Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Bill Would Ban Possession of 3D Printed Guns in New York State

July 25, 2018

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan), sponsor of Assembly bill A.1213 , which would ban the possession of 3D printed firearms in New York State, slammed the Trump Administration for quietly settling a lawsuit that paved the way for the August 1 publication online of instructions for do-it-yourself 3D printed firearms. Plastic guns created using 3D printing technologies are undetectable by metal detectors, and will enable anyone to obtain a firearm without a background check.

“Allowing individuals to download the plans to print an assault weapon in the privacy of their own homes undermines our efforts as a state to protect our citizens, and makes each and every one of us less safe,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “New York State’s gun control measures are among the strictest in the nation. Background checks ensure that dangerous felons don’t have access to killing machines, and 3D printed guns render those, along with metal detectors, thoroughly ineffective. Even more terrifying, plastic guns produced at home without serial numbers are virtually untraceable. Publication of online instructions could result in the proliferation of guns throughout our communities, and make each of us more vulnerable to gun violence.

Bill cosponsor Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) said, “Once again, the federal government has let us down when it comes to gun violence prevention, and has left New Yorkers vulnerable as a result. New York has among the strongest gun laws in the country. We have done the necessary work to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, including terrorists, domestic abusers, convicted criminals, and those who wish to do us harm. I stand with Assemblymember Rosenthal and call on our colleagues to take up this bill. Once again, we need to do what is necessary to keep our residents – including law-abiding gun owners – safe.”

The bill, which was first introduced in May 2013, would make it illegal to possess a firearm or magazine produced using digital manufacturing, including those produced using 3D printers and laser cutting machines. Those found to violate this provision would be guilty of a class D felony and face up to seven years in prison.

Earlier this year, the State Department quietly settled a lawsuit that the Obama Administration was vigorously defending and was likely to win, against a Texas-based non-profit organization, Defense Distributed. In 2012, Cody Wilson, Founder of Defense Distributed, created and posted online plans for a 3D printed pistol that was downloaded more than 100,000 times before his site was blocked by the federal government, which cited international export law.