Days after a Texas company released a video purporting to show the test firing of a gun created on a 3-D printer, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has released some information on how the agency will deal with this new technology.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the video of this test firing was released on the final day of the National Rifle Association’s 142nd annual members meeting in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center. This column was approached by a few people who had seen the video. Apparently, so has the ATF.
According to a three-page advisory from the federal agency, ATF “routinely collaborates with the firearms industry and law enforcement to monitor new technologies and current manufacturing trends that could potentially impact the safety of the public.”
But the ATF goes further, explaining that there are “are no restrictions on an individual manufacturing a firearm for personal use, as long as it does not meet the National Firearms Act (NFA) classification.”
However, the agency adds, “When ATF receives credible information regarding the illegal manufacture of firearms, it will investigate and take appropriate action. If individuals neglect to follow federal laws and regulations surrounding firearms, ATF will investigate their activities.”
“ATF always tries to stay ahead of illegal firearms activity, novel firearms technology and firearms trafficking schemes while fully respecting the individual’s second amendment rights,” the advisory notes.
Also, if an individual begins producing large quantities of 3-D printed guns – a situation that may be far over the horizon or knocking at the door, depending upon to whom one listens – that person is “engaged in the business” and must obtain a license.
This comes after the District of Columbia city council moved to van the manufacture of 3-D guns inside the city limits, and an opinion piece on CNN criticized the technology. Christopher J. Ferguson, chair of the Texas A&M psychology and communications department, wrote, “I can’t imagine that too many people with rational minds think printable guns will add to the serenity of the world. Granted, 3-D printers aren’t yet a household item, but as technology improves and becomes less expensive, they may become common.”
Gun rights activists can anticipate that this discussion opens a new front in the war on gun rights. It’s a battle that has taken on an interesting new angle as The Gun Wire reported Wednesday about what it called “Obama’s propaganda machine.” The story links to a website showing a map of the United States with highlights on various activities, including a couple in Washington and Oregon.
The Mercer Island Reporter has revealed that this Sunday – Mother’s Day – a couple of events are slated, one at about noon at the corner of S.E. 40th and Island Crest Way and a second in the afternoon at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle. These events are being pushed by Mercer Islanders who belong to “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” an affiliate of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. WAGR and other gun prohibition lobbying groups took one on the chin yesterday when the Bureau of Justice Statistics and Pew Research Center released studies that revealed gun-related murders have dropped dramatically over the past two decades, a period during which gun ownership has soared.
This column discussed the two reports, which tend to seriously damage claims by the gun ban lobby that more guns in private hands translates to more homicides.
The “Obama propaganda machine” map pinpoints other anti-gun activities around the country over the past several weeks, in Michigan and elsewhere.