Monday, October 16, 2023

New York's Overreach: Proposal Eyes 3D Printer Purchases in the Name of Firearm Concerns

Barry Williams/New York Daily News

In a move that many see as further encroachment on Second Amendment rights, New York legislators are floating a proposal that would mandate criminal background checks for those seeking to purchase 3D printers. The bill's language frames it as an effort to ensure "criminal history screenings for those acquiring 3D printers capable of producing firearms."

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If approved, this law would restrict the sale of 3D printers to only those eligible for a firearm license, suggesting that individuals might use printers to exercise their Second Amendment rights in unregulated ways.

This legislation would also hand 3D printer sellers the responsibility to carry out these background checks, which could be seen as a burdensome obligation on businesses and an invasion of privacy for potential buyers.

While 3D printers have revolutionized multiple industries and are celebrated as tools of innovation, they now face potential regulation due to their capability to produce firearms. 

At its core, if one has the blueprint for a firearm, they can craft a weapon at home, though many argue that this is just another means of exercising one's constitutional rights.

Certain firearms can be constructed wholly via 3D printing, but many still require externally sourced components. Advocates argue that focusing on 3D printers distracts from more pressing gun safety and crime issues, and is a slippery slope to more invasive regulations.

With the growing affordability of 3D printers, beginning at around $200, this move could be seen as penalizing technological advancement and further complicating the rights of law-abiding citizens.

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