Attorney General Becerra to President Trump: You’re on Notice: Give Away the Protections Against the 3D Printing of Untraceable “Ghost” Guns and Your Fingerprints Will Be All Over those 3D Weapons

Thursday, August 2, 2018
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Attorney General Becerra Joins Lawsuit to Block 3D Downloadable “Ghost” Guns, Issues Alert for Californians Making Their Own Guns

SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined a bipartisan coalition of 20 states seeking to block the Trump Administration’s reckless actions to allow downloadable and untraceable (so-called “ghost”) guns to become available without restriction. Along with today’s action, Attorney General Becerra issued a consumer alert informing Californians of state laws on self-manufactured guns. 

“The Trump Administration should focus on reducing gun violence, not putting untraceable 3D printed ‘ghost’ guns in the hands of dangerous criminals both at home and abroad. Why would anyone increase the burden on law enforcement and sabotage its ability to keep American communities safe?” said Attorney General Becerra. “The Administration’s latest move opens the door to an alarming increase in illegal firearms and displays a menacing disregard for public safety and national security. President Trump, you’re on notice: give away the protections against the 3D printing of untraceable ‘ghost’ guns and your fingerprints will be all over those 3D weapons used to kill, maim or threaten our children and loved ones.”

On June 29, 2018, the federal government ignored two favorable federal court rulings allowing the government to block the publication of 3D gun printing blueprints and proceeded to reach a settlement with Defense Distributed, a Texas-based company that distributes blueprints for 3D downloadable guns. This agreement became public in late July. On July 30, Attorney General Becerra joined a bipartisan coalition of 20 attorneys general calling on the federal government to change course and block Defense Distributed from posting blueprints online; a Washington state-led coalition filed suit on the same day. The next day, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order preventing Defense Distributed from disseminating 3D gun blueprints.

Today’s amended complaint argues that California’s firearms laws, passed to protect its residents from gun violence, would be undermined by the public distribution of 3D downloadable guns and that the Trump Administration is violating the Administrative Procedure Act in permitting downloadable guns to be made available online.

Attorney General Becerra has also issued a consumer alert concerning the legal requirements that apply to self-manufactured guns. These include:

  • Eligibility: To possess a firearm, a person must be eligible under California law; certain individuals, like felons and those subject to domestic violence restraining orders, are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms. A full list of groups that may not possess firearms is available here.
  • Weapon compliance: It is illegal to manufacture or assemble firearms that do not meet California’s safety standards or that are otherwise prohibited under California law, like assault weapons and machine guns.
  • Serial numbers: Those possessing firearms must apply to the California Department of Justice for a unique firearm serial number and place it on the weapon once the serial number has been received.
  • Sale: With limited exceptions, selling or transferring ownership of self-manufactured firearms is illegal.

A copy of the amended complaint is available here, and a copy of the consumer alert is available here

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