WASHINGTON (WSVN) — With blueprints for controversial 3D-printed guns set to go online in just a matter of hours, local lawmakers and gun control advocates are working to stop the plans from being published.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson announced Tuesday that he filed a bill to halt the plans’ distribution a day before they were set to be published online.
“These 3D-printed plastic firearms can evade our detection systems and are a direct threat to our national security,” Nelson said at a Capitol Hill press conference announcing the bill, “and we are going to let these go up on the internet tonight at midnight?”
Nelson’s bill would make it illegal for anyone to publish a digital file online that programs a printer to manufacture a firearm.
“A gun that can evade the detection system, it just defies common sense, and yet this is what the Trump administration has done,” said Nelson. “It’s inexplicable that the administration is allowing this to go into effect at midnight tonight. It’s dangerous.”
The 3D printed guns have been a source of debate ever since Texas company Defense Distributed successfully sued for the right to post the blueprints online, arguing free speech claims.
Lawmakers cited safety concerns, considering the guns are made entirely of plastic, making them undetectable by metal detectors and untraceable, as they can be printed without registration.
“Coming to a theater near you, coming to a school near you, these ghost guns are the new wave of American gun violence,” said Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
The company’s founder, Cody Wilson, describes himself as a crypto-anarchist and a gun rights activist. On the company’s website, people can download plans to make more advanced guns with metal parts from the comfort of their own home.
“Giving you the ability to make something to military specification but affordably,” said Wilson.
The guns also received criticism from Fred Guttenberg, the father of Parkland shooting victim Jamie Guttenberg.
“Now, if you’re underage and you want a gun, you’ll get it. If you can’t pass a background check and you want a gun, you’ll get it,” he said. “Right now, we need an injunction, and we need it today.”
“My daughter died. It was preventable. It didn’t need to happen,” Guttenberg added. “Why would we add to that risk for others and make it harder to put in place common sense steps that already exist? Metal detectors are now going to be meaningless.”
The plans were cleared for publishing beginning Aug. 1. However, as early as Sunday, over 1,000 people had already downloaded plans to print an AR-15-style rifle, according to the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is “looking into” the idea, declaring it “doesn’t seem to make much sense!”
However, according to the Associated Press, around 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, a Federal judged issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of the blueprints online.