Poll: 79 percent say posting online blueprints for 3D printed guns should be illegal

An overwhelming majority of voters say it should be illegal to provide people with blueprints for a 3D printed gun, according to a new American Barometer poll. 

In the poll, a joint project of The Hill and HarrisX polling company, 79 percent of voters said that providing the blueprints should be illegal, while only 21 percent said the practice should be legal. 

The poll also showed bipartisan agreement on the issue, with 86 percent of Democrats surveyed saying the practice should be illegal, compared with 74 percent of Republicans. 

Twenty-six percent of Republicans said the practice should be legal, while only 14 percent of Democrats agreed. 

The survey asked respondents whether providing online blueprints for 3D printing a firearm should be legal or illegal after alerting them to a Texas-based nonprofit's plan to post online blueprints for printing firearms with a 3D printer. Respondents were told this would allow people to print their own guns at home without having to register their weapons or undergoing background checks.

Texas-based Defense Distributed decided on Tuesday not to publicly disclose the digital blueprints after facing legal challenges from various states. 

A federal judge subsequently issued a temporary restraining that would have blocked the company from releasing the blueprints. 

There have been reports, however, of blueprints for 3D printing guns already turning up online.

The prospect of Defense Distributed posting its blueprints came up after the Trump administration settled a legal dispute with the company. Defense Distributed had sued the State Department under former President Obama after it mandated the removal of all instruction manuals for 3D printing guns from the internet. 

Various states on Monday filed a lawsuit to prevent the Trump administration from permitting criminals and terrorists to have access to the downloadable blueprints. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE tweeted on Tuesday that he was looking into the issue. 

 

The HarrisX survey was conducted on July 29-30 among 1,058 registered voters. The sampling margin of error is 3.01 percentage points. 

— Julia Manchester