Democratic candidates call for state 3-D gun ban

August 1, 2018

HARTFORD — Connecticut does not have a state law that explicitly forbids ownership of “ghost guns,” but in the light of a recent federal settlement that could allow blueprints for 3-D printing guns to go online, Democrats are renewing calls to pass such a ban.

Democratic endorsed candidates Ned Lamont, running for governor, William Tong, running for attorney general, and Shawn Wooden, running for treasurer, stood next to a 3-D printer in Hartford Public Library and urged the state legislature to prevent the machine from becoming a weapons manufacturer.

“What we’re seeing now with ghost guns and 3-D printing is the way we’re trying to enforce our existing laws and make them relevant to the 21st century,” said Lamont. “This is an enormous end run around what we’re trying to do in terms of protecting our streets.”

Meanwhile Lamont’s opponent in this months’ Democratic gubernatorial primary, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, held his own press conference Wednesday to pledge that his city was not going to wait for state or federal lawmakers to take action.

“The invisibility of it, the undetectability of it … is of grave concern,” Ganim said.

The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee considered a bill this spring that would have prohibited people from creating or assembling a gun — whether by a DIY gun kit or 3-D printing — without obtaining a serial number for it, regulate the amount of metal required in such a gun and forbid the transfer such a gun to others.

That bill passed the Judiciary Committee, but was never called to House floor, where Democrats have a majority.

“While our state legislature declined to bring a bill banning ‘ghost guns’ to the floor for a vote, Attorneys General used their legal experience to beat the gun lobby in court,” said Chris Mattei, a Democrat running for attorney general. Mattei said he would challenge 3-D printing of guns in federal court.

Mattei’s Democratic rivals Tong, a state representative from Stamford, and Paul Doyle, a state senator of Wethersfield, served on the Judiciary Committee which debated the ghost gun ban.

“We’re all here calling for immediate action as soon as the legislature goes back into session,” Tong said Wednesday. “We can’t wait for the court.”

Wooden, who lost a cousin to gun violence, said if elected as treasurer, he would divest the state’s investment portfolio from gun manufacturers.

A federal judge Tuesday night issued a temporary national injunction preventing a man from posting download-able blueprints for 3-D printing a gun on the internet.

emunson@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @emiliemunson

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