Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) plans to introduce legislation that would ban 3-D printed firearms.
Beginning today Aug. 1, blueprints for the manufacture of the guns will be available online from a Texas nonprofit called Defense Distributed. The bill would halt the widespread availability of 3-D printable plastic guns, which would be available in a free download on the organization’s website.
“As we struggle to fight the gun epidemic in this country and make it more difficult for children, criminals and the mentally ill to possess firearms, it suddenly became easier for anyone worldwide to do just that,” said Senator Coyne, a retired lieutenant with the Rhode Island State Police. “Anyone with internet access and a 3-D printer will be able to make weapons that are undetectable and — since they have no serial numbers — untraceable.”
In 2013, Cody Wilson, founder of the group, created a plastic pistol with his 3-D printer. After posting the blueprints online, the U.S. State Department said he was in violation of the Arms Export Control Act. After five years of litigation, the federal government entered into a settlement on June 29, permitting the blueprints to be published online.
On Monday nine states and the District of Columbia filed a joint lawsuit in federal court in Seattle seeking a nationwide temporary restraining order. Joining the attorney general of Washington State were those from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
“Criminals seeking guns will soon be able to bypass background checks, age restrictions and gun licensing rules,” said Senator Coyne. “This is a terrifying precedent, a blow to public safety and a huge potential tragedy in the making.”
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