California lawmaker wants to prohibit guns made with 3-D printers

Responding to new technology, state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) says he will introduce legislation to prohibit the use of 3-D printing devices to make usable firearms.

Yee said he is alarmed by news reports that a plastic firearm has been designed and made with a 3-D printer and was able to fire bullets. A 3-D printer extrudes layers of plastic to produce almost any three-dimensional shape desired.


Yee is concerned that guns made with 3-D printers can be untraceable and made by people who do not undergo background checks.

“While I am as impressed as anyone with and I believe it has amazing possibilities, we must ensure that it is not used for the wrong purpose with potentially deadly consequences,” Yee said in a statement. His legislation, he added, would “stop the manufacturing of guns that are invisible to metal detectors and that can be easily made without a background check.”

Yee cited the design of a gun known as the Liberator that can be downloaded by computer and printed anonymously. He said three-dimensional printers have also been used to make parts for assault weapons.

The proposal is just one of many made this year in the California Legislature to regulate firearms. On Tuesday, the Assembly Public Safety Committee approved a measure by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) that gives the city of Oakland power to regulate the registration of firearms and the licensing of gun owners. Such authority is currently reserved for the state.

“No one can deny that Oakland is suffering from among the worst gun violence in the state and in the nation,” Bonta said in a statement. “AB 180 is a smart and sensible bill that empowers Oakland and provides local control in addressing gun violence.”


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