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Colorado gun owner group supports 3D gun plans while printers, others see problems

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 20:38:36-04

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DENVER -- Instead of buying a gun made in a factory, Americans could soon have the option to manufacture their own weapon at home.  

The weapons, made in part using plastic, are created using a special molding device known as a 3D printer. The instructions to make a firearm can be downloaded on-line, including a rifle. 

This new reality is prompting outrage from gun safety advocates to law makers in Washington, D.C. and prompted a federal judge to on Tuesday block the plans from being released.

"This is not simply instructions. This is download, plug, and play,” said Nick Suplina, with gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.

Many are applauding the court action blocking the downloading of such instructions.

Because 3D guns are made of plastic, they fear the weapons will be used to skirt airport security and could be used in mass shootings.

"I don't care if a gun is made out of metal, is made out of plastic. If it can fire a bullet and take someone's life then it needs to be regulated" said Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

There's another side to this major breakthrough in technology.
"We don't think government should be involved in this," said Dudley Brown of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

He says material and manufacturing doesn't matter, and he doesn't want to see anything that could infringe on the Second Amendment.

"We believe the best policy is the government gets their hands out of it and punish the action, not what the potential action might be," he said.

In addition, the NRA released this statement on the controversy:

“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,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.

There is certainly a political debate but there are questions of practicality.   

"I would imagine the force of the bullet exiting the chamber could blow the gun up," said Justin Finesilver, director of operations and marketing at the 3D Printing Store.

His stance is based solely on science -- not the Second Amendment debate.

"We're around those materials all the time. Like I said, we're printing different parts and pieces. Some of them are very durable for certain applications and others aren't," he said.