Thousands have already downloaded plans to 3-D print an AR-15

31 July, 2018, 17:28 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • A plastic pistol that was completely made on a 3D-printer at a home in Austin Texas

Eight states are filing suit against the Trump administration over its decision to allow a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun.

'I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. "Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" the President tweeted Tuesday, without offering further details about what he'll do about the weapons.

The lawsuit - filed in U.S. District Court by Washington, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Oregon and Pennsylvania - calls for an injunction to halt a settlement with the federal government allowing open source gun website Defense Distributed to post the files online. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The letter argued the plans will let terrorists, criminals and individuals seeking to do harm have "unfettered access to print and manufacture unsafe firearms".

Separately, Democratic attorneys general in 21 states urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to pull back from the settlement.

'These downloadable guns are unregistered and very hard to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history'. However, gun industry experts have expressed doubt that criminals would go to the trouble, since the printers needed to make the guns are very expensive, the guns themselves tend to disintegrate quickly and traditional firearms are easy to come by. "It's a violation of the First Amendment, it's unconscionable and we're going to fight it to the very end". The available guns - plastic and without serial numbers and therefore untraceable - include AR-15s, AR-10s, a pistol called the "Liberator" and a Ruger 10/22.


The varied efforts, in courthouses and legislatures, are aimed at Defense Distributed, a Texas-based nonprofit organization that won permission in June from the State Department to post schematics for homemade firearms.

But, months later, in an apparent change in tune, the Trump administration made a decision to remove the "technical data" for the 3-D gun blueprints from its list of US munitions as part of the June settlement agreement with Defense Distributed, meaning it was free to go forward. Wilson sued, and under a settlement he reached with the U.S. State Department, his company can begin releasing computer files for printable guns beginning on August 1.

Cody Wilson, founder of Defence Distributed, first published downloadable designs for a 3D-printed firearm in 2013.

DefDist filed suit against the Obama administration in 2015 with the help of the Second Amendment Foundation, before the State Department switched gears last month and moved to grant Wilson's company a special exemption to ITAR regulations on Friday, allowing him to post a variety of non-military small arms files on DefCAD.com. Many people are publishing files allowing owners of these printers to produce firearms.

Pending the outcome of the challenge, Wilson's group has blocked IP addresses in Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania- where a similar case was made in a Philadelphia federal court on Sunday- from downloading DefCAD files.

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