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Friday, September 24th, 2021

Lawmakers urge continued 3D firearms regulatory controls

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A group of lawmakers recently requested that the Biden administration keep regulatory controls in place over three-dimensional (3-D) printable firearms and prevent online sales.

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) spearheaded the correspondence effort, which stems from a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision threatening to allow the immediate online distribution of blueprints for the 3-D weapons.

“Widespread do-it-yourself gun printing undermines federal and state laws that block gun access by people who pose the most serious danger to the public — including terrorists, violent felons, and domestic abusers,” the legislators wrote. “3-D printed firearms allow anyone to have a gun without undergoing a criminal background check or otherwise involving the licensed dealer system. With gun schematics and a commercially available 3-D printer, anyone can print an unserialized, plastic ‘ghost gun.’”

The legislators seek transfer of regulatory control over 3-D printed firearms and their technical data back to the State Department, returning them to the Munitions List, and once again control under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Before the Trump administration, the legislators noted that 3-D printed firearms and their technical data were placed on the Munitions List and governed by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), restricting exports of military technologies to protect national security and foreign policy objectives.