A short while ago Trump tweeted that he’s now investigating the sale of 3-D printed guns and he’s already talked to the NRA about it:
I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
I’m not sure what Trump is being told, but this isn’t really the big issue surrounding 3-D printed guns. I guess it’s entirely possible that they are being sold somewhere, but the real issue for gun-controllers is that their blueprints are online so that any hobbyist can download them and make their own guns:
Most of the hobbyists supporting the right to build 3D printed guns believe that selling them is not the issue - They just want the right to make their own.https://t.co/SW7icZp4ie— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) July 31, 2018
Which makes this a 1st amendment issue, not a 2nd amendment issue.
So I’m not sure what Trump is doing here, but I guess we’ll find out.
Here’s a great Twitter thread on 3-D printed guns and the real issues with them:
Nearly everything you're hearing about 3D printed guns right now is false.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) July 31, 2018
Gun blue prints are and have long been readily available on the internet. A simple Google search shows this. The thing every politician, activist, and media personality warns will end the world tomorrow has literally been happening everyday since these blueprints were created.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) July 31, 2018
It has also been perfectly legal for law-abiding Americans to download and print or mill these designs the whole time as well. It has also remained illegal for prohibited persons to build firearms with 3D printers or by any other means as well.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) July 31, 2018
The vast majority of 3D printed gun designs are not undetectable to metal detectors. The majority are mostly made of metal because most of their parts have to be sourced from actual firearms manufacturers. Under federal law it would be illegal to build a gun that's undetectable.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) July 31, 2018
The case everybody is talking about centers around the State Department's claim that posting gun designs on the internet constituted exporting firearms to foreign entities in violation of ITAR. https://t.co/39Gb1eWQ3j— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) July 31, 2018
The State Department only ever made this claim against Cody Wilson, the most famous person associated with 3D printed guns, and his group Defense Distributed. They don't appear to have taken action against all the other Americans posting gun designs online.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) July 31, 2018
Nor was there ever any claim that law-abiding Americans who downloaded and used the designs were in violation of any law. Furthermore, Americans have legally built their own firearms for personal use since the country was founded. This isn't new.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) July 31, 2018
Gutowski says he’s got a comment request into the NRA about Trump’s confusing tweet this morning. I’ll let you know if he posts a substantive comment from them on the issue.