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Philadelphia becomes the first US city to ban 3D-printed guns

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The Liberator 3d-printed gun defense distributed
The Liberator 3d-printed gun defense distributed

After the release of two 3D-printable firearms was met by warnings from lawmakers, Philadelphia has become the first US city to ban 3D-printed guns. The Philadelphia city council voted unanimously to pass a bill banning the practice on Thursday, reports Philly Magazine. The bill is presumably a response to the birth of weapons like the Lulz Liberator pistol; councilman Kenyatta Johnson's director of legislation told the magazine that it's based on "internet stuff out there." Philadelphia's response to this new flavor of firearms manufacturing isn't surprising; According to FBI crime statistics, Philly reported 331 murders in 2012, ranking it among the most violent cities in the US.

Action against 3D-printed firearms is also being taken at the national level. It took the State Department only days to get plans for the Liberator pulled offline, and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is currently looking to extend a federal law banning "undetectable" firearms to guns built in 3D printers. But measures like these are largely preemptive right now, since 3D-printed guns are still highly experimental, unreliable, and expensive. At the moment, it's still much easier to buy a small handgun on the street or even build an undetectable AK-47 with the right plans.