Judge blocks publication of plans for 3D printed plastic guns

The 3D printed guns have been a source of debate ever since Texas company Defense Distributed successfully sued for the right to post the blueprints online, arguing free speech claims.

A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3-D-printed plastic guns.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced on Twitter that the order would go into effect nationwide and described it as a "major victory for common sense and public safety".

A settlement between the State Department and Defense Distributed is allowing the release of plans for guns online.

The company behind the plans, Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, had reached a settlement with the federal government in June that allows it to make the plans for the guns available for download on Wednesday. State Department officials said the plans violated USA export laws.

"I don't care what President Trump says".

"I've had people ask me if I can make something like that for them", she said.

In 2013 Defense Distributed posted downloadable files of 3-D printer designs of a one-shot pistol called the Liberator to its website, Defcad.com.

Other states also are trying to bar access to 3D printed guns.

That prospect has startled gun control advocates, who say it could worsen the epidemic of gun violence in the USA and make it easier for terrorists to gain access to a raft of deadly firearms.

Attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit on Monday in a last-ditch effort to stop further release of the designs. "And we believe strongly that downloadable firearms will undermine those laws, enabling anyone to print their own AR-15 or handgun with commercially available 3D printing technology". "Because of Attorney General Ferguson's lawsuit, a federal judge has put this administration's unsafe plan on hold and has taken a responsible step to protect law enforcement, public safety, and our national security".

Some background: In 2013, Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, uploaded on his website the design files he used to create the first fully 3-D-printed gun. President Donald Trump also questioned whether his administration should have agreed to allow the plans to be posted online.

The gun's components can be made with a printer that uses plastic instead of ink.

Although DIY gunsmithing is legal in many forms under USA law, including when it's done with a 3D printer, critics have pushed back against the government's settlement, saying it would undermine domestic and global gun control efforts by greatly expanding access to untraceable homemade guns. "Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA's support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm".

It was downloaded about 100,000 times until the U.S. state department ordered him to cease, contending it violated federal export laws since some of the blueprints were downloaded by people outside the United States.

  • Joey Payne