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Why I Objected to a Bill That Would Ban 3D Gun Designs

Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted, “I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!”

The White House has not offered any clarification on what exactly Trump’s tweet meant, but if he is worried about plastic guns being sold to the public, he shouldn’t be. The Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 already makes the sale, and even the mere possession, of plastic guns illegal.

Following Trump’s tweet, however, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., went to the Senate floor and tried to pass a bill by unanimous consent (meaning there would be no roll call vote, the bill would just pass the Senate immediately without any debate) that would have banned the mere publication of any designs for a plastic gun that could be produced by a 3D printer.

I objected. Anytime legislation begins with words “It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally publish … ” I will force the Senate to take a long look at that legislation.

The federal government already believes it has the power to ban the publication of 3D plastic gun designs under the Arms Export Control Act and it has been selectively enforcing this ban on a company called Defense Distributed since 2013. Other entities have published 3D plastic gun designs on the internet for years, but the federal government has been locked in a legal dispute with Defense Distributed since 2015.

But the federal government has been losing this legal battle. That is why the State Department entered into a settlement with Defense Distributed this July that allowed them to publish their 3D plastic gun designs.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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