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Stop Downloadable Guns

Stop Downloadable Guns

What is the problem?

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, the spread of the computer code that is used to create them should be stopped.

How it works

Federal action could 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.

By the numbers

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

Myth

Downloadable guns are unreliable and can’t be used in a crime.

Fact

Experts have shown time and time again that downloadable guns are operational firearms. The State Department has made clear the serious national security concerns of posting the files for downloadable guns. At the time, the State Department said it was “particularly concerned that [the] proposed export of undetectable firearms technology could be used in an assassination, for the manufacture of spare parts by embargoed nations, terrorists groups, or to compromise aviation security overseas in a manner specifically directed at U.S. persons.”