STATEMENT: Giffords Applauds Congressional Leaders for New Legislation to Stop Untraceable Firearms After Trump Administration Clears Way For Anyone to 3D-Print Their Own Guns

Washington, DC — Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, applauded Senator Richard Blumenthal, Representative David Cicilline and Representative Seth Moulton for introducing the Untraceable Firearms Act and Senator Bill Nelson for introducing the 3D Printing Safety Act to stop untraceable firearms from further proliferation after the Trump Administration cleared the way for anyone to 3D-print their own guns.

Robin Lloyd, Director of Government Affairs at Giffords, released the following statement:

“3D-printed and homemade firearms allow convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people to ignore our background check system by making their own firearms, undetected by police. It’s why law enforcement leaders are so concerned. We don’t want officers to go out to a scene of a crime only to find a firearm without a serial number and no way to trace it back to the source. Serial numbers on firearms are critical to helping us catch criminals, and the proliferation of this technology could end up making our communities more dangerous. We’re grateful to Senator Blumenthal, Senator Nelson, Representative David Cicilline and Representative Seth Moulton for putting public safety first and introducing these bills because every day that 3D firearm blueprints are available online or firearm kits are sold without oversight puts American communities at risk. We urge Congress to pass these bills quickly.”

Recently, the Department of Justice settled with Defense Distributed, allowing them to relaunch their website, include a searchable database of firearm blueprints, and allow the public to create their own fully-functional, unserialized firearms using a 3D printer. Untraceable firearms, also known as do-it-yourself (DIY) firearms, have grown increasingly popular in recent years as technology has made it easier for individuals to manufacture their own weapons. Current federal law allows individuals to manufacture firearms for their personal use, but with the changing nature of technology, it is now easier than ever for dangerous people to make their own untraceable firearms.

The Untraceable Firearms Act would prohibit the manufacture and sale of firearms without serial numbers, require any person or business engaged in the business of selling firearm kits and unfinished receivers to obtain a dealer’s license and conduct background checks on purchasers, and mandate that a person who runs a business putting together firearms or finishing receivers must obtain a manufacturer’s license and put serial numbers on firearms before offering them for sale to consumers. The 3D Printing Safety Act would prohibit the online publication of computer-aided design (CAD) files which automatically program a 3D-printer to produce or complete a firearm.

Guns produced with 3D printers are just the latest example of a dangerous trend: the rise of “ghost guns.” So-called “ghost guns” are do-it-yourself guns that are assembled from parts ordered online. Ghost gun websites sell unfinished versions of the gun component that holds the firing mechanism, called the lower receiver, which can be easily completed using simple tools available at any hardware store. The websites sell kits that include the tools necessary to complete the lower receiver, as well as all the other parts required to assemble fully functional firearms, including handguns and AR-15-style assault rifles.

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Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.