Federal judge blocks release of plans for 3D-printed guns

Enlarge  The Defense Distributed website this
Enlarge The Defense Distributed website this
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02 August, 2018

The restraining order from U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle puts that plan on hold for now.

Various states on Monday filed a lawsuit to prevent the Trump administration from permitting criminals and terrorists to have access to the downloadable blueprints. The plans were downloaded about 100,000 times until the US State Department blocked it, claiming the distribution beyond the US borders violated laws on weapons export. During a news conference at the Capitol, the lawmakers described it as a "deadly mistake" and a "self-inflicted public safety crisis".

Previously, Attorneys General in eight Democrat-ruled U.S. states sued the Donald Trump administration over a June settlement with Defense Distributed.

Ferguson said the federal government was winning the lawsuit when they unexpectedly settled with Wilson and gave him the right to post 3D gun schematics online. But more than 1,000 designs were downloaded recently, in advance of the agreed upon August 1 date. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Ed Markey of MA and Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

US President Donald Trump: "I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public".

In a statement Tuesday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "Metal detectors and other security measures will be completely useless against the flood of undetectable and untraceable "ghost guns" that the GOP is inviting into our schools, workplaces, airports and public buildings".

That's if it takes off, which some say is unlikely given the cost of 3D printers and the lack of durability of the plastic guns. But due to the pending legal battle, Wilson has chose to abide by the cease-and-desist orders, and will not make DEFCAD available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Los Angeles.

The gun plans were pulled from the internet in 2013 by order of the State Department under worldwide gun trafficking laws.

Trump spokesman Hogan Gidley made much the same point, saying the administration supports the law against wholly plastic guns, including those made with a 3-D printer.

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Since the weapons "did not create a military advantage", he told the judge, "how could the government justify regulating the data?"

"We can not rely on the courts to keep saving us from the excesses and mistakes of this administration", Markey said.

And 3D-printed weapons look certain to become a more common sight in the coming years and decades.

Trump said on Twitter that he had talked with the powerful National Rifle Association lobbying group about the weapons.

Some Republicans also expressed concern.

But he added the fact the legislation includes the phrase "it shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally publish" "should attract the attention of anyone who's concerned about our First Amendment and other constitutional rights". Lisa Murkowski tweeted, linking to a news story on the guns.

The 3D printed technology provides a way to create untraceable guns without serial numbers and without the owner needing a background check, things gun control advocates say are risky. He says 3D-printed guns present a real and present danger because they're both unregulated and untraceable.

People can use the blueprints to manufacture a plastic gun using a 3D printer.


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