Dem pushes to regulate homemade guns

A House Democrat is pushing legislation to regulate homemade guns.

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) says his bill is necessary in large part because of the proliferation of 3-D printer technology, which allows virtually anyone to build a firearm in their own home. 

Honda's proposal would apply existing gun regulations, including criminal background checks, to all homemade firearms.

“The laws should be the same for the gun you buy and the gun you make,” Honda said. “Our system of background checks and registrations are in place to ensure public safety. There’s absolutely no reason these checks and registrations should apply to guns made by a licensed manufacturer, but not apply to other, equally dangerous, weapons.”

Supporters of the legislation, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center, are quick to note that homemade firearms have already been used in deadly crimes. A 2013 shooting spree in Santa Monica, Calif., for instance, was carried out by a man who assembled his own semi-automatic rifle. Five people were killed.

"The parts needed to build an untraceable homemade gun are readily available at gun shows and on the internet," Kristen Rand, of the Violence Policy Center, said in a statement. "Now is the time to bring homemade guns under the same laws that apply to all other new firearms.”

The proposal has no chance of moving through the GOP-controlled House. But supporters are hoping their calls for tougher gun laws will distinguish Democrats from Republicans, who are almost universally opposed to new firearms restrictions.

The cosponsors of Honda's bill are Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).