Philadelphia Becomes First City To Ban 3D-Printed Gun Manufacturing

Credit: DefDistCredit: DefDistYesterday, the Philadelphia City Council approved a ban on the manufacturing of guns with a 3D printer.

Philadelphia magazine reports that councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who crafted the legislation, is unaware of any actual 3D gun manufacturers in the city, and in a surprisingly earnest statement Johnson's office explained that “It’s all pre-emptive. It’s just based upon internet stuff out there.”

The legislation, which bans anyone without a federal firearms manufacturing license from producing 3D-printed guns, was passed unanimously by 10-member council. If the mayor approves the bill, Philadelphia will be the first city to implement this kind of ban.

Johnson, who is a longtime advocate of restrictions on gun ownership and use, previously said "You can use certain types of plastics and certain types of other material to replicate anything,” a power that if honed by 3D gun enthusiasts could be “catastrophic.” He hopes that restricting these firearms will be curtail violent crime in Philadelphia.

It's an ambitious goal. The Department of Homeland Security, for example, has suggested that stopping the production of 3D-printed weapons is a virtually impossible task. And criminals may have little incentive to buy or build plastic 3-D printed guns like the Liberator, which is likely to complete just a few shots before breaking. The production of metal 3-D printed guns may change that, but as Philadelphia magazine notes, the equipment needed to manufacture one of these firearms can set you back $8000, whereas a good old-fashioned black market handgun may cost as little as $300. If a criminal is looking to inflict the catastrophic damage that Johnson fears, they would not need an expensive, futuristic gun, but as Reason's J.D. Tuccille highlights, a coffee mug, few dollars worth hygienic products, and a working knowledge of basic chemistry.

There also remains question as to how well the bill will hold up, as Pennsylvania law states that “no county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.”

Johnson countered this, telling Phily.com that “the prohibition that city ordinances can't overcome as it relates to state legislation is primarily ownership, transfer of a firearm. This goes to manufacturing.” He assured that “We believe that if there is a challenge in the court system, it will be something we'll be able to defeat."

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  • db||

    There goes Philly again, violating the PA state firearms preemption law. The state AG should prosecute the Philly city Council and Mayor many times over for all the times they have blatantly violated the law.

  • ||

    The more you tighten your grip the more 3D printed guns will slip through your fingers.

  • Killazontherun||

    That's what Tracer told me when I showed him my designs for a universal constructor. It's always about power with that guy, all I wanted is to make free beer.

  • fish_remote||

    No Serious...they're serious about this shit....no home fabbed guns....and I'm pretty sure they have deemed themselves a Nuclear Free Zone.

  • amagi1776||

    Am I the only one who saw the star wars deference?

  • Agammamon||

    This is Reason, Star Wars references are as common as lawyers in emergency rooms.

  • ||

    There also remains question as to how well the bill will hold up, as Pennsylvania law states that “no county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.”

    Cities have plenty of ways around that. They'll just make a new zoning ordinance requiring 3D gun printers to be at least 1000 yards from any school and ask for reams and reams of paperwork to get a permit. It won't be banned, just impossible to do legally.

  • Sigivald||

    More importantly, "ownership, possession, transfer or transportation" simply doesn't include "manufacture".

    There's no need to go "around" the preemption law, which never had the intent (because it's never really come up before...) of stopping cities from banning gun-making.

  • Loki||

    Fuck Philadelphia.

    It needed to be said.

  • avocats||

    Certainly, you mean Fuck Kenyatta Jackson and the City Council, right? Because the citizens of Philadelphia are not really responsible for this bull.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Seems like state law does block this, mostly because there's not really a rational basis for the ordinance that I can see as far as the manufacturing is concerned, and the city's intent seems aimed at circumventing the restrictions of the state law. They could probably restrict the manufacture for commercial sale to some extent, thanks to zoning and licensing restrictions, but personal manufacture? Not without something more, like an environmental issue or something.

  • db||

    Philly has done similar things before and has never been censured or prosecuted by the state. In some ways the state firearms preemption law is a dead letter as far as Philly is.concerned. they ignore it ilwith no.consequences. they probably can't secure a conviction based.on alleged viopations of their illegal ordinances but they don't get called to answer for it either. They can make people's lives miserable through the false prosecution however.

  • Almanian!||

    Like their lives aren't miserable enough already.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If it's illegal enough, they can't really do much in court, you'd think. Not that they can't make people's lives miserable in the meantime.

  • Sigivald||

    The state preemption law prevents localities from banning possession, ownership, carry, and use (more or less).

    It pointedly does not include manufacture (mostly because it was a non-issue when the preemption law was written, I imagine, as it still effectively is).

    The PA preemption law does not seem to preempt this stupidity.

  • Agammamon||

    Manufacture would seem to include *possession* at some point, no?

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Yup, this is totally enforceable.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    “It’s all pre-emptive. It’s just based upon internet stuff out there.”

    Behold: Legislation by Hyperlink

  • OldMexican||

    Yesterday, the Philadelphia City Council approved a ban on the manufacturing of guns with a 3D printer.


    Ha ha ha ha!!!

    Philadelphia magazine reports that councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who crafted the legislation, is unaware of any actual 3D gun manufacturers in the city.


    And he will continue to be pretty unaware of them. Or of anything else, for that matter.

  • Ariel Peril||

    "Kenyatta Johnson, who crafted the legislation, is unaware of any actual 3D gun manufacturers in the city"

    "He hopes that restricting these firearms will be curtail violent crime in Philadelphia."

    I know I'll sleep safer tonight knowing that none of the 219 homicides in the city so far this year were caused by 3d printed guns.

  • 0x90||

    Philadelphia magazine reports that councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who crafted the legislation, is unaware of any actual 3D gun manufacturers in the city, and in a surprisingly earnest statement Johnson's office explained that “It’s all pre-emptive. It’s just based upon internet stuff out there.”

    I think she'll really regret not also banning 3D-printed bazookas, missiles, and nukes, while she was at it. You've got to nip these types of things in the bud -- IN THE BUD!

  • ||

    Finally, the scourge of gun violence in Philadelphia is over!

  • ||

    Wait, the 334 people killed in Philly last year weren't killed with 3D printed guns? Well, shit.

  • Paul.||

    Yesterday, the Philadelphia City Council approved a ban on the manufacturing of guns with a 3D printer.

    Like I said before, they will pass laws, and people will be prosecuted.

    Will they stop 3d printed guns? No. Will people go to jail? Yes.

    The most powerful law is the selectively applied law.

  • Grey Dread||

    Didn't they ban cannabis? How'd that work out for 'em? Why do people still thinking the magic remedy is prohibition?

  • Bob G.||

    Stop worrying so much. They're also going to ban 3D printed cannabis as well. (Known on the street as 3D-weedy or we3D) They're also banning 3D printed fast food, which will only hurt Domino's plan to deliver directly to your printer. (Seriously, their pizza is crap.)

  • JidaKida||

    Thats cool man, I want one!

    www.VPN-Anon.tk

  • Bob G.||

    “It’s all pre-emptive. It’s just based upon internet stuff out there.”

    Well hey there sport, since we're now FINALLY back to basing laws on 'shit we heard on teh interwebs' just like Jefferson and Adams did, can we address some real problems?

    Once we figure out how to build a transporter, beaming into a bank vault will wreak havoc on our financial systems. B&E (beaming & entering) laws must be updated to address this.

  • Russ Davis||

    Everyone knows that Philly is run of by and for the mafia, so by the council doing their mafia masters' bidding and outlawing guns they'll be sure their guys are in control, not the people they delight to enslave for their masters so they'll be as enslaved as they themselves are! Sick.

  • avocats||

    "Everyone knows"? Honestly, I think rudderless violent teens are a far bigger threat. But then, I'm from Philadelphia.

  • Doctor Whom||

    He hopes that restricting these firearms will be curtail violent crime in Philadelphia.

    And I hope that rainbow unicorns will fly overhead, pissing Dom Pérignon and shitting Godiva. It's every bit as likely to happen.

  • avocats||

    ROFL. Nothing is more pathetic than a pol who jumps at any new development with a "cure."

    Philly needs to start with the real metal guns.

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    I guess these dumbasses think that firearms manufacturing is some kind of magical construction technique only known to a few. Boy, sure am glad no one ever built a homemade zipgun. Oh wait....

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