Stories

Sessions vows to "vigorously" prosecute makers of 3D-printed guns

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo: Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo: Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday warned that the Justice Department will "vigorously enforce" the federal prohibition of producing undetectable 3D-printed firearms "to the fullest extent."

"We will not stand for the evasion, especially the flaunting, of current law and will take action to ensure that individuals who violate the law by making plastic firearms and rendering them undetectable, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent."
— Sessions said in a statement

The backdrop: This stern caution comes a day after Sessions' own department asked a federal court to lift an injunction that blocks the public from downloading the blueprints. Almost a dozen states, led by Washington, have sued the State Department for allowing a pro-gun group to publish the files online, arguing it’s a threat to public safety and that terrorists could use undetectable plastic weapons to evade detection.

President Trump had expressed skepticism over 3D-printed guns, which had prompted widespread debate and outrage. “I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!” Trump tweeted in July.

A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll this week found that eight out of 10 Americans say they believe 3D-printed gun blueprints should not be available online, a rare consensus on gun policy that cuts across party and ideological lines.