A bill has been introduced in New York by Democratic Senator Jenifer Rajkumar that seeks to regulate the sale of 3D printers for firearms. The proposed legislation, known as AB A8132, would require individuals seeking to purchase a 3D printer to produce a firearm to undergo a criminal background check. Additionally, the sale of these printers to individuals with a disqualifying criminal history would be prohibited.
The bill aims to address concerns over the creation of so-called “ghost weapons” by convicted criminals who are prohibited from legally purchasing firearms. These individuals would instead use 3D printers to produce individual components and assemble them into untraceable firearms. Senator Rajkumar’s explanatory notes in the bill highlight the accessibility and affordability of 3D-printed firearms, stating that they can be made for as little as $150.
The exact scope of the regulation is not clear from the current draft law, as it does not specify whether it applies to all 3D printers or only those with certain performance characteristics. However, Senator Rajkumar’s statements suggest that she is concerned with all systems of this kind. The intention behind the mandatory background check is to prevent “printed firearms from falling into the wrong hands.”
The extent of the problem regarding the production of ghost weapons is difficult to ascertain. While police reports and statistics indicate the discovery and confiscation of relevant workshops, it is challenging to verify the true scale of the issue. The proposed bill aims to close what is perceived as a growing loophole in current practice.