WASHINGTON – Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) praised Cody Wilson, who posted 3D printing designs for plastic handguns and other firearms online, for making “gun control obsolete” because the government has no way to stop someone from using a 3D printer to create a gun.
“He’s the guy that put the plans to print a gun for a 3D printer on the Internet and the State Department came in and shut him down. Now why did the State Department do it? Because there’s no law that outlaws the First Amendment – putting designs for a gun online. So, they had to try and find a law and contrive it to apply to him…. They accused him of exporting firearms or military firearms to hostile nations. They used the Arms Control Export Act to keep him from having things on his website, which is ridiculous, right?” Massie said during the recent Turning Point USA High School Leadership Summit.
“So this was a First Amendment issue and instead of complying, what did he do? He fought back, and he fought back and he fought back and just a couple weeks ago he won. The State Department dropped all of their objections to him and they even paid his lawyer fees and now you can put plans for a gun to printed with a 3D printer online. The liberals are apoplectic, and they should be. Let me tell you why. He just made gun control obsolete,” he added. “How are you going to stop somebody with a 3D printer from printing a gun? You can’t do it and it’s awesome.”
Before Wilson would have been allowed to post the blueprints, three courts blocked the release at the end of July. Wilson’s Defense Distributed site was also shut down.
Some Democratic lawmakers have called for the passage of legislation to outlaw the online posting of 3D printing instructions for plastic guns that would not be picked up by metal detectors.
“Just think of the billions of dollars we spend trying to protect national security. And now, suddenly there is going to be published on the internet the plans for making a gun that can evade the detection systems in airports and seaports and all of these governmental buildings as well as some sports stadiums,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said.
Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, defended Wilson on CNN.
“This is a First Amendment issue that just happens to deal with firearms that are protected by the Second Amendment. Putting computer code on the Internet is a language. A language is speech, and speech is protected by the First Amendment,” he said.
Gottlieb said the availability of online 3D printing instructions particularly helps individuals who do not live near a gun store.
“The reason why we’re so concerned about being able to do it – we’ve got places like San Francisco now where there are no gun stores now for people to be able to buy a gun. Or places like Alameda County in California, where zoning ordinances put gun stores out of the county, or places like Seattle that put taxes on guns and ammunition, driving guns out of the city, so people have no way to buy a firearm,” he said.
“What this does for the future is, it allows people to ensure a way to be able to have a firearm. You know, if you’re allowed to own a firearm in your own home, you should be able to make the firearm in your own home if you can’t buy one locally because of crazy restrictions,” he added.
Massie told the students at the summit that everyone should have something he refers to as “refugee insurance” because you have “never seen” refugees fleeing their country with AR-15s in their hands.
“So I call my AR-15 refugee insurance, and I think everybody should have refugee insurance so that you don’t become a victim of government at some point in your life,” he said.
Referencing a bumper sticker on his car, Massie said, “If you don’t know how many guns you have that doesn’t mean you have enough yet — it’s just that if you know how many guns you own then you definitely don’t have enough yet.”
Massie mentioned his SAFER Voter Act, which would lower the age to purchase a handgun from 21 to 18. “If you’re old enough to vote, you’re old enough to tote,” he told the students at the summit.
Massie, who said he had his first gun when he was 12 years old, revealed that he plans to re-introduce his bill to eliminate gun-free zones every Congress because the existing Gun-Free School Zone Act makes students “sitting ducks.”
“I would repeal every gun law on the books,” he said.