New York introduces legislation to regulate 3-D printed arms

Legislation in both New York state and the city aim to regulate the making of guns using 3-D printers

New legislation in New York city aims to regulate the use of 3-D printers to make firearms, as the U.S. tries to cope with the possible proliferation online of drawings for making such arms.

An organization Defense Distributed fired in early May a handgun made with 3-D printing technology, and said it would distribute its drawings online. But it later brought down the files on orders of the U.S. State Department.

The Texas-based organization now runs a notice on its website that the files have been removed "from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls." (It added that the U.S. government claims control of the information until further notice.

The Mega file-storage service, set up by Kim Dotcom, the controversial founder of Megaupload, also removed design plans for the one-bullet plastic gun, citing the legal uncertainty about the distribution of its CAD (computer-aided design) files.

But a large number of the files are said to have already been downloaded.

The New York City Council this week introduced legislation that would prohibit others than those licensed as gunsmiths from using 3-D printers to make guns and related equipment.

The bill aims to regulate the use of 3-D printers "to print firearms, ammunition and ammunition feeding devices." Any gunsmith who creates a rifle or shotgun in whole or part using a 3-D printer must, for example, notify the New York police department and seek registration within seventy-two hours of completing the printing of the arm.

Earlier, a bill was introduced in the New York State Assembly "to prohibit the manufacturing, sale and use of firearms and ammunition magazines digitally made by individuals."

One of the justifications for the state bill is that 3-D printers "can manufacture objects using materials that cannot be detected by traditional metal detectors, and may not present an accurate image on an X-ray." The production of a homemade firearm or ammunition would also circumvent a number of state laws regulating and requiring registration of firearms and magazines.

The two bills are not the only proposed legislation that aims to prevent the misuse of guns made with 3-D print technology.

In May, California state Senator Leland Yee, for instance, announced his plan to introduce legislation to prohibit the use of technology used "to create such untraceable and anonymously-produced guns."

New York Congressman Steve Israel also said in May he was renewing his call for the passage of his recently-introduced Undetectable Firearms Modernization Act that extends a ban on plastic firearms and also includes components like homemade, plastic high-capacity magazines and receivers. An existing ban on plastic firearms expires this year, and did not clearly include the components.

The gun printed by Defense Distributed had a small metal component - its firing pin - according to reports, but that could be easily done away with it, making the gun undetectable by metal detectors, Israel said.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesNew York City CouncilNew York State Assemblyregulationlegislationgovernmentinternet

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?