The bill was written in response to the introduction of 3D printers. This technology allows individuals to make “a three-dimensional object of almost any shape from a 3D model or other electronic data source primarily through additive processes in which successive layers of material are laid down under computer control.” The price for 3D printers has dropped to a few hundred dollars from thousands and are available on Amazon and at places like Home Depot. From the beginning, people have played with the idea of making guns with these printers. The printers are capable of printing out plastic pieces of a gun. There are now hundreds of plans online for constructing guns with 3D printers. These plans also include plans for semi-automatic assault rifles such as AR-15’s.
Guns made with 3D printers are still very much in the experimental stages and none have been used yet. Though they are said to only be able to let off one to ten shots before breaking, lawmakers realize that it only takes one shot to kill. The concerns are high because, though it still takes a level of expertise to make a gun from a 3D printer, children may potentially have access to these printers and try to make them based on schematics gleaned from the Internet. Being plastic, these guns would also be able to pass through metal detectors unnoticed.
Details of the bill regulating these guns made with 3D printers have still not been released, but as noted before, it has been passed and is awaiting the governor’s signature.