It’s 2023 and the old “you wouldn’t download a car” joke lost its appeal with the way so-called “ghost guns” are getting in criminals’ hands.
Now, New York wants to do background criminal checks on anyone who wants to buy a 3D printer.
A new bill in New York introduced by state senator Jenifer Rajkumar aims to stop what authorities call “ghost guns”, aka untraceable guns created by 3D printing their components.
From a Gizmodo report:
“The New York bill, called AB A8132, would require a criminal history background check for anyone attempting to purchase a 3D printer capable of fabricating a firearm. It would similarly prohibit the sale of those printers to anyone with a criminal history that disqualifies them from owning a firearm. As it’s currently written, the bill doesn’t clarify what models or makes of printers would potentially fall under this broad category. The bill defines a three-dimensional printer as a “device capable of producing a three-dimensional object from a digital model.””
The bill’s justification explain not just how cheap it theoretically is to print a ghost gun but how much they enable crime:
“Three-dimensionally printed firearms, a type of untraceable ghost gun, can be built by anyone using an $150 three-dimensional printer. Three-dimensional printed guns are growing more prevalent each year. There were 100 taken off the streets of New York City in 2019.
That number skyrocketed to 637 in 2022.
Concurrently, ghost gun shootings have risen 1,000% across the nation.
Currently, three-dimensional printers allow people to make, buy, sell, and use untraceable guns without any background checks.
This bill will require a background check so that three-dimensional printed firearms do not get in the wrong hands.”