U.S. Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren urged federal officials this week to reconsider a recent settlement with gun rights advocacy groups, which they argued could allow anyone — including criminals and terrorists — to download blueprints for 3D printable firearms.
The Massachusetts Democrats, in a Thursday letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, slammed the agency’s settlement allows Defense Distributed to publish its blueprints by making a “temporary modification” of the United States’ Munitions List and granting it an exemption from International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
They further pushed Pompeo to suspend the “special treatment” given to Defense Distributed while his agency reviews the agreement and to brief lawmakers on why the State Department moved to settle the lawsuit in such a manner.
Arguing that “the American people have a right to know why their government agreed to such a dangerous outcome,” the senators asked that the secretary respond to a series of questions, including why the agency believes online publication of blueprints for 3D printing of firearms no longer violates federal export controls.
“We are concerned about the immediate impact of publishing these 3D gun blueprints: Once the State Department allows them to circulate freely online, the threats to U.S. and international security will be irreversibly increased,” they wrote. “We urge you not to grant this special treatment to Defense Distributed, but rather to postpone this action while you fulfill your commitment to review this decision, and until the above questions can be adequately addressed.”