly divisive issue over the past year, and it seems unlikely that a Republican-led House will allow a vote on anything they believe threatens the Second Amendment. Eventually, though, someone will have to deal with the issue of the legality of printed weapons – ideally, before they hit the streets.