Plastic 3D printed gun regulations urged in California bill

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Sacramento, CA - According to Don Thompson (Associated Press) as reported in today’s Manufacturing.net, the "ghost guns" that can slip through metal detectors and be assembled at home without safeguards are spurring efforts in California and elsewhere to bring these weapons and their owners out of the shadows.

A state lawmaker proposed legislation Monday to make background checks and gun registrations requirements for anyone who builds plastic firearms on a 3-D printer at home. The bill by state Sen. Kevin de Leon also would apply to anyone who buys parts that can be assembled into a gun. It's part of a growing effort across the country to pre-empt the spread of these undetectable guns.

De Leon said he is trying to address a twin threat from what he called "ghost guns," plastic guns that can evade metal detectors and unregistered weapons that can fall into the hands of people who are legally prohibited from owning firearms under state law.

The bill by de Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles, goes further than the federal government, which last month renewed for 10 years an existing ban on plastic firearms that can slip past metal detectors and X-ray machines.

His bill, SB 808, would allow the manufacture or assembly of homemade weapons but require the makers to first apply to the state Department of Justice for a serial number that would be given only after the applicants undergo a background check. The number would have to be engraved on or otherwise permanently attached to the weapon within one day of its manufacture.

He plans to amend the bill to also require that the guns contain permanent pieces of metal that could be detected by X-ray machines and metal detectors, a proposal that was blocked in the federal legislation. Some plastic guns currently comply with the federal law by including a metal piece that can be removed, which potentially would allow them to be slipped through security screeners at airports, courthouses, schools and elsewhere.

The National Rifle Association did not oppose the 10-year extension of the federal plastic firearms ban. However, spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said the organization opposes any expansion of the law at either the federal or state level.

Currently available technology allows consumers to download a gun's design plans to a computer and then build it on a 3D printer with no background checks or other safeguards.

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Related:
World’s first 3D-printed metal gun manufactured

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