Thousands download 3D-printed gun designs

Charlene Craig
July 31, 2018

President Donald Trump on Tuesday raised concerns about the sale of plastic guns made with 3-D printers, a day after several US states sued the Trump administration to block the online publication of designs for such printable weapons.

The tweet came just an hour after "Fox and Friends" ran a story on the attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia who filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to keep blueprints for 3-D printed guns offline. "Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense". He did not offer further details.

They asked a federal judge in Seattle to block the State Department change in regulation that allowed Defense Distributed to go forward, arguing it permits criminals unfettered access to guns and "literally nullifies" state gun regulations.

Joining were attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

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"I have a question for the Trump Administration: Why are you allowing risky criminals easy access to weapons?"

Additionally, 21 Attorneys General are asking the State Department and the Department of Justice to block the 3D weapon plans from appearing online.

'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'.

Wilson, Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation have by contrast maintained that this is a First Amendment case, claiming that the government's attempts to block the publication of the information on the web amounts to prior restraint barred by Supreme Court precedent.

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Seeking damages and attorney fees, attorneys Alan Gura and Josh Blackman outline the threats of litigation from Grewal and Feuer also illegally interfere with DefDist's lawful business under the Dormant Commerce Clause, which restricts the powers of states to get involved in federally-protected interstate commerce.

States are free to enact gun control measures, but 'what they can't do is censor the speech of another citizen in another state, and they can't regulate the commerce of another citizen in another state when that commerce is authorized by a federal government license, ' Blackman said in an interview Monday. "It's a violation of the First Amendment, it's unconscionable and we're going to fight it to the very end". 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. 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.

Defence Distributed agreed to temporarily block Pennsylvania residents from downloading the plans after state officials went to Federal Court in Philadelphia on Sunday in search of an emergency order.

Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, first published downloadable designs for a 3D-printed firearm in 2013. Many people are publishing files allowing owners of these printers to produce firearms.

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The company said it also blocked access to users in New Jersey and Los Angeles.

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