California may outlaw 3-D printed guns

A California senator plans legislation to prohibit the use of the technology to make "untraceable and anonymously-produced guns"

Proposed legislation in California aims to ban guns made using 3-D printing, after an organization Defense Distributed fired a handgun made with the technology, and said it would distribute its drawings online.

California state Senator Leland Yee on Tuesday announced his plan to introduce legislation to prohibit the use of the technology used "to create such untraceable and anonymously-produced guns."

While impressed with 3-D printing technology and its possibilities, Yee said in a statement it must be ensured that the technology is not used for the wrong purpose with potentially deadly consequences. "I plan to introduce legislation that will ensure public safety and stop the manufacturing of guns that are invisible to metal detectors and that can be easily made without a background check."

Defense Distributed in Texas has been set up to produce and publish freely information related to the 3-D printing of firearms in promotion of the public interest, according to its website.

"This project might change the way we think about gun control and consumption. How do governments behave if they must one day operate on the assumption that any and every citizen has near instant access to a firearm through the Internet? Let's find out," it said about the potential impact of its project.

On Sunday, the project published a video of a 3-D printed handgun, called the "Liberator," being fired. The gun is said to be fully plastic except for its firing pin, according to reports.

But the project has run into criticism from people who are against the proliferation of guns, and recommend tighter gun control laws.

New York Congressman Steve Israel, for example, said he was renewing his call for the passage of his recently-introduced Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act that extends a ban on plastic firearms, including components like homemade, plastic high-capacity magazines and receivers. An existing ban on plastic firearms expires this year, and did not include the components. The gun printed by Defense Distributed has a small metal component which can be easily done away with it, making the gun undetectable by metal detectors, Israel said.

There are no restrictions or screening to prevent felons and criminals from downloading and printing anonymously the designs of the Liberator, Yee said.

"We must be proactive in seeking solutions to this new threat rather than wait for the inevitable tragedies this will make possible," he added.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesDefense Distributedlegislationgovernmentinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?