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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

Thompson, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Demand State Department Ban Publication of Gun Blueprints

Jul 27, 2018
Press Release
Cite extreme danger of 3-D-printed guns to the public

Washington – Today Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Mike Thompson (CA-05), and Vice Chairs Rep. Jose Serrano (NY-15), Rep. David Price (NC-04), Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-04), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14), Rep. Richard Nolan (MN-08), Rep. David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02), Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04), and Rep Val Demings (FL-10) wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding he reverse his position that would allow Defense Distributed the ability to publish the blueprints for 3-D-printed guns online, outside of background checks and licensing processes, and untraceable by law enforcement. Text of the letter is below and a copy is attached.

July 26, 2018

Secretary Mike Pompeo

Department of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20230

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As leaders of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, we urge you to suspend plans to grant Defense Distributed a special license to publish gun blueprints online and to maintain the existing ban on publication of any such gun schematics. The State Department’s recent about-face on allowing publication of this dangerous data is both shocking and outside of its lawful authority.

Widespread publication of 3-D-printed gun blueprints would be extremely dangerous because individuals prohibited by law from having guns could easily arm themselves. Convicted felons would be able to skip the dealer licensing system, bypass a criminal background check, and print a gun at home using commercially available technology. Firearm traffickers would be able to print unserialized guns, which are untraceable by law enforcement. And terrorists would be able to make guns entirely out of plastic and sneak them through metal detectors.

Given the clear public safety threat the publication of these blueprints pose, granting this special license makes no sense. As we understand, until recently, the State Department barred publication of 3-D-printed gun blueprints because it violates the Arms Control Export Act of 1974. Please explain why the State Department’s understanding of the Arms Control Export Act has changed.

The State Department must return to its well-reasoned position on stopping the publication of 3-D-printed gun blueprints. We look forward to your swift and detailed response.

Sincerely,

###

The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force was established after the tragedy at Sandy Hook and has grown to a membership of more than 145.