The New York attorney general has changed the rules of a state gun buyback program after a participant exploited the system by using a 3D printer to make firearm parts in bulk that he then exchanged for $21,000 in gift cards. The seller, who identified himself by a pseudonym, said he traveled from West Virginia to a gun buyback in August in Utica, N.Y., to take advantage of a loophole in the program and to demonstrate that buybacks are futile in an era of printable weapons, the Associated Press reports. At the buyback, the seller turned in 60 printed auto sears, small devices that can convert firearms into fully automatic weapons. The rules of the buyback, hosted by Attorney General Letitia James and city police, entitled him to $350 for each of the printed parts, including a $100 premium, because they were deemed “ghost guns” lacking serial numbers.
The seller said the prospect of making money was enticing, but that the big reason he took part in the buyback was to send a message. He called the idea of buybacks “ridiculously stupid”, adding that “the people running this event are horribly uneducated about guns, gun crime and the laws surrounding the regulation of guns.” James’ office said it responded to the loophole by giving buyback personnel more discretion to determine the value of weapons being handed in, and setting a standard that all 3D-printed guns accepted by the program must be capable of being fired more than once.