3D printers can create a variety of items from plastic, including working guns. However, the new Reason-Rupe poll finds six in 10 Americans say Americans should not be allowed to print 3D guns. Thirty percent of Americans believe people should be allowed to print 3D guns at home.
Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents agree that printing 3D guns should be prohibited. However, Democrats are more unified in their opposition with 67 percent who favor prohibiting 3D printed guns compared to 52 percent of non-partisan independents and 55 percent of Republicans. Twenty-five percent of Democrats and a third of non-partisan independents and Republicans think people should be allowed to print their own functioning 3D guns.
One cannot stop the march of advancing technology, which renders the opinions of those 60 percent irrelevant. The beauty of 3D printers is that they are devices that can be kept entirely within a home. There is no need for a separate shop that could raise the suspicion of local law enforcement. That makes enforce any laws that prohibit manufacturing a good on a 3D printer impossible to enforce. By favoring laws against manufacturing firearms on 3D printers the respondents might as well have asked for unicorns.
I’m a strong advocate of 3D printers because they enable individuals to manufacture goods from easily copied rendering files. Just as the Internet rendered censorship irrelevant 3D printers will render regulations against physical objects irrelevant.