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NY bans 3D printed guns; expands use of campaign cash

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at Fordham Law School

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at Fordham Law School in Manhattan on July 18 Credit: Danielle Silverman

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday signed bills to ban the 3D printing of guns and to permit candidates to use campaign funds to pay for child care while campaigning.

Under the new law governing 3D printing of firearms, the manufacture, sale or transport of undetectable firearms will be a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Possession of an undetectable firearm or major undetectable components of a firearm is a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison, according to the new law.

Guns manufactured using 3D printing already are illegal under federal law if they can’t be detected by standard metal detectors such as those at airports and government buildings. The federal law was signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 when lightweight polymer weapons were being made.

“Undetectable guns have no legitimate purpose,” said the bill’s co-sponsor, Assemb. Thomas Abinanti (D-Greenburgh).

"These measures continue New York's legacy of enacting the strongest gun laws in the nation by helping keep firearms out of the hands of children and by acknowledging and addressing technological advancements like 3D printed guns,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo also signed legislation to tighten a law governing storage of firearms to cover the unintended consequence of leaving unsecured firearms in locations where people under 16 years old could be expected to visit. The measure expands a law requiring secure storage of firearms in a safe or with trigger locks if a person younger than 16 lives in the gun owner’s house. Violations are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail. 

The measure provides an exception: individuals under 16 may have access to firearms if they obtain a hunting license or if they are using firearms at a shooting range under direct supervision.

“It's simply common sense that young children should not have unsupervised access to dangerous weapons, and no responsible gun owner would disagree,” said State Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), a co-sponsor of the law.

Assemb. Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) said her bill “is absolutely necessary for keeping kids safe.” She cited cases of tragic shootings by children when left unattended around firearms.

Supporters of the new law allowing politicians to use campaign funds to pay for child care said the measure will help more women run for elected office.

“This new law will allow more young parents to run for public office, and we need their experiences represented in government,” said Sen. Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers), a co-sponsor of the bill.

 Assemb. Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), another co-sponsor, will “encourage more women to run, ensuring that legislators begin to look more like the communities they represent.”

Last year, Democratic congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley requested a ruling by the Federal Elections Commission about whether she could use campaign funds for child care expenses in what was an unsuccessful race against Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). The FEC approved Grechen Shirley's request.

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