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Senate Democrats Push Vote on Bill to Ban Plans for 3D Printed Guns

Democrats are pushing for a vote on a bill — the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act of 2023 — which bans the sharing of 3D printer plans for guns.

The text of the bill makes clear that Democrats think guns can be made entirely of plastic — including plastic bullets and shell casings — and can therefore be passed through a metal detector without detection.

The bill says, “3D printing allows individuals to make their own firearms out of plastic, they may be able to evade detection by metal detectors at security checkpoints, increasing the risk that a firearm will be used to perpetrate violence on an airplane or other area where people congregate.”

Democrats behind the bill cite the June 7, 2013, Santa Monica College shooting to bolster their case, pointing out that the attacker used a homemade gun. However, they do not attempt to claim it was a plastic gun. In reality, the gun was an AR-15 built out of parts from various sources.

Nonetheless, Democrats cite the homemade AR-15 in their bill to ban the sharing of 3D print files.

The bill points to the absence of serial numbers on 3D printed guns, noting it is something that Democrats find unacceptable because it means government agencies cannot trace the gun’s whereabouts.

The bill says:

Firearms tracing is a powerful investigative tool. When law enforcement agencies recover firearms that have been used in crimes, the agencies work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace these firearms to their first retail purchaser. The agencies can use that information to investigate and solve the crimes. In 2019 alone, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced and recovered 269,250 firearms.

The bill also says, “The proliferation of 3D-printed firearms threatens to undermine the entire Federal firearms regulatory scheme.”


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