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Kaine Introduces Bill To Ban Distribution Of 3d Printed Gun Blueprints

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined Senators Edward J. Markey and Bob Menendez to introduce the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act, legislation to prohibit the online distribution of blueprints and instructions that allow for the 3D printing of firearms. Kaine has been pushing the Senate and Virginia’s General Assembly to pass gun safety legislation in the aftermath of the Virginia Beach shooting, including bills to close loopholes in the background check system. He recently held discussions on gun violence prevention in Springfield, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Fredericksburg.

“Our nation has suffered too many gun violence tragedies. We must not allow 3D printed guns to present an additional danger to our public safety and law enforcement,” said Kaine. “These guns are untraceable and largely undetectable, and Congress must address this threat before lives are lost.”

Because 3D printing allows individuals to make firearms out of plastic, these guns may be able to evade detection by metal detectors at security checkpoints, increasing the risk that a firearm will be used to perpetrate violence on an airplane or other areas where people congregate. Due to the increasing availability of 3D printers, unlicensed individuals, including felons and domestic abusers, could obtain a firearm by manufacturing it themselves. These firearms are also untraceable since they do not have a serial number for law enforcement to reference. If the instructions for 3D printing firearms and firearm parts are available online, people intending to commit gun crimes may create untraceable firearms in order to avoid accountability for these crimes. The 3D Printed Gun Safety Act will make it illegal to distribute online digital files that can automatically program a 3D printer to produce or complete the manufacture of a firearm.  

Last year, the Trump Administration inexplicably settled a lawsuit brought by downloadable gun proponents and agreed to permit the online posting of schematics for the 3D printing of firearms. A federal judge, however, has blocked the Administration from implementing this settlement, and the litigation over this issue is ongoing.

In addition to Senators Kaine, Menendez, and Markey, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Coons (D-DE), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

The legislation is endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, March for Our Lives, Orange Ribbons for Jaime, Violence Policy Center, the States United to Prevent Violence, and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence.

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE