Judge blocks plans to post 3D-printed gun blueprints online

Saul Bowman
August 3, 2018

A US judge on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of 3D printed gun blueprints hours before they were set to hit the internet.

The president responded through Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley, who told reporters: "In the United States, it's now illegal to own or make a wholly plastic gun of any kind, including those made on a 3D printer".

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik granted a temporary restraining order on Tuesday night barring a trove of downloadable information about creating the do-it-yourself weapons.

3-D printed guns are functional weapons that are often unrecognizable by standard metal detectors because they are made out of materials other than metal (e.g., plastic) and untraceable because they contain no serial numbers.

The company behind the plans, Texas-based Defense Distributed, had reached a settlement with the federal government in June allowing it to make the plans for the guns available for download. "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".

"Oh, and technology for "undetectable" guns existed long before 3D printing-hence the need for the Undetectable Firearms Act", French said.

In 2013, Defense Distributed posted a YouTube video demonstrating what it said was a Liberator pistol made from 3D-printed parts.

A gun called "The Liberator" is made nearly entirely out of ABS plastic the same material used to make lego bricks and it will change policing.

"We're disappointed", Wilson told The New York Times.

"Even as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment - this is not right, " Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski tweeted, linking to a news story on the guns. The U.S. district judge who made the decision said there's a possibility these guns could cause "irreparable harm". "Instead, the Trump administration's decision will open the floodgates and allow anyone with access to the internet and a 3-D printer to possess a firearm", Cicilline said in a statement. But a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order, to stop the release.

Wilson's blueprints had been posted on Defcad before the court order took effect and had already been downloaded thousands of times.

Critics generally say easily printable guns could allow people to circumvent federal, state, and local gun restrictions by home printing their own weapons with little oversight.

Meanwhile, Cody R Wilson, the founder of digital firearm firm Defense Distributed responsible for the lawsuit, announced that his project was going "dark". 'Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense'.

Although this entire legal battle started with claims of censorship and prior restraint under the First Amendment mixed with the Second Amendment right to bear arms, it has morphed into a battle between the states and the federal government over a failure to follow procedure.

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