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Former Chief of Capitol Police and Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate: Inaction On Downloadable Guns is Unacceptable

August 2, 2018

Last night, a federal court in Washington State issued a nationwide order temporarily blocking the State Department from allowing a company run by a self-proclaimed anarchist, to post downloadable gun blueprints online in the form of Computer Aided Design files. Publication of these blueprints online would undermine a host of federal and state gun laws, enabling prohibited people to make guns with a criminal background check, potentially flooding the market with untraceable firearms, and making it far too easy for people to make plastic guns that can be snuck through metal detectors.

Today, Terrance Gainer, a former law enforcement officer, Chief of the United States Capitol Police and the 38th Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate, wrote an opinion piece for USA Today calling on our elected officials to stop downloadable guns from being available online, saying “I know that a failure to permanently stop downloadable guns will increase the challenges of protecting the security of members of Congress, their staff and visitors to the Capitol.”

He continues:

“While I strongly support the Second Amendment and appreciate the fundamental right of American citizens to keep and bear arms, our elected leaders must recognize the unique threat downloadable firearms pose to public safety. Protecting visitors, staff, and members in the Capitol from harm is an obligation not just for Capitol Police, but it is a responsibility for all of our elected officials.

“President Trump’s State Department must reverse the temporary modification to the United States Munitions List and withdraw the special exemption granted to the company immediately. And as the State Department finalizes a proposed rule about exporting guns that have already been built by manufacturers, it must keep gun schematics on the U.S. Munitions List and continue prohibiting the posting of these blueprints online.

“Congress does not need to wait for the State Department and should pass legislation that will stop downloadable guns from being available online. Protecting the Capitol is not a partisan issue and I urge all members to support common sense proposals that will keep us safe.”

Yesterday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that he is “looking into” the issue of downloadable guns and that while he’s consulting with the NRA, publication of blueprints for 3D printable guns “doesn’t seem to make much sense.” Today, after a federal judge in Washington State blocked the State Department from allowing publication, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “The President is glad this effort was delayed to give more time to review the issue.” To protect the public from this senseless public safety danger, the president should direct the State Department to block any further publishing of the designs for downloadable, untraceable guns.

More information about downloadable guns is available here.

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