Sen. Mike Lee blocks bill that would ban publication of plans for 3D printed guns

WASHINGTON D.C. — Senator Mike Lee of Utah blocked an effort to ban the publication of blueprints for 3D printed guns online.

The Hill reports Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, tried to pass a bill that makes it illegal to intentionally publish a file that allows a 3D printer to produce a firearm and sought to do so by unanimous consent.

Unanimous consent is a rule that allows a Senator to set aside rules or procedures to expedite a process. If no Senator objects then the action is allowed, however if any one senator objects the request is rejected.

On Tuesday it was Mike Lee who voiced the objection to Nelson’s request. He said while he had only just recently reviewed the legislation, he immediately saw language that gave him cause for concern.

“Mr. [Senate] President, reserving the right to object. I first saw this legislation literally moments ago, and therefore haven’t had adequate time to review it,” Lee began. “But I will say this: Any legislation that comes forth from this body that begins with the following words will attract my attention, and should attract the attention of anyone who is concerned about our First Amendment and other Constitutional rights. It begins with the words: ‘It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally publish…’ That ought to be concerning to us, to each and every one of us: Republicans and Democrats alike. On that basis, I object.”