California is taking a big step toward combating the growing 3D-printed gun market. 3D printing has rapidly gained in popularity over the last few years. People have used the technology to create anything from small model guns to working firearms. While people may create 3D-printed guns as a hobby, the lack of restrictions has caused lawmakers to address safety concerns.
Registration Required for 3D-Printed Guns
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 857 into law. It imposes new restrictions on guns that are created through the use of 3D printers or similar technology. Going into effect on July 1, 2018, the law requires anyone who creates a firearm through 3D-printing to apply for a serial number or other mark of identification through the Department of Justice, a process that also requires a background check.
The owner of the firearm must affix or engrave the serial number into the firearm within ten days of receiving it. Additionally, 3D-printed plastic firearms would be required to have a piece of stainless steel embedded into the plastic, making them impossible to pass through metal detectors.
Time for a Change?
Under this new law, failure to register a 3D-printed handgun is considered a misdemeanor and can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 364 days in county jail. Failing to register any other type of firearm is also punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in county jail. Having additional firearms is considered a separate offense.
Recent incidents of gun violence across the country are likely the driving force behind this new legislation. Many use 3D printing as a hobby but creating guns can be potentially dangerous. The lack of registration on 3D-printed guns, including how easily they could pass through traditional security measures, makes them hard to control and govern.
3D-printed weapons have the potential to be mass produced very cheaply, and lawmakers want to prevent California residents from distributing them without consequences. When this law goes into effect in 2018, it will put more restrictions in place to track who is creating guns and how they are being used. Continue reading →