Proposal to ban 3D-printed guns is under review in DC

FILE – This Aug. 1, 2018 file photo, shows a 3D-printed gun called the Liberator at Defense Distributed, an online organization for weapons development, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

D.C.’s effort to fight gun violence now involves proposed legislation that would ban so-called “ghost guns” that don’t contain enough metal to set off most magnetometers and are untraceable.

“When people download and print 3D plastic guns, the firearms have no serial numbers. This makes them untraceable, depriving law enforcement of a crucial tool to solve and combat gun crime,” said Liz Wieser, deputy attorney general for public safety at the D.C. attorney general’s office.

Wieser spoke in support of the proposal, at a public hearing before the D.C. Council’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

Wieser noted that the federal Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 requires guns to have enough metal to trigger common airport scanners, but that could change once a lawsuit involving 3D printing of weapons reaches its final conclusion.

Also, she said the State Department has indicated its plans to issue a proposed rule-making, which would allow plans for 3D-printed weapons to be put on the internet.

“Partly because of that, it’s important for us to go ahead and have this legislation implemented so that we can make sure that, on the local level, our citizens are protected,” Wieser said.

Right now, it is illegal to produce, possess or sell a gun with less than 3.7 ounces of metal, which is about the same weight as a teaspoon or a bar of soap.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up