A Non-Partisan Resource for Journalists

Exactly HOW dangerous are plastic guns?

Judges in three states moved in to ban the publication of blueprints to a 3-D plastic gun today.  But there are some details that you may be missing in this hyper-ventilated reporting.

The whole concept of plastic printed guns is not new.  In fact, it has been inevitable since 3D printing became common.  But remember that any gun that is undetectable by metal scanners is illegal.  Remember that even if a gun was all plastic and contained no metal, the ammo in the gun would be detectable.  And airport scanners would detect the plastic weapon.

Now, none of this is a reason to publish the blueprints of this weapon.  If could be produced without any manufacturer serial number and would circumvent the background check systems that every state uses.

The NRA said:

“Many anti-gun politicians and members of the media have wrongly claimed that 3-D printing technology will allow for the production and widespread proliferation of undetectable plastic firearms.  Regardless of what a person may be able to publish on the Internet, undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years.  Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA’s support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm.”

Popular Mechanics addressed all of this some time ago.

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