Will 3D Printers be Banned?

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Written By Alex

Alex Webster loves all things tech. He's a 44-year-old married father of two. Alex has been fascinated with technology from a young age and started his first business at 16. He also is the Chief Editor here at CanTechBeCool

3D printers are becoming more and more popular, and with that comes concerns about their potential to be used for illegal activities, like printing guns. Gun control advocates are worried that 3D printers will make it easier for people to print firearms without any identification or registration, making them undetectable by law enforcement. Additionally, 3D-printed guns are often made with plastic, making them undetectable by metal detectors.

So far, there has been no definitive answer on whether or not 3D printers will be banned. Some countries have already enacted bans on 3D-printed guns, while others are still debating the issue. The problem will likely continue to be hotly debated in

What Are 3D Printed Guns, and Are They Legal?

3d printed guns are a form of ghost guns. They are undetectable by law enforcement because they aren’t serialized or registered. 

Additionally, guns made out of plastic are dangerous because they can easily pass through metal detectors. These guns could enter places where firearms are banned, like airports or government offices. Over the last years, TSA agents have confiscated 3D-printed firearms at airports.

What about Sharing the Blueprints Online?

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is a lawyer suing the government over gun control. He says if people could buy guns online, there would be no more gun control laws.

3D printing has made guns easier to make. However, it is complicated because it makes it easy to get guns without any background checks. 

In 2019, after Grewal filed an injunction to stop Defense Distributed from releasing blueprints to New Jersey residents, Defense Distributed countersued. It claims that the blueprints are a form of speech and that Grewal’s effort to block their release violates the First Amendment. The court hasn’t ruled on this issue yet.

I would be rather careful and not make any blueprints public that could be used to print guns. 

Who is printing guns — and why?

The first 3D-printed gun made a splash in popular culture. It was called the Liberator. It was an anarchist who designed this weapon. He wanted to spread the idea of freedom. 

Proponents of the technology fall into several different camps. Some think that concerns about homemade weapons are overblown and believe that gun printing is primarily the domain of enthusiasts. Gun printing requires money and expertise. A black market firearm is much easier than buying a legal one.

Do 3D Printed Guns Change Anything?

Right now, a gun like this isn’t very dangerous. But if suitable printers and materials ever become cheap enough for regular people to buy, we might see some dangerous weapons. 

The new rules won’t stop people from downloading 3D-printed gun. People will still be able to download it from torrents or other sources.

Is it Legal to make a Gun using a 3D Printer?

Yes, federal law allows people to print out guns without obtaining a serial number. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you want to print out a weapon containing metal components, you need to get a serial number first. You can’t buy a 3D printer and start printing weapons. Also, if you’re making an untraceable gun, you’ll be breaking the law.

Conclusion

Restricting access to 3D print guns is a bad idea. You’ll never stop people from printing guns by limiting access to 3D printers. There are already ways to make guns using other methods. People who want to make guns could always use those methods instead of 3D printers – or go and buy a gun from the black market. 

Once information exists online, it’s virtually impossible to stamp it up. US authorities have no power over parts of the Internet, and we already know that determined groups can evade enforcement efforts for years if they want to. Look at how long The Pirate Bay has been chugging along, and many gun-rights advocates see no wrong with what companies like Defend Distributed are doing. Technology exists, and someone is going to be willing to back it. 

FAQ

Can anyone use a 3D printer?

Yes. As long as you follow your state’s regulations and don´t infringe Copyrights, Trademarks, intellectual property rights, and such.

What are the benefits of 3D printing?

3D printing can be used to create prototypes and products. It can also be used to create custom products.

Is a 3D printer legal?

Yes. 3D printers are legal. There are no laws prohibiting you from buying a 3D printer.

Can you 3D print guns in the US?

Yes! Generally speaking, federal law allows people to print out guns without obtaining a serial number. However, there are some exceptions – There need to be metal parts included, otherwise you´ll need to become a licensed manufacturer. Some states made laws of their own – make sure to check those!

Are there laws about what Can and Cannot be 3D printed?

Yes. For example, some states made laws regarding firearms made by 3D printers. Also, keep in mind that intellectual property law is a thing! You should not just “copy” some patented product. 3D printing a business card holder is one thing – 3D printing a working car is another!

Is it legal to 3D print replacement parts?

This depends on if those parts are protected by the intellectual property law or trademarks.

What are the legal issues with 3D printing?

The legal issues are intellectual property law, 3D printing guns, 3D printing replacement parts.