Due to concerns about 3D printed guns, a proposed bill in New York would mandate a background check for the purchase of a 3D printer.


the countless legal avenues available. The argument has always been that the regulation of 3D printers, rather than guns themselves, is misguided and a violation of personal freedoms. However, with the rise of ghost guns and the increasing accessibility of 3D printers, the conversation has shifted.

Assemblyperson Rajkumar’s bill addresses a growing concern within the 3D printing community – the potential misuse of the technology to create untraceable firearms. By requiring a criminal history background check for anyone purchasing a 3D printer capable of crafting a firearm, the bill aims to prevent convicted felons and others disqualified from firearm ownership from obtaining these printers.

The fear of “ghost guns,” unserialized and untraceable firearms assembled without background checks, has gained considerable attention recently. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary stay on a lower court ruling that prevented the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from categorizing ghost guns as firearms under federal law. This move by the Supreme Court acknowledges the need for regulation and the importance of treating ghost guns like traditional firearms, complete with serial numbers and registration requirements.

While 3D printed guns have been a topic of debate for several years, the focus has largely been on the guns themselves and the sharing of 3D printed gun files online. This is where Assemblyperson Rajkumar’s bill differs. Instead of targeting the guns, the bill addresses the sale of 3D printers, recognizing that the technology itself can be misused to create untraceable firearms.

Opponents argue that regulating 3D printers is unnecessary, as there are already effective ways to obtain a gun legally. They point to the legal avenues available in the U.S. for purchasing firearms, making the argument that focusing on 3D printers is a violation of personal freedoms. However, the increasing number of arrests related to 3D printed guns, coupled with the rise of ghost guns, highlights the need for regulation.

While Rajkumar’s bill currently has only one sponsor and is not yet popular, it brings attention to an issue that the 3D printing community has been wary of for years. Trade publications have often avoided coverage of illicit 3D printed guns, fearing that it would draw attention and lead to legislation like the one proposed by Rajkumar. However, with the rise of ghost guns, the conversation around the regulation of 3D printers has become more relevant and pressing.

In conclusion, the public debate on 3D printed weapons has taken a turning point with the introduction of a bill in New York State that seeks to regulate the sale of 3D printers capable of creating firearms. While some argue that this regulation is unnecessary, the rise of ghost guns and the increasing accessibility of 3D printers highlight the need for targeted measures to prevent the misuse of this technology. As the conversation continues, it remains to be seen how lawmakers, the 3D printing community, and advocates for personal freedoms will navigate this complex issue.

A number of loopholes exist, but let’s not overlook the rise of additive manufacturing (AM) for weapons fabrication. Just as this technology has revolutionized the creation of custom items in various fields, it has similarly democratized arms manufacturing. While 3D printed plastic parts may not match the strength of mass-produced counterparts, they have proven adequate for resisting military junta, as demonstrated by Myanmar rebels with 3D printed guns.

Furthermore, as the technology continues to advance, the capability to produce weapons will only enhance. This progress includes reducing costs associated with printers that can handle high-performance plastics or cheaper machines that can print with metal filaments. The negligence of this underground segment often causes observers to underestimate the usage of 3D printing for potentially dangerous weapons accessories, such as auto-sears that convert rifles into machine guns.

Now that the possibility of regulating 3D printers has emerged, it is crucial for the AM industry to pay attention to this trend. The slippery slope we face is that all the advantages of low-cost 3D printing could eventually become restricted and exclusive to businesses with the proper licenses. Furthermore, while rebel groups might face restrictions on utilizing AM for improvised weaponry, state militaries worldwide are increasingly relying on this technology to 3D print various weapon-related components on a daily basis.

To stay informed about the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive updates and offers from third-party vendors, it is essential to stay up-to-date.

Original source


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