Wolf Says 3D Printing Of Guns Is 'Dangerous, Breaks State Law'

Jul 30, 2018

  State officials say they've successfully stopped a company that makes 3D downloadable guns from making them internet-accessible in Pennsylvania and from uploading new files. But the halt is temporary.

Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro says Texas-based Defense Distributed agreed to block Pennsylvania users after an emergency hearing Sunday in federal court in Philadelphia.

Shapiro says he, Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Police sued the company before its formal rollout of a downloadable gun program Aug. 1, Wednesday.  According to Shapiro, the company said in court it actually began distributing gun files Friday and by Sunday, 1,000 people had downloaded plans to make AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles with a 3D printer.

Wolf said making the AR-15s, which would not have serial numbers to trace, is "dangerous."

"We have the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) which the state police administer, and under the system, anytime someone buys a firearm you have to register with the PIC system," and according to  the governor, downloading the files to make the semi-automatic rifles circumvents that."

The AR-15 has been increasingly used in recent years in mass shootings including the Parkland, Fla. school shooting in February that left 17 dead, and the Texas church shooting in November in which 26 people were killed.

The NRA has argued that the AR-15 is a legitimate hunting rifle, but Pennsylvania last fall banned using that weapon to hunt in the commonwealth.

Wolf said Attorney General Shapiro is seeking a permanent ban on downloading the filed to make the AR-15.  However, Defense Distributed  officials said it would fight any such attempt.

A settlement between the U.S. Department of State and Defense Distributed is allowing the release of plans for guns online.

"I'm disappointed that the federal government has abdicated its role ... and left it to the states," Wolf said. "That's inappropriate."

This story was updated at 2:40 p.m. on July 31, 2018.