This weekend saw a number of historic bills signed by the California state legislature, which are all on their way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk to await his signature before being made into law. In the wake of the Elliot Rodgers massacre that occurred in May of this year, the senate passed Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner’s Assembly Bill 1014, which allows family members of a person displaying signs of violence and mental instability to petition a court for a restraining order that gives police the power to take away their guns. Also passed was a bill that could be controversial to some members of the 3D printing community, Senate Bill 808.
Introduced by Kevin de Leόn (D-Los Angeles), SB-808 is similar to the federal Undetectable Firearms Act backed by Rep. Steve Israel last year, in that it requires all home-made firearms to include a permanent metal component so that it can be seen by metal detectors. The bill also mandates that these weapons be registered with the Department of Justice with a unique serial number and a gun owner background check. In announcing the bill, de Leόn lamented the limitations of the Undetectable Firearms Act and argued for its expansion at the state level.
3D printed liberator gun with cody wilson
Inventor of the 3D printed Liberator pistol, Cody Wilson. Photo from The Statesman.
de Leόn believes that SB-808 will make it more difficult for incidents like last year’s shooting spree in Santa Monica to take place. Last June’s tragedy saw John Zawahri, after being barred from purchasing a firearm in California due to mental health issues, craft his own military assault rifle and killed five people in the beach city. Though the bill isn’t limited to 3D printing technology, according to the senator’s website, SB-808 was written with 3D printed firearms in mind:
The Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 (UDF) was written before plastic functioning guns were available. While some lawmakers pushed for amendments recognizing the developing 3D printing threat, the extension of the law was passed unchanged. The UDF does not require that metal pieces in guns be permanent, so an individual could smuggle a three-dimensionally printed plastic gun through a metal detector and onto a plane by simply removing any detectable components.
The “ghost gun” bill, as it’s been called, has the potential to upset some enthusiasts of 3D gun printing, as it renders gun printing illegal, if the firearm is not registered with the DOJ. Because guns can already be purchased pretty readily in California, 3D printing one would be performed, either as a means of engineering and artistic exploration or to produce a firearm without the state’s knowledge. If home manufacturers are interested in printing one for exploratory purposes, the law simply ensures that they pass the same background checks as they would when purchasing one from an authorized retailer. It does not regulate the practice of printing a gun itself, one of the major concerns with Rep. Israel’s legislation, but attempts to ensure that any homemade gun cannot be used for illegal purposes.
***Comentary by Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer ***
This is the most ridiculous waste of time. First of all, our Constitution gives everyone who is a US citizen the “unalienable right to Keep & Bear Firearms” and anyone can download and fill out a firearms manufacturing license in about and hour or less from the ATF website and with $500 be a firearms manufacturer… Any US citizen who has no criminal reason they cannot own a firearm can manufacture firearms with less than $1500, and an hours worth of effort. Just as the myth that silencers are illegal has been spread the myth that it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and a team of lawyers to own a gun store, is just that a myth spread by those who don’t wish you to know how easy it really is as US citizen to own, sell or manufacture firearms legally.
Secondly all you’ve needed for 100 years is a lathe and milling machine which tens of thousands of individual home shops have, to build any firearms you want…. Where are the politicians trying to ban lathes and Mills and passing silly laws about what can and can’t be created with them….
Thirdly, face facts. It’s happening and will only get easier…. You “can’t put the Genie back in the bottle” and you won’t stop Technology from making these things accessible to anyone and everyone. Just like your “war on drugs” any “war on firearms” will fail and be a big waste of time and money and send it underground where Gang violence will just increase…..
The Common Sense Solution
Make it legal and Tax the hell out of it like you do with smokers, that is the real, honest solution that faces reality instead of burying your head in the sand and sending the cops in with guns blazing….
Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer
Founder & CEO/CTO
Synapse Synergy Group, Inc.