8 states sue Trump administration over 3D-printed gun instructions

31 July, 2018, 17:28 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Enlarge  The Defense Distributed website this

President Donald Trump, in a tweet early Tuesday, said he was "looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public" and had already spoken to the NRA about it. Trump said the prospect "doesn't seem to make such sense", though it wasn't clear if he knew that his own State Department had reached a settlement last month with the designer who first published downloadable instructions.

Mr. Trump explained that he spoke to the National Rifle Association about the matter, and said it "doesn't seem to make much sense". He did not offer further details.

The blueprints are set to go online on Wednesday, following a June settlement between the USA government and Texas-based Defense Distributed that allows the company to legally publish the designs. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Monday he is leading a lawsuit in eight states and the District of Columbia to block a court action that would let people download plans for untraceable 3-D printed weapons.

Three-D printed guns will make it easier for terrorists and people who are too risky to pass criminal background checks to get their hands on guns, said Avery Gardiner, the co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "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".

"For years, and as recently as April 2018, the federal government recognized that these printable-gun computer files would be a threat to United States national security and foreign policy interests", said Attorney General Grewal.

1st or 2nd Amendment case?

In the 16-page filing, attorneys for DefDist hold that Grewal and Feuer "have waged an ideologically-fueled program of intimidation and harassment against" the company, intending to drag Wilson "before all manner of far-flung criminal and civil tribunals in an effort to silence the organization".

"Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to.50-caliber - including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms - are not inherently military", a statement from gun advocates' attorney Josh Blackman read.

But 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.

They said they'll be discussing the dangers of the 3D printed guns and the legislation to address it.

The government had initially ordered Wilson to remove the plans when they were first posted in 2013, saying they violated restrictions on the export of defense materials. "It's a violation of the First Amendment, it's unconscionable and we're going to fight it to the very end". Next week, anyone can make plastic-bodied guns at home for just a few hundred dollars each.

The company's website says it will relaunch today after the settlement with the State Department. However, gun enthusiasts say that, without some metal parts, the guns will be unreliable and could even explode in a user's face.

But blueprints for nine types of gun were uploaded to the Defense Distributed website on Friday.

Before the original order stopping Wilson from publishing the files was put in place, more than 100,000 downloads took place.

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