Congress is 'hamstringing' gun control efforts, says Generation Progress executive director

Congress is hampering gun control efforts by not letting some federal agencies do their job, according to Generation Progress Executive Director Maggie Thompson.

In response to a question about a landmark settlement between the Department of Justice and gun rights activist Cody Wilson, Thompson said she believes that dangerous firearms – including 3D ones – should be regulated by the federal government.

“Congress has really hamstrung the ability for ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] to track these things and this will make it more difficult,” Thompson told Hill.TV co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”

ATF enforces federal law, but requires Congress to make it. Thompson, whose progressive advocacy organization focuses on outreach to millennials, suggested the issue of 3D guns may continue to trouble regulators.  

Wilson sued the U.S. government in 2015 after federal authorities demanded that he pull down his printable-gun blueprints that allow anyone with a 3D printer to make their own pistol.

The State Department said Wilson’s digital files were in violation of the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

But Wilson argued that the First Amendment protects his constitutional right to share the 3D files as free speech – and he won. Wilson plans to re-launch his 3D printable firearms website later this month.

Still, Thompson says there has to be some accountability, citing America’s increasing problem with gun violence.

"I think regulating a lethal force that is killing our generation at unheard-of rates is a reasonable thing for us to ask this country," Thompson said.