Trump says 3-D printed guns being available to download ‘doesn’t seem to make much sense’

Posted at 8:05 AM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 17:44:26-04

By Allie Malloy, CNN

President Donald Trump expressed skepticism Tuesday over the ability to legally download plans for 3-D printed guns, saying he’s spoken with the National Rifle Association about them because the technology “doesn’t seem to make much sense!”

The President’s comments come one day before the government will allow online plans to be posted on the web following a settlement with gun-rights activists.

“I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!” the President tweeted Tuesday, without offering further details about what he’ll do about the weapons.

The White House did not immediately return a request for additional comment.

Speaking to CNN’s “New Day” shortly before Trump’s tweet, Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February, said the ability to download blueprints for the firearms doesn’t make sense.

“It’s horrible on a lot of levels. One week ago, I actually was in DC with some folks from the Newtown Action Alliance and nobody in DC on a legislative level even knew about this,” Guttenberg told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

In June, a gun-rights group, Defense Distributed, reached a settlement with the government that will allow it to post 3-D printable gun plans online. According to the settlement, the plan wasn’t supposed to be online until Wednesday but more than 1,000 people had already downloaded plans to print an AR-15 style semiautomatic assault rifle, according to the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

The settlement ends a multiyear legal battle that started when Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson posted designs for a 3-D printed handgun he called “The Liberator” in 2013. The single-shot pistol was made almost entirely out of ABS plastic — the same material Lego bricks are made from — and could be made on a 3-D printer.

Twenty-one state attorneys general sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday, urging the government to withdraw from the settlement.

Trump has previously offered tepid support for tougher gun restrictions, particularly after the Parkland shooting, but later backed off those positions to align himself with NRA proposals.