D.A. Bragg, Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember Rosenthal Announce New Legislation To Combat Proliferation of 3D Guns

June 5, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, and New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal today announced new legislation (S7364/A7489) to make the manufacture of 3D-printed guns and gun parts illegal. The legislation, which is being unveiled during Gun Violence Awareness month, comes in response to the proliferation of 3D-printed firearms, which can be easily assembled in an apartment or home.

Current New York State law makes it a class D felony to manufacture any machine-gun, assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition feeding device, but excludes unfinished frames or receivers, major components, magazines or firearms silencers. Furthermore, while it is currently illegal to possess a finished 3D-printed gun or a ghost gun, it is not illegal to manufacture such guns. This new legislation would close the manufacturing loopholes by making this conduct a class D felony.

The legislation would also make it a class A misdemeanor to share, sell or distribute files containing blueprints for 3D-printed firearms components.

The ability to manufacture 3D-printed guns at home is a growing concern in New York and nationally. Through numerous investigations and prosecutions, the New York City Police Department and the D.A.’s Office are seizing an increasing number of 3D-printed parts and weapons. Under existing ghost gun and possession laws, the D.A.’s Office has aggressively prosecuted individuals for possessing ghost guns and gun components. This new legislation would enable prosecutors to bring additional charges for manufacturing parts and firearms that are recovered pursuant to search warrants.

“Technology has made it possible for anyone with a few hundred dollars to create dangerous weapons and firearms in the comfort of their own home. The ease at which people can create guns and gun parts poses a direct threat to the safety of our communities, which is why we are taking action to close these loopholes and strengthen the penalties on the books,” said District Attorney Bragg. “At a time when gun control measures are being eroded around the country, New York must remain a leader in enacting the most comprehensive anti-gun legislation possible. I thank Senator Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblymember Rosenthal for their leadership on this issue and their recognition that further strengthening our gun laws will save lives.” 

State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said, “It is not illegal to manufacture a 3D-printed gun or a ghost gun. Perhaps that’s why nearly half of all the untraceable firearms recovered by the NYPD in 2022 were ghost guns—a 75% increase compared to 2021. It also means anyone with $300 can make a 3D firearm in their living room. Today, those days are over. With S7364, New York is continuing our fight against gun violence by making manufacturing 3D-printed guns and ghost guns illegal. I thank D.A. Bragg and Assembly Member Rosenthal for staying on top of our ever-changing technological environment to keep New Yorkers safe.”

“The unfettered manufacture of 3D-printed guns and accessories must come to an end in New York State,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing, and sponsor of the 2021 Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act. “In 2021, my bill banned the possession of ghost guns, which has enabled law enforcement to remove hundreds of illegal firearms from our streets and hold those who violate this law accountable. Now, with this new bill, we will prohibit the manufacture of ghost guns, and stop reckless New Yorkers from producing weapons of war from the comfort of their homes. This legislation will go a long way in creating safer communities across the state and beyond. I look forward to continuing to work with District Attorney Bragg to get this key bill across the finish line.”

“Ghost guns are a real public-safety threat, and with this legislation our criminal justice system will be better equipped to hold the people who manufacture, sell, and possess them accountable,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “This important measure will close some dangerous loopholes in the law, as our fight against 3D-printed firearms and all other illegal weapons continues. I commend and thank our law enforcement partners and elected officials for supporting this critical effort to keep the people we serve safe.”

New York’s strong gun laws, including the SAFE Act, have made it illegal for online vendors to sell ghost guns into New York State. As a result, ghost gun builders have begun 3D printing firearms components in their homes to evade law enforcement detection and to produce these items at scale, and for possible sale.

Pictured: “The Creality Ender 3 V2 3D printer, available on Amazon.com for less than $200.”

3D printers are now small and affordable enough to be operated from home, costing as little as $200. There are numerous websites and online forums where digital blueprints for 3D printing unfinished receivers and other firearms parts are crowdsourced and shared. Once a 3D printer and digital 3D blueprint are obtained, the cost of printing an unfinished frame or receiver can be as low as $5.

Violent domestic extremists have shared blueprints for 3D-printed guns, including machine gun files, in online forums. These files are often disseminated with manuals to construct homemade firearms and explosive devices. The online forums are frequented by adherents to various extremist ideologies, including anti-government activists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Boogaloo movement.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the NYPD and other law enforcement partners, established the Ghost Guns Initiative in 2020 to address the proliferation of ghost guns in New York City. To date, the Ghost Guns Initiative has prosecuted cases involving the seizure of over 90 ghost gun parts, 42 fully assembled ghost guns, 24 serialized firearms, 423 high-capacity magazines, 47 silencers, and other gear including scopes and rapid-fire modification devices.

“3D printed guns are just as deadly as any other gun that you can buy at a gun dealer in the state of New York, and our laws must reflect that,” said Rebecca Fisher, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. “I applaud District Attorney Bragg, said State Senator Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblymember Rosenthal for once again leading to keep our streets and communities safe from gun violence.”
“As new technologies develop, our laws must develop with them. 3D printed guns are fast emerging as a threat to public safety, with the latest generation having capabilities nearly indistinguishable from those of traditionally manufactured guns,” said David Pucino, Deputy Chief Counsel, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. I thank District Attorney Bragg for this proactive work to keep New Yorkers safe.”

“We must stop the availability of these ghost guns that are killing our children,” said Jackie Rowe-Adams, Founder of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. “I applaud DA Bragg, Senator Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblymember Rosenthal for introducing this critical piece of legislation to protect our communities from these illegal guns being manufactured right here in our backyard, and then readily available for use on our city streets.”
“3D-printed guns provide criminals and prohibited people easy access to untraceable firearms,  making them a fast growing threat to gun safety,” said Nick Suplina, SVP for Law and Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization. “I applaud District Attorney Bragg, Senator Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblymember Rosenthal for their efforts to keep New York ahead of the curve and, most importantly, safe.”