AG Ferguson’s bill to ban 3D-printed guns passes Legislature

The House agreed to the Senate amendment by a vote of 56-40; the measure now heads to Gov. Inslee

The Washington Legislature passed a bill prohibiting the manufacture or possession of untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed guns on April 23.

The bill also prohibits sending a printable gun file to a person who is ineligible to possess firearms and designates undetectable firearms as contraband. HB 1739, sponsored by Rep. Javier Valdez, D-Seattle, passed the House March 4 by a bipartisan vote of 55-41. It then passed the Senate April 16, also with bipartisan support, 30-18, with an amendment. The House agreed to the Senate amendment on Tuesday by a vote of 56-40. The measure will now head to Governor Jay Inslee for his signature.

“I support the Second Amendment. However, we cannot allow felons and other dangerous individuals to get around our state’s background check requirements by printing untraceable, undetectable 3D-printed guns,” Ferguson said in a press release. “Guns that evade metal detectors pose too great a risk to the safety of our communities.”

Several organizations offered key support for the measure, including the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. Other supporters included Everytown for Gun Safety, Grandmothers Against Gun Violence, Faith Action Network, Foundation for Healthy Generations, the Washington State Medical Association and the Washington State Association for Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention.

In 2018, Ferguson sued the Trump administration over its decision to allow unlimited distribution of downloadable files for 3D-printed guns. A U.S. District Court judge blocked the Trump administration’s decision, writing that “the untraceable and undetectable nature of these small firearms…poses a unique danger.” The litigation is ongoing.

In February, a Texas man who was barred by a judge from possessing a firearm was sentenced to eight years in prison for allegedly obtaining parts of an AR-15-style rifle, and then used a 3D printer to manufacture the firing mechanism. According to federal prosecutors, he also had a hit list of Democratic and Republican lawmakers titled “9/11/2001 list of American Terrorists” when he was arrested.

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