President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning he is "looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public," saying he has spoken to the National Rifle Association about the issue and that it "doesn't make much sense."
Trump's tweet follows the filing of a joint lawsuit by nine states and the District of Columbia to block the release of 3D blueprints from Cody Wilson, a well-known creator of 3D gun designs, who won permission from the State Department to post schematics for homemade firearms, the New York Times reports.
I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
In response to the State Department's decision, 21 state attorneys general sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to argue the decision was "deeply dangerous and could have an unprecedented impact on public safety."
But while that particular case is high-profile,Washington Free Beacon reporter Stephen Gutowski points out that gun blueprints have long been legally available for law-abiding Americans. "Gun blue prints are and have long been readily available on the internet," he tweeted. He further explained that "It has also been perfectly legal for law-abiding Americans to download and print or mill these designs the whole time as well. It has also remained illegal for prohibited persons to build firearms with 3D printers or by any other means as well."
Gutowski added that the majority of guns produced with the aid of 3D printers are detectable with metal detectors as other firearms are. Any that are not detectable would be illegal. "The vast majority of 3D printed gun designs are not undetectable to metal detectors. The majority are mostly made of metal because most of their parts have to be sourced from actual firearms manufacturers. Under federal law it would be illegal to build a gun that's undetectable," he said.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), known for his passionate support for gun control, responded to Trump's tweet by saying, "Amazing how proud he is to advertise that the NRA calls all the shots."
"If you want the gun lobby in charge of gun policy, vote Republican," Murphy continued.
Amazing how proud he is to advertise that the NRA calls all the shots.
Stakes are clear this November. If you want the gun lobby in charge of gun policy, vote Republican. If you want to do something about violence in America, vote em out. https://t.co/mkvd3Q0nzG
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) July 31, 2018
The Free Beacon is awaiting comment from the NRA on the president's tweet.