Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Is Technology Outmoding Traditional Firearms Regulation? 3-D Printing, State Security, and the Need for Regulatory Foresight in Gun Policy

7 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2012 Last revised: 13 Jul 2014

Kevin J. O'Neill

University of Iowa - College of Law

Date Written: May 3, 2012

Abstract

This paper argues that while legal scholars are arguing over the impact that the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago will have on existing state and federal regulatory regimes, technological advancement is putting the entire firearms regulatory scheme at risk of irrelevance. 3-D printing technology may decentralize the manufacturing process for firearms, giving an individual the ability to download the CAD design for a weapon and “print” an unregistered, untraceable gun. Ownership restrictions, gun design restrictions, and state and federal records laws would be toothless in an era of tailor-made, non-commercial firearms production. Prospectively, it is imperative Congress begin to contemplate a firearms market that is highly decentralized, and unaffected by traditional regulatory models. Crafting regulation to deal with the threat of a proliferation of firearms that exist outside of the current regulatory structure is of paramount importance for safety and the perception of safety.

Keywords: Second Amendment, Public Policy, Technology, 3D Printing, Gun Policy, Supreme Court, Federalism, Public Safety

Suggested Citation

O'Neill, Kevin J., Is Technology Outmoding Traditional Firearms Regulation? 3-D Printing, State Security, and the Need for Regulatory Foresight in Gun Policy (May 3, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2186936 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2186936

Kevin O'Neill (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
368
Rank
67,503
Abstract Views
1,552