The problematic issue of functional 3D printed guns has been around ever since the technology rose to prominence, and it’s once again proving a divisive subject.

This time members of the US Senate are turning to tech companies in order to help them ban the sharing of 3D gun print files on their platforms.

In particular they’re asking Facebook, Microsoft, Craigslist, Google, Reddit and Yahoo to assist, following a recent legal battle in which the US Senate loss the ability to block Defense Distributed from sharing the designs for its own 3D printed gun.

The group of Democrat Senators include Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), with them also sending a letter to Twitter to ask for their assistance.

They cite the terms of service in Twitter’s guidelines, which prohibits the sharing of 3D printed gun information, and therefore wish to compel the social media platform to take action.

Currently Facebook bans users from sharing CAD files for any 3D gun blueprints, doing the same on Instagram as well. As such, the Senators want the aforementioned Silicon Valley companies to take similar measures, seeing as the US legal system will not intervene.

With CAD files already in circulation, the Senators are hoping this course of action will lessen the amount of 3D printed guns that end up in circulation Stateside.

While we often showcase 3D printed guns on our site, but these are non-firing display props and are instead created as homages to weaponry found in games or pop culture, showcasing the creativity of their designers and skill of avid 3D printers.

Whether or not this latest action from the US Senate yields the desired result remains to be seen, especially as the internet is such a difficult place to police.

 

[Image – Quartz]