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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 17, 2019 12:29 PM
From: Representative Stephen McCarter and Rep. P. Michael Sturla
To: All House members
Subject: 3D-Printed Firearms

In July 2018, a four-year battle over the efforts of Texas-based pro-gun group Defense Distributed to make plans for 3D-printed firearms readily available across the United States came to a settlement. Despite objections by the U.S. State Department, the Department of Justice greenlit plans by the company to publish detailed blueprints for the manufacture of untraceable, 3D-printed firearms. According to several news reports at the time, within days of the decision, thousands of people had downloaded the blueprints.

Not long after the Justice Department decision, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Governor Tom Wolf, and the Pennsylvania State Police filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia seeking to prohibit Pennsylvanians from downloading Defense Distributed’s 3D-printable firearm files. After an emergency hearing, the company agreed to block Pennsylvania users from its site pending a resolution of the Pennsylvania case.

Several police departments have expressed concerns about the dangers 3D-printed firearms pose. 3D-printed firearms are untraceable and lack identifying features commonly found on firearms, such as a serial number. Even President Donald Trump has stated that access to 3D-printed firearms, “doesn’t make much sense.”

Without adequate safeguards in place, 3D-printed firearms will be untraceable, undetectable and readily available. My legislation would ensure a 3D-printed firearm is treated as standard firearm under law and is subject to all standing regulation. In addition, my proposal would prohibit anyone from printing a firearm without a license from the federal government to manufacture firearms. I ask that you join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to ensure the continued safety of Pennsylvanians and to end the proliferation of untraceable firearms in our Commonwealth.

Introduced as HB699