On Wednesday 12 June 2013, the New York city council introduced a new bill that would make it illegal to use a 3D printer “to create any firearm, rifle, shotgun, or any piece or part thereof,” without being a licensed gunsmith and even if you were a licensed gunsmith, you, as the creator, would be required to notify the NYPD and register the gun within 72 hours of completion. This new local legislation marks the first time that a city in the United States of America has attempted to regulate 3D printed firearms, and these legislative responses have come to the fore since Defense Distributed group successfully made AR-15 lower and related magazines and an complete handgun.
The new municipal bill is the latest move to put pressure on Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed group—which in recent months has advanced 3D printed guns more than any other organization worldwide.
In early May 2013, Wilson received a letter from the U.S. Department of State saying that distributing CAD files to make firearms was effectively illegal under International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The federal authorities ordered him to remove the files, which he did. However, website The Pirate Bay and countless other file sharing websites have already made the files available via other online sources.
Technology Website Arstechnica contacted Cody Wilson on Thursday, he said, “I’m waiting for the shoe to drop—there’s probably going to be an indictment of some kind,”…“They’re going to come back.” Minutes later via text message, Wilson added “So this evening the White House announces the arming of Syrian rebels,” “The Department of State can literally put guns in the hands of terrorists, but f*** me because zomg ‘national security.'”.
In April 2013, a House of Representatives bill was introduced that would ban plastic guns or “any firearm that, after removal of grips, stocks, and magazines, is not as detectable as the Security Exemplar, by walk-through metal detectors calibrated and operated to detect the Security Exemplar.” This new bill comes in line with one in recent weeks, in which, New York state lawmakers introduced a bill that would “prohibit the manufacturing, sale, and use of firearms and ammunition magazines digitally made by individuals.” And a California state senator, Leland Yee has said he intends to introduce similar legislation in the San Francisco and San Mateo County area. With all the proposed legislation, questions arise as to how such laws—whether it’s local, state, or federal, would stand up to a legal challenge?
[Image via animalnewyork]