A new bill in New York state aims to require criminal history background checks for the purchase of certain 3D printers. The legislation is primarily focused on addressing the potential misuse of 3D printers capable of producing gun parts. Democratic Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar introduced the bill, which would mandate that 3D printer retailers request background checks from New York’s criminal justice services when customers attempt to buy these devices. If a customer has a felony or serious offense on their record that disqualifies them from possessing a firearm, the retailer would be notified.
The legislation comes in response to concerns about the growing prevalence of “ghost guns,” which are firearms manufactured using 3D printers and are untraceable. The misuse of 3D printers to produce such weapons has raised concerns among law enforcement agencies and policymakers in New York, as well as in California. In June, a separate bill was introduced to outlaw the production of 3D-printed guns and gun parts, making it a class A misdemeanor to share, sell, or distribute files containing blueprints for 3D-printed firearms components.