‘Un­de­tectable’ plas­tic 3D-printed guns de­tected by TSA screen­ers

The Times-Tribune - - LOCAL / NATION - BY HUGO MARTIN

Dur­ing the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the re­lease of blue­prints for 3D-printed plas­tic guns, the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion said air­port se­cu­rity screen­ers have been able to spot the so-called un­trace­able and un­de­tectable weapons in carry-on bags.

The 3D-printed gun con­tro­versy be­gan in June when De­fense Dis­trib­uted of Austin, Texas, reached a set­tle­ment with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to al­low it to make the plans for the guns avail­able for down­load.

Then a fed­eral judge in Seat­tle is­sued a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der to stop

the re­lease of blue­prints, and a coali­tion of 20 state at­tor­neys gen­eral filed a mo­tion Aug. 2 to con­tinue to block the re­lease of the plans.

But TSA of­fi­cials say 3D-printed guns and firearm com­po­nents have been in cir­cu­la­tion for years and have been found on pas­sen­gers try­ing to board com­mer­cial flights.

Since Au­gust 2016, the TSA has de­tected two 3D-printed guns and two 3D-printed firearm com­po­nents, all of which were vol­un­tar­ily aban­doned by the pas­sen­gers who packed them in their carry-on bags, TSA spokesman Michael Bilello said.

The most re­cent com­po­nent was dis­cov­ered in Jan­uary at Mccar­ran In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Las Ve­gas.

“TSA of­fi­cers are trained and on the look­out for 3D guns,” he said. “We have proven de­tec­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties and screen­ing pro­to­cols in place.”

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