Congressional Republicans have once again taken sides in favor of the gun lobby over Americans' safety. While a gun rights organization called Defense Distributed was prepared to publish a digital file at midnight on Wednesday, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) attempted to pass a bill by unanimous consent rendering it illegal to intentionally publish a digital file that would program a 3-D printer to "print" a firearm.
It was Senator Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, who objected to passing the legislation, citing First Amendment concerns.
Republicans in Congress have shown time and again that the safety of their citizens is by no means their principal concern. In their race to the bottom to defend the proliferation of such hazardous weaponry, innocent Americans are ultimately going to be the ones who pay the price for their cowardice to act.
Indeed, these 3-D printed weapons would not only be untraceable, allowing them to end up in the hands of felons, abusers, or terrorists, but undetectable, meaning that they could wind up in schools, planes, concerts, or sporting events. This would only exacerbate the unique and devastating issue of gun violence that this country faces on a near-daily basis.
Luckily, a federal judge issued a temporary block on posting the information online on Tuesday, siding with states that argued the postings could help criminals and terrorists manufacture such weapons. The issue, however, is still pending and could end poorly.
We demand that Congress take action and ban these dangerous digital files so that more weapons don't inevitably end up in the wrong hands. Our elected officials must act now, before it's too late. It is only a matter of time before these illicit firearms lead to the deaths of innocent Americans.