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Gun debate expands to include plastic firearms in U.S.

Posted August. 01, 2018 08:16,   

Updated August. 01, 2018 08:16


Designs of three-dimensional (3D) plastic guns soon to be published online on Wednesday are provoking a heated debate in the United States.

“It will have an unprecedentedly negative impact on public safety,” said 21 state governments including California and New York on Monday, putting pressure on the federal government to ban the design from being published online. “[Allowing distribution of gun designs] not only helps terrorists arm up, but also allows those who are banned from owning a firearm to have a gun,” said 21 state attorneys general.

That means, once 3D-printable plastic guns are allowed, anyone can own a gun without going through a background check, which would make it difficult to prevent gun-related disasters in the future. It is also impossible to track plastic guns because they do not have a registration number. It is also called a ghost gun.

Meanwhile, supporters of 3D guns are moving fast. Defense Distributed, a nonprofit organization advocating gun ownership, started distributing 3D printer designs of a pistol Liberator and a semiautomatic rifle AR-15 last weekend.

The U.S. federal government has been negative about distributing 3D printer plastic guns, but recently performed a U-turn and endorsed Defense Distributed. Cody Wilson, founder of the organization, has posted 3D-printable plastic gun designs, which are made of the same material as toy block Lego, on the Internet since April 2013.

Eight state attorneys general including Washington, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania requested Monday the federal government to order nationwide interim interdict on distribution of gun designs. The Pennsylvania state government temporarily has prohibited downloading designs within the state until related hearings are held.

Gi-Jae Han record@donga.com