What does it solve?
Downloadable guns, or 3-D printed guns, are serious threats to our communities. The key to stopping the spread of downloadable guns is to stop the spread of the computer code that is used to 3-D print the firearm or its parts.
Downloadable guns are a type of ghost gun because with a 3-D printer and access to the computer schematics, anyone can build an untraceable firearm without a background check. A functional downloadable gun can be made entirely out of plastic and evade a metal detector. To stop the spread of downloadable guns, we must stop the spread of the computer code that is used to create them.
Downloadable guns are dangerous
With a 3-D printer and access to the computer schematics, anyone can build an untraceable firearm without a background check.
Myth & Fact
How it works
Federal action is needed to stop the spread of downloadable guns.
Downloadable guns cause the same harm as any other firearm. The distribution of computer code for downloadable guns on the internet was strongly regulated for years—it was considered to be an export of a deadly weapon and regulated by the Department of State as part of the U.S. Munitions List.
The Trump administration abruptly moved to remove downloadable guns from the U.S. Munition List and make the computer code widely available to anyone, including prohibited purchasers and children. A group of state attorneys general went to court to stop the Trump administration, but the fight continues.
The Trump administration should return the computer code for downloadable guns to the U.S. Munitions List and ensure downloadable guns are not readily available online. Congress should pass a law making it illegal for anyone to distribute the computer files for 3-D printing downloadable guns, including making it illegal to post them online. Congress should also strengthen the law banning plastic firearms.
By the numbers
80 percent of Americans oppose the availability of downloadable guns.
Nearly 600k consumer 3-D printers were sold in 2018.
A basic 3-D printer that can be used to print guns can cost as little as $150.
You might be wondering…
- 1 Are 3-D printed guns illegal?
- 2 Do plastic guns even work?
- 3 Are downloadable guns considered to be ghost guns?
- 4 Is there proof that people who are not allowed to have guns are printing guns?
- 5 Isn’t the technology for 3-D printing guns too expensive to pose a risk?
- 6 Why did the Trump administration decide to move jurisdiction over downloadable guns away from the State Department?