Technology

Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints

A group of Democratic senators are urging tech companies to ban the publication of 3D gun blueprints on their platforms.

The lawmakers told companies in letters made public Thursday and dated Aug. 14th that the blueprints would "allow users from all over the world to automate production of a gun using a 3-D printer."

They expressed worries that although a federal district court recently barred a company, Distributed Defense, from sharing its blueprints, thousands of such 3D-gun making guides have already been downloaded, allowing people access to untraceable and undetectable" weapons.

"That is deeply troubling," said the senators.

They called on the companies to "remove content like 3-D gun designs" from their platforms keeping with their terms of service.

The letters were signed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and sent to Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Craigslist, Google, Reddit and Yahoo, according to a press release.

Facebook has already taken such action, The Hill reported.

"Sharing instructions on how to print firearms using 3D printers is not allowed under our Community Standards. In line with our policies, we are removing this content from Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson told The Hill last week.

The letter comes a day after the Justice Department put out a brief arguing against a federal judge's injunction on the publishing of such blueprints. 

The DOJ did, however, say that it would prosecute those who made "plastic firearms that are undetectable" in violation of current laws.

"We will not stand for the evasion, especially the flaunting, of current law and will take action to ensure that individuals who violate the law by making plastic firearms and rendering them undetectable, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Wednesday.

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