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Phila. City Council Bans Using 3-D Printers To Make Guns

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(A plastic pistol and the 3D printer used to make it.  File photo by Robert MacPherson/ AFP/ Getty Images)

(A plastic pistol and the 3D printer used to make it. File photo by Robert MacPherson/ AFP/ Getty Images)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council today voted to ban the use of high-tech, 3-D printers to create functioning handguns.

3-D printers create physical objects by depositing layer upon layer of a plastic substance that hardens.  And they are coming down in price.  They’ve been used in isolated cases to create functioning firearms, and Philadelphia police are concerned those plastic guns could show up here.

Today, Council approved Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s bill that would prohibit using a 3-D printer to create a firearm.

“As more people own these printers, and instructions for the manufacture of guns are readily available, we are looking at a recipe for disaster,” Johnson said.

The state regulates the possession of firearms, but Johnson says city lawyers believe the city can prohibit the use of 3-D printers to manufacture firearms.

The bill now goes to the mayor, whose signature is expected.

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