Cicilline Introducing Bill Banning 3-D Printed Guns

Jul 30, 2018

WASHINGTON – Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) Co-Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01) has drafted legislation that he will introduce during tomorrow’s pro forma session of the U.S. House to prohibit the 3-D printing of plastic firearms that cannot be detected by commonly used security checkpoints. Cicilline’s bill is in response to the Trump administration’s decision earlier this month to allow a company to post designs for 3-D printed guns online.


Cicilline is introducing the bill along with original co-sponsors Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-06), Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05), Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Congressman Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr. (GA-04), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), and Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08).


“Gun violence is an epidemic in our country,” said Cicilline. “We should be doing everything we can to make it more difficult for criminals, children, and individuals with serious mental illness to possess a gun. Instead, the Trump administration’s decision will open the floodgates and allow anyone with access to the internet and a 3-D printer to possess a firearm. Even worse, these weapons are virtually undetectable by modern security devices used in airports, schools, and other would-be targets for mass shooters. This is a disaster waiting to happen. Congress needs to step in and prevent the distribution of this technology.”


Cicilline’s bill (a copy of which can be downloaded by clicking here) prohibits the manufacture or possession of 3-D printed guns that are made of plastic, rendering them virtually undetectable by modern security technology. The weapons lack serial numbers and are essentially untraceable by law enforcement. Many also believe that the proliferation of this technology will make it virtually impossible to prevent terrorists to build their own do-it-yourself firearms.


“As someone who has had to use guns for his job, I know how critical it is that we assure well trained, law abiding citizens have access to guns,” added Moulton. “The availability of guns made by 3-D printers is a dangerous step in the wrong direction. America deserves leaders who have the courage to keep us safe, and that’s why Democrats and Republicans should come together to place responsible regulations on this new form of weaponry in our communities.”


Since 2013, the State Department has blocked a company named Defense Distributed from publishing downloadable gun blueprints because the publication would compromise national security and could violate International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Earlier this month, however, the State Department suddenly reversed course and gave Defense Distributed a special exemption to publish gun blueprints online as early as this Wednesday, August 1. The State Department has yet to release the rationale behind its decisionmaking process, except to say that it was a voluntary agreement between both parties. 


Downloadable guns can be used to circumvent national or state laws that help prevent possession by people that pose a danger to others and themselves. Through downloadable gun technology, any person can print their own firearm without having to go through a federally licensed dealer and without ever having gone through a criminal background check—including domestic abusers, terrorists and convicted felons.  Gun blueprints also enable the printing of purely plastic guns that will not set off a metal detector and can be snuck into secure locations, such as government buildings and airplanes.