SunSentinel: 3D-printed guns lead Broward libraries to suspend printers’ use. “If you’re looking to print out something in 3-D, don’t bother going to a Broward County library because theirs have been temporarily shelved over concerns they could be used to make a gun or other dangerous weapons.”
CNET: Facebook bans sites that host blueprints of 3D-printed guns. “Facebook, the world’s largest social network, said Thursday it’s banning websites that host and share blueprints of 3D-printed guns.”
CNET: The 3D printed gun controversy: Everything you need to know. “The back-and-forth underscores the broader fight pitting First and Second Amendment rights protecting free speech and gun ownership against public safety and the need to protect against easy access to weapons. It also comes amid a broader discussion of gun control in light of an increasing number of public shooting incidents. This isn’t a simple case, so CNET’s here to break it down for you.”
Ars Technica: 20 states take aim at 3D gun company, sue to get files off the Internet. “Twenty states announced Monday that they plan to ask a federal judge in Seattle to immediately issue a temporary restraining order against Defense Distributed, a Texas-based group that has already begun making 3D-printer gun files available on its DEFCAD website after a recent legal settlement with the US State Department.”
Search Engine Land: Bing will start banning more weapons-related ads starting July 1. “Bing is expanding the scope of its policy prohibiting certain weapons-related advertising. As of July 1, 2018, Bing will no longer allow ads for BB guns, paintball guns, air rifles or parts that can be attached to weapons, used to create ammunition or aid in the reloading of a weapon.”
PRWeb: Publisher Offers Free Access to Gun Regulation and Legislation Research Collection (PRESS RELEASE). “William S. Hein & Co., Inc. has released the newest HeinOnline collection, Gun Regulation and Legislation in America. This collection has been in development since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six staff members. The Hein Company is a for-profit corporation with fiscal responsibilities to its shareholders, but its mission statement contains a number of core values, one of which is Corporate Citizenship. This means that, as a company, Hein resolves to make a positive difference in the community. In the wake of several of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history, Hein is offering this new collection of materials free of charge to its core U.S. subscribers, academics, and other institutional libraries in order to provide a platform for research on the myriad issues related to gun regulation. The goal of this database is to help facilitate civil discourse and productive discussions and to help to bring all sides of this issue together to effect positive change and prevent more senseless loss of life.”
Duke University: Blocher and Miller compile comprehensive historical gun law database. “Professors Joseph Blocher and Darrell Miller have spearheaded the creation of a comprehensive database of historic gun laws for use as a research tool for scholars, litigators, journalists, and others interested in current debates surrounding firearms regulation and the Second Amendment. The searchable Repository of Historical Gun Laws compiles English statutes from the Middle Ages through 1776 and those in the United States from the Colonial era to the middle of the 20th century. To date, it includes 1,514 regulations, searchable by subject area, date range, and jurisdiction.”
Fortune: Gun Owners Furious After YouTube Cracks Down on Popular Firearms Videos. “YouTube, a popular media site for firearms enthusiasts, this week quietly introduced tighter restrictions on videos involving weapons, becoming the latest battleground in the U.S. gun-control debate.”
CNET: Reddit removes several firearms-related forums. “Reddit removed several popular forums related to firearms on Wednesday as part of an update to the company’s content policies that prohibit transactions involving some goods and services. The policy affected subreddits that discussed firearms, ammunition, explosives, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, stolen goods, personal information, paid services involving physical sexual contact and falsified documents. With the move, Reddit joins other high-profile companies that are responding to growing calls for gun control after a rash of mass shootings.”
Washington Post: FBI database for gun buyers missing millions of records. “The FBI’s background-check system is missing millions of records of criminal convictions, mental illness diagnoses and other flags that would keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands, a gap that contributed to the shooting deaths of 26 people in a Texas church this week. Experts who study the data say government agencies responsible for maintaining such records have long failed to forward them into federal databases used for gun background checks — systemic breakdowns that have lingered for decades as officials decided they were too costly and time-consuming to fix.”
The Conversation: New public database reveals striking differences in how guns are regulated from state to state. “We have just released a new public database that tracks a wide range of firearm laws across all 50 states for the past 27 years. For the first time, long-term trends in the enactment of gun safety laws can be compared between states. We found striking disparities between states in both the number of firearm laws and the rate of adoption of these laws over time.”
BuzzFeed: I Used Facebook to Buy a Gun. “In January, Facebook banned the coordination of gun sales on its platform. But last Wednesday, I picked up an AR-15 variant — a gun similar to the ones used in the mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Aurora, and others — that I found, negotiated for, and agreed to purchase from a private seller entirely on Facebook.”
Now available: a database of open-access 3D ballistics research. “To seed the database with data, [Xiaoyu Alan] Zheng went to forensics and law enforcement conferences asking agencies to test-fire every 9-mm firearm in their reference collection—9 mm being the caliber most commonly used in the commission of crimes. After completing the test fires, labs sent the bullets and cartridge cases to Zheng at NIST, along with data on the gun that fired it. At the lab, technicians scanned these samples using a microscope that produces a high-resolution, 3-D topographic surface map—a virtual model of the physical object itself. These surface maps produce more detailed comparison data than the two-dimensional images that are traditionally used to match bullets. For this reason, the field of forensic firearms identification is starting to make the transition to 3-D.”
A new Twitter bot is dedicated to tweeting about “gun incidents”. “Yesterday I released a new twitter account. @USGunIncidents posts about recent gun crime in the USA. It posts very simply the town/city, state, number of people injured, number of people killed, and a link to the source (if it’s available).” It’s not clear if these are incidents where a gun was involved (like a robbery), where a gun was used to threaten but not necessarily injure (hostage situation), where a gun was fired but possibly without injury, suicides, crimes involving fake guns, etc. Having bots aggregate information on topics is useful but clear definitions would be helpful here.
There are a lot of weird things you can say about 2016, but to me this takes the weird cake: People buy and sell guided missiles on Facebook. “A terrorist hoping to buy an antiaircraft weapon in recent years needed to look no further than Facebook, which has been hosting sprawling online arms bazaars, offering weapons ranging from handguns and grenades to heavy machine guns and guided missiles.” Hey Facebook — more going after this sort of thing, less shutting down the accounts of 175-year-old pubs because they have a name Beavis would smirk at. Okay?