We finally got the text of the bill. Not surprisingly, Sen. Nelson is tying unrelated crime events to the publication of files. I love how he flexes the truth to pad his bill.
(5) On June 7, 2013, an assailant used a gun he had constructed by himself to kill his father, brother, and 3 other people at Santa Monica College in California. The person had failed a background check when he tried to purchase a gun from a licensed gun dealer. The gun he used was made from an unfinished AR–15-style receiver, similar to a receiver that can now be made with a 3D printer.
The Santa Monica shooter he mentioned seems to have built his AR out of an 80% receiver with a drill press and not a 3D printer or desktop CNC machine, yet Nelson strongly misdirects the readers.
In Zawahri’s bedroom, investigators found a drill press among other materials that indicate he likely assembled the weapon.
The drill press is used to help finish building the rifle by drilling holes in the lower receiver. A lower receiver that is only 80 percent complete can easily be purchased, and because it is not complete, a person isn’t required to go through a background check, nor does the part need to have a serial number.
The police also found Zip guns in Zawahri’s bedroom (illegal in CA) that we can safely assume were not 3D printed and that he found the blueprints to manufacture in the Internet.
Here is the brass tack:
SEC. 3. Prohibition.
Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
“(aa) It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally publish, over the Internet or by means of the World Wide Web, digital instructions in the form of Computer Aided Design files or other code that can automatically program a 3-dimensional printer or similar device to produce a firearm or complete a firearm from an unfinished frame or receiver.”.
IANAL, but I don’t see this having a chance in hell to survive SCOTUS scrutiny even with narrowing it to the specific “use of a 3D printer or similar device”. As long as you can buy books like The Anarchist Cookbook in Kindle edition, you are going to have a tough time trying to justify why a bunch of code is different and should be restricted.