The threat of 3D guns

From the time of the Columbine shootings to the Parkland shootings in Florida, our legislators have made no progress in enacting common sense gun control. Over the past year NH Democrats have actively pushed for gun safety legislation including a ban on bump stocks and an amendment that would allow school districts to ban guns on their campus. These were rejected by the Republicans. Following the Parkland incident, Governor Sununu went on NHPR’s the Exchange said our laws were fine “as is”. He even said that he supports allowing students to carry guns which sounds like exactly the wrong thing to do. I guess NRA donations to his campaign are much more important than the safety of our children.

Now there is a new safety threat looming over us. 3D printers will allow anyone to make their own untraceable, unregistered guns in their homes. This would bypass background checks allowing felons, terrorists or unstable persons to get their hands on these weapons. These “ghost guns” are very difficult to detect and they put planes, government buildings, large social gatherings and even schools at risk. In fact, the TSA has found 3d-printed guns at airport checkpoints four times since 2016. Currently the cost of producing these guns is higher than just purchasing a gun. The printed guns are made with a plastic material that does not always handle the kickback from a shot without blowing up in the shooter’s hand. Unfortunately, the cost and capabilities of computer related products can change rapidly. When this happens, how will we prevent an explosion of undetectable guns swamping our streets – making atrocities even more common? I don’t want to hear about children with a grudge being able to print out their own weapons on their parent’s printer.

The Republican majority in the NH State House has consistently backed NRA gun rights over the concerns of parents, students and even police commissioners. On the other hand, the New Hampshire Committee to Elect House Democrats sent out a release on August 1 stating that “New Hampshire Should Join Push For Permanent Ban of 3-D Printed Gun Designs.” I concur.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough – we need action. The only way to change the direction the state has taken is to make sure that there is a change in our elected officials. As conscientious voters we need to ask all candidates where they stand on the issue of gun and school safety and vote for those who support common sense gun safety legislation.We should also call or write all of our representatives, both local and federal, to protect schools by making printed guns illegal. Otherwise will you be able to view the victims of the next school shooting knowing that you passed up the chance to make a difference?