On Thursday, Philadelphia became the first US city to enact a ban on 3D printed guns. It’s a pre-emptive move, because so far there hasn’t been a single report of 3D printed firearms showing up in Philly. As an assistant to the bill’s author told Philly Magazine, “it’s just based on internet stuff out there.”
That’s a bit of a head-scratcher — there’s a lot of internet stuff out there, could you be more specific? And it’s not really clear how City Council would even enforce this, since 3D printers themselves are not illegal. Governments seem to have a hard time figuring out 3D printed weapons: UK police mistakenly thought standard 3D printer parts were gun components in the making, while here in the US, the feds’ attempt at a 3D printed gun literally blew up in their faces.
We’re not trivialising the danger that’s posed when guns get in the wrong hands. But that’s a danger that has existed for as long as guns and wrong hands have been around. Focusing so narrowly on 3D printed firearms distracts us from the very big problems we still have with conventional weapons. Making our cities safer involves more than legislating against buzzwords. [Philly Magazine via The Daily Dot]