The Liberator pistol, a single-shot gun, is the first that can be made entirely from plastic parts forged with a 3D printer. President Donald Trump tweeted that he did not think selling these guns to the public made sense. (2013 file photo/Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images)
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In a tweet on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he didn't think allowing people to create their own guns on 3D printers made "much sense."
Wait...you can 3D print a gun?
3D printers can build just about any shape using plastic polymers. Cody Wilson, a former University of Texas law student, decided that he would try to design a gun that could be printed this way.
In May 2013, the State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance ordered Wilson's organization, Defense Distributed, to stop distributing plans to download 3D printed guns.
On July 10, the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with the Second Amendment Foundation, which had filed a suit on behalf of Defense Distributed. Under the terms of the agreement, the plans for 3D printed guns would be permitted to be downloaded beginning Wednesday.
On Sunday, a federal court in Pennsylvania ruled that plans for 3D guns could not legally be downloaded in that state. Defense Distributed has agreed to block Pennsylvanians from accessing its website.
On Monday, attorneys general from eight states and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit demanding that the Trump administration stop Defense Distributed from making the plans available for download. In a statement when the lawsuit was announced, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson slammed the concept of 3D printed guns:
These downloadable guns are unregistered and very difficult to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history. If the Trump Administration won't keep us safe, we will.
What did Trump say?
On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he was "looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public." He added that he had already talked to the National Rifle Association and that making these guns readily available to the public "doesn't seem to make much sense!"
I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
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