State Sen. Leland Yee told KQED’s Paul Lancour today that he is planning to introduce legislation to require people who manufacture guns on 3-D printers to undergo background checks. If that effort should fail, Yee said he then will attempt to have such weapons banned altogether.
“What I’m looking at right now is to ensure that any individual who is going to make a gun out of these 3-D printers go through a background check, just like any other individuals who purchase a gun,” Yee said.
Yee’s announcement mirrors efforts by legislators on a national level to regulate 3-D guns in the wake of a YouTube video demonstrating just how easily such weapons can be made. They require as few as 15 components that can all be built on 3-D printers.
“What is even more dangerous about these guns,” said Yee, “ is that because they are made out of polymer [they] in fact can go through a metal detector or an X-ray machine undetected.”
Yee’s initial focus on the background check issue also comes soon after the apparent failure on Capitol Hill to expand background checks on a national level. Those legislative efforts came after the school killings in Newtown, Conn., last December.
“Part of the reason we have background checks is to ensure that felons, criminals, are not going to have guns,” Yee said. “[And] that those individuals who have mental health issues are not going to have guns. And so now there is a gaping loophole to allow any individual to make a gun undetected, and the guns themselves are undetected. It’s going to create a tremendously unsafe situation for the rest of society.”