Gillibrand touts proposed federal legislation banning 3D printed gun blueprints | Local News


Getting a gun in New York City is easier with a router than through Ruger, so Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) hopes the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act of 2023, which bans internet distribution of blueprints for 3D printed firearms, will suppress the burgeoning illegal pipeline of homemade, untraceable “ghost guns,” both locally and nationwide.

Gillibrand announced the bill this past Monday at the Detectives’ Endowment Association’s Manhattan headquarters alongside state lawmakers, gun violence prevention advocates, and union president Paul DiGiacomo.

“Let me be clear: We aren’t just talking about water pistols here,” said Gillibrand. “We’re talking about real, fully operational semi-automatic firearms like AR-15 rifles and Beretta M9 handguns. Because many of the 3D printed guns are made of plastic, they can bypass metal detectors commonly used at…secure public areas. The police are finding it increasingly difficult to stop people from using these ghost weapons to commit crime in these public areas.

“Our women and men in uniform are now having to deal with illicit guns coming into our city from both the iron pipeline and from private homes.”

Any gun without a serial number is considered a ghost gun, but the definition is becoming more and more synonymous with homemade weapons, given 3D printing’s emergence. According to Gillibrand, the NYPD’s ghost gun seizures are up by 75% and 20 of such illegal firearms were found at the sites of shootings.

Mary Hernandez, CEO and founder of the Angellyh Yambo Foundation, said the legislation would close a “major safety loophole for 3D printed guns, which could be used to kill innocent people.” Her niece—which her organization is named after—was killed last year in the Bronx by a stray bullet shot from a ghost gun.

“Angellyh was just 16 years old,” said Hernandez. “In January 2022, we had just celebrated her Sweet 16. She was a beautiful princess. And she was loved so much. She was funny, beautiful and smart [and a] straight A student.”

The Trump administration has undermined the regulations for 3D-printed gun blueprints, shifting governance from the State Department over to the Commerce Department. The move lifted pressure to oversee files that weren’t“ready for insertion” into a 3D printer, but could easily be sent by email and converted into the proper format.

Ghost guns are particularly dangerous in states that have stricter laws on firearms, such as New York. A 2013 Los Angeles shooting is referenced in the bill, where a 23-year-old man killed five people with a home-assembled rifle constructed of legally purchased parts after he failed a background check when attempting to purchase a gun—the unfinished AR-15 style receiver used to create such a weapon can now be 3D-printed.

New York State criminalized ghost gun sales in 2021 with the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act. (NYS State Senate Bill S14A). State legislators weighed in on a bill similar to one introduced in Albany that makes the intentional sale or distribution of ghost gun assembly instruction a Class A Misdemeanor.

“I’m proud to support Sen. Gillibrand’s much-needed federal action on untraceable guns through her new bill, the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act,” said sponsoring State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “Her legislation is an important and necessary complement to our state bill that makes the manufacturing of 3D-printed guns and ghost guns illegal that I drafted with Assemblymember [Linda] Rosenthal consults with Manhattan DA [Alvin] Bragg.”

“Since [the passing of the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act]The NYPD has seized hundreds of firearms that are not traceable. [and] gun trafficking rings have been busted and prosecuted for peddling firearms,” added Rosenthal. “But we also need to ban the manufacture of ghost guns here in New York State and, of course, across the country.”

“The rapid proliferation of 3D-printed guns poses a major threat to the safety of Manhattanites – anyone can now manufacture dangerous and deadly weapons right in their own home and apartment,” said Bragg. “One key reason it is so easy to print 3D guns is that detailed blueprints can be shared with just a few clicks over the internet, and I thank Senator Gillibrand for her leadership on this issue at the federal level.

“Earlier this year, my Office announced similar legislation that would make it illegal to share these digital files in New York, which I urge the legislature to make a priority when it returns to Albany next year.”

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