Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File
In the hysteria surrounding 3D-printed firearms, everyone expected guns to pop up everywhere, and there was nothing to be done about it. However, one man was arrested for allegedly printing a gun in New York City.
However, that arrest may well result in a lawsuit the city doesn’t want to deal with.
A former puppet worker for Broadway’s “The Lion King” plans to sue the city for costing him a “lucrative” deal with Disney when cops busted him for allegedly making a 3-D printed gun, The Post has learned.
Prop maker Ilya Vett, 48, claims he was the victim of false arrest last year over the “black plastic object” that a co-worker saw him printing inside the Minkskoff Theatre.
The Brooklyn resident says he told cops that the gun he was making would be “completely non-functioning,” and a detective acknowledged it was merely “a prop of a firearm,” according to a notice of claim filed with the city Comptroller’s Office last month.
Manhattan prosecutors dropped the case against Vett in March and sealed the record, the filing says.
At the time of the arrest, I remember commenting that if Vett was stupid enough to print a gun in front of other people in New York City, then he almost deserved to be arrested. Not for the gun, but for being that dumb.
Well, he wasn’t. He was making a fake gun, more akin to a prop than an actual firearm.
However, news reports went everywhere about Vett’s arrest. His reputation likely took a hit and let’s be honest, New York theater isn’t exactly pro-gun. It’s not hard to believe he may have difficulty finding work after this, even if it wasn’t a live weapon.
So now Vett will likely sue, and if he wins, the city will appeal.
But what happens if this ends up in the Supreme Court, a challenge to the law that allowed Vett to be arrested in the first place? At the time, I don’t believe there were any regulations in New York City or state that prohibited 3D-printing of firearms specifically. No, they busted him because he allegedly had a gun without a license in the Big Apple.
What happens if that law is challenged before the Supreme Court?
Now, there’s no guarantee the Court would hear the case, but I suspect this one they would. More importantly, it could have a major impact on gun licensing in this country. A broad, pro-gun ruling by the Court could completely overturn a plethora of anti-gun efforts throughout the nation.
In other words, this could be huge.
Now, I’m not saying Vett necessarily wants that. I don’t know his personal opinion on firearms, nor does it matter. He was accused of breaking a gun law that shouldn’t exist. His proposed lawsuit may or may not yield any results beyond, maybe, a payout for Vett, but it’s something we on the pro-gun side should keep an eye on.