Weeks after a federal judge blocked the release of blueprints for a 3D-printed gun, a Maryland legislator is looking to outlaw the untraceable firearms in the state.
Majority Leader Kathleen Dumais (D-15) said she plans to propose a bill in the next legislative session that will ban the possession of 3D-printed guns.
As 3D printers became cheaper and more available, some worry that the printers could be used to make firearms, which currently do not need a background check, do not have a serial number, and are made of plastic, meaning – they can pass through a metal detector.
“I think we need to send a clear message that having untraceable guns without having a background check is just not safe,” Dumais said.
While Dumais does not have the details of her bill finalized yet, she said her bill will ban possession of 3D-printed guns in Maryland.
House Speaker Michael Busch (D-30a) said that he supports a ban on 3D-printed guns in the state. While Dumais said House leadership is on her side, and there is support from Gov. Larry Hogan (R), her bill, like many bills, may not pass due to Maryland’s short, 90 days’ legislative session.
“Sometimes even good ideas may take two sessions or three sessions to work out the logistics to make sure the law is sound and workable,” Dumais said.
Dumais’s proposal comes weeks after a federal judge issued a restraining order against the release of 3D-gun blueprints by a federal judge. Currently, 19 states, including Maryland, are suing to make the ban on publishing the 3D-gun blueprints permanent.
“Attorney General Sessions and Secretary Pompeo are sitting on their hands while these illegal blueprints for 3D-printed guns are available to minors and to criminals and terrorists,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh in a statement. “The Trump Administration cannot continue to ignore this public safety hazard.”
In addition to proposing a ban on 3D-printed guns, Dumais also plans to propose a ban on “ghost guns,” guns that come partially assembled and do not require a background check to purchase. According to federal law, as long as the parts of a gun are not more than 80 percent assembled, it is not legally considered a firearm – meaning it does not require a serial number or a background check to purchase.
Alwin Chen, the Clarksburg student who was sentenced to four months in jail for bringing a loaded gun to school, had bought a ghost gun and brought it to school.