Trump says 3D printed guns being available to download ‘doesn’t seem to make much sense’
President Donald Trump expressed skepticism Tuesday over the ability to legally download plans for 3D printed guns, saying he’s spoken with the National Rifle Association about them because the technology “doesn’t seem to make much sense!”
The President’s comments come one day before the government will allow online plans to be posted on the web following a settlement with gun-rights activists.
“I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!” the President tweeted Tuesday, without offering further details about what he’ll do about the weapons.
The White House did not immediately return a request for additional comment. The NRA did not immediately have a comment.
The gun rights lobbyist has no official statement on 3D guns on its website, but last month, spokeswoman Dana Loesch said in an NRATV segment that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, was “freaking out” over the prospect of criminals printing assault-style weapons when there were laws that forbade “prohibited possessors” from doing so.
“I’m actually talking about what Democrats call, quote unquote, ‘ghost guns’ and the what the rest of us call freedom and innovation: 3-D printed guns,” she said.
Loesch went on to say that she believed any attempt to outlaw the technology or regulate 3D printers under the National Firearms Act would be “absolutely unenforceable.”
Speaking to CNN’s “New Day” shortly before Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February, said the ability to download blueprints for the firearms doesn’t make sense.
“It’s horrible on a lot of levels. One week ago, I actually was in DC with some folks from the Newtown Action Alliance and nobody in DC on a legislative level even knew about this,” Guttenberg told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.
In June, a gun-rights group, Defense Distributed, reached a settlement with the government that will allow it to post 3D printable gun plans online. According to the settlement, the plan wasn’t supposed to be online until Wednesday but more than 1,000 people had already downloaded plans to print an AR-15 style semiautomatic assault rifle, according to the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
The settlement ends a multiyear legal battle that started when Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson posted designs for a 3-D printed handgun he called “The Liberator” in 2013. The single-shot pistol was made almost entirely out of ABS plastic — the same material Lego bricks are made from — and could be made on a 3D printer.
Twenty-one state attorneys general sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday, urging the government to withdraw from the settlement.
Trump has previously offered tepid support for tougher gun restrictions, particularly after the Parkland shooting, but later backed off those positions to align himself with NRA proposals.