How concerned should Americans be about 3D printable guns?

CNN's Tom Foreman reports.

Posted: Jul 31, 2018 2:45 PM
Updated: Jul 31, 2018 3:01 PM

President Donald Trump expressed skepticism Tuesday over the ability to legally download plans for 3-D printed guns, saying he's spoken with the National Rifle Association about them because the technology "doesn't seem to make much sense!"

The President's comments come one day before the government will allow online plans to be posted on the web following a settlement with gun-rights activists.

"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" the President tweeted Tuesday, without offering further details about what he'll do about the weapons.

The White House did not immediately return a request for additional comment.

In June, a gun-rights group, Defense Distributed, reached a settlement with the government that will allow it to post 3-D printable gun plans online. According to the settlement, the plan wasn't supposed to be online until Wednesday but more than 1,000 people had already downloaded plans to print an AR-15 style semiautomatic assault rifle, according to the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

The settlement ends a multiyear legal battle that started when Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson posted designs for a 3-D printed handgun he called "The Liberator" in 2013. The single-shot pistol was made almost entirely out of ABS plastic -- the same material Lego bricks are made from -- and could be made on a 3-D printer.

Twenty-one state attorneys general sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday, urging the government to withdraw from the settlement.

Trump has previously offered tepid support for tougher gun restrictions, particularly after the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February, but later backed off those positions to align himself with NRA proposals.

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