‘Age of the Downloadable Gun’ Blocked in Pennsylvania

STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- The “age of the downloadable gun” has been blocked in Pennsylvania.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Governor Tom Wolf, and the Pennsylvania State Police got a group to promise it would not give out the blueprints to making 3D-printed guns at home.

In an emergency hearing in federal court on Sunday, Defense Distributed agreed to make its website inaccessible to people in Pennsylvania.

The company said 1,000 Americans have already downloaded 3D plans for semi-automatic assault rifles.

The 3D-printed guns Defense Distributed would have allowed customers to make at home in the Commonwealth are plastic. The state said people would be able to make these guns without serial numbers or backgrounds checks.

“Really, we need to use a little common sense when it comes to such a dangerous weapon,” Brad Bennett of East Stroudsburg said.

The attorney general's office said some of these 3D-printed guns would be untraceable, which worries places like Dunkelberger's Sports Outfitter in Stroudsburg.

“Obviously, they felt that this was something that wasn't in the best interest of the public, and it shouldn't go forward. So if that's what they feel, I support the idea,” owner Jere Dunkelberger said.

Dunkelberger’s has been in business for more than 40 years. It sells everything from handguns to rifles. Dunkelberger said he hasn’t heard much interest in the Poconos about 3D-printed guns.

“We have heard very little from customers as far as wanting to hear about it. So from that standpoint, it's not a big issue for us,” Dunkelberger said.

According to the lawsuit, people can sign up to be a member of Defense Distributed, and the company does not ask for proof of age or permit to carry.

People in Stroudsburg said they’re relieved the company was blocked.

“To be able to make something out of plastic, that could possibly be carried onto an airline or something like that, it's just dangerous,” Bennett said.

The attorney general said he is seeking a permanent injunction against Defense Distributed and its plans to make 3D-printed gun files available online.


  • My Foot

    Law makers are dusting off their form letters that read ..”My thoughts and Prayers go to the victims of this massacre blah., blah..blah”

  • jimbrony

    This story and the subject matter is so full of BS I thought the farmer down the road was spreading manure again. First of all, ‘traceability’ and serial numbers do nothing to deter crime. There is no gun registry – watch all the CSI shows you want – the lab cannot trace a bullet back to a specific gun and owner. Sure, they will find out the caliber and type of gun, but they cannot trace it to ‘serial number 123 owned by John Doe’. Ooh, they’re going to block it and make it illegal. To some that’s just a challenge – again – no deterrent. How’s that making it illegal thing working for drugs? Brad Bennet is a fool: ‘such a dangerous weapon’. WTH makes it any more dangerous than any other firearm? More anti-gun hysteria and propaganda. I have no personal interest whatsoever in 3D printing of anything – but if people think any law or ruling is going to stop anyone? Get real. PA just hasn’t figured out how to tax it and make money off of it, otherwise they would embrace it like the prodigal son.

    • Brad Bennett

      I certainly am not a fool I am aware trying to legislate gun control drugs or any other common law has zero effect on the mind of someone determined to break the law and I agree with you that a plastic gun is no more dangerous than it’s metal counterpart I fully believe in our second amendment rights as citizens to defend ourselves and possess firearms part of the interview that was not included but I find it ludicrous that a company plans to disclose information that anyone with a passing interest to build thier own basically useless plastic gun

      • jimbrony

        Do yourself a favor: The next time a reporter comes along with a note pad or worse yet – camera and microphone – say no comment and walk away.

  • lickerblisters

    When gangstas and thugs want a gun, they don’t need to go through the process of a high tech 3 D printed gun. They’ll simply break into a home and steal weapons like that nutjob from the Skook did who’s been threatening our president.

  • Matt Berns

    Gun manufacturers and retail sellers probably lobbied to outlaw the sale of the plans otherwise our state senators would have no problem letting this slide.

  • WNEPMonitor (@WnepM)

    Child pornography is blocked but I see news of arrests for people downloading on this website several times a week. You CANNOT “block” things on the internet. Even the Chinese cannot and their laws are so draconian as to make any red blooded American vomit. You have done NOTHING to stem the tide of what’s coming. And that’s the consequence of inept state legislature, isn’t it? Republicans with their banning of anything and everything, as if prohibition has EVER been a deterrent to a motivated criminal.

    And just what motivation do you think a person lacks who is interested in printing an untraceable firearm for themselves? Absolute incompetence on the part of our state, WNEP, and the people of the “good” town of Stroudsburg. Absolute. Incompetence.

  • Brad Bennett

    Thanks for the opportunity to express my feelings regarding the 3D printed guns story
    The one part of my narrative that ended up on the cutting room floor was my support for our second amendment rights to possess a firearm I wish that had been included in the story
    I do however think distrubuting these 3D files for anyone to be able to construct a working virtually untraceable weapon to be completely irresponsible.
    We live in an age of freely exchanged information and that is good but we also live in a society that has in place laws regulations and restrictions to our benefit
    The information we gather must be tempered with thought and common sense.
    Brad Bennett

    • WNEPMonitor (@WnepM)

      “We live in an age of freely exchanged information”

      If you actually understood this as it is, you would realize this does nothing to keep these plans out of the hands of ANYONE who wants them. I was a kid in the 90s and all the edgy little idiots of my day had downloaded copies of the anrachist’s cookbook to show how “bad” they were. Mercifully, that was just pubescent posturing in our school. Times have changed. This isn’t about the 2nd Amendment and if you cannot see that then you are part of the problem.

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