WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and an outspoken opponent of the Trump Administration’s action allowing a Texas company to publish the downloadable designs for 3D printable firearms, today called on the CEO’s of Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Craigslist, Reddit and Twitter to proactively block any distribution of 3D gun blueprints on their platforms.
Although a temporary restraining order forced Defense Distributed to remove the gun blueprints from their website, already thousands of those files “have been downloaded by individuals, who can now disseminate the files privately or publicly on a variety of forums,” Menendez and Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wrote in separate letters to each CEO. “That is deeply troubling.”
Citing their individual terms of service and community standards, the Senators urged the CEOs to utilize their power “to proactively prevent the online dissemination of these dangerous 3-D designs across all of your platforms. Doing so will make all of our communities safer.”
In the wake of the decision by the U.S. Department of State to allow Defense Distributed to publish the 3D gun blueprints, a coalition of Attorneys General from several states, including New Jersey, sued the Trump Administration to prevent their distribution. Last week, in a new motion filed in federal district court to continue to keep the blueprints offline, the coalition cited a letter Sen. Menendez sent to the Attorney General of Washington, which outlined how the State Department’s sudden decision conflicted with the law and federal regulations that required notification to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Sen. Menendez has taken a series of additional actions to prevent the proliferation of untraceable, undetectable 3D printed guns:
As Ranking Member of the SFRC, Sen. Menendez called on Secretary of State Pompeo to intervene and reverse his department’s decision and spoke out about his decision at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Sen. Menendez co-sponsored new legislation that would ban the manufacture or sale of any untraceable weapon and outlaw the online publication of blueprints for downloadable plastic guns.
Earlier this month, Sen. Menendez joined law enforcement, members of Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives at Cliffside Park #5 Elementary School to talk about the threat to the safety of New Jersey’s families from an influx of untraceable, nearly undetectable, 3D printable plastic guns.
A copy of each letter can be found here: