The federal government must pull the trigger on ending the dissemination of blueprints for 3-D printed firearms, according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer stood in a crowded main concourse at Grand Central Terminal on Sunday to denounce the federal government’s decision earlier this year to allow websites to post instructions online for creating 3-D printed guns.
“This is one of the places that evildoers could come to do their bad deeds,” he said, gesturing toward passing tourists. “The evildoers we’re talking about are mass shooters and terrorists.”
Homemade “ghost guns,” or plastic firearms that can pass through metal detectors, are easily manufactured by anyone with a large 3-D printer and a set of blueprints. The State Department previously prosecuted ghost gun websites for violating the International Trade in Arms regulations, which prohibits exporting guns without a license.
In a decision that will go into effect Aug. 1, the Department of Justice settled a case with the owner of a gun distribution website. The settlement exempted him from export controls and gave him the go-ahead to post gun blueprints online.
Schumer said the decision will make it easier for people to create their own firearms without serial numbers.
“Why in God’s name is this administration allowing this to happen when it never was allowed before?” he said. “We’re asking them to immediately rescind such action, and if they don’t, we will try to pass legislation preventing that. It makes no sense.”