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States Sue Trump Administration To Outlaw 3-D Printing Guns

Joshua Gill on July 30, 2018

The Washington attorney general announced a multi-state lawsuit Monday against the Trump administration for allowing the public to download blueprints to 3-D print guns.

Bob Ferguson, the Democratic attorney general for Washington state, announced the lawsuit at a Monday morning press conference in Seattle. Eight states, including Washington, Pennsylvania and New York, and the District of Columbia said they are suing the administration over the decision to allow blueprints for 3-D printed guns to be released online Aug. 1.

“I have a question for the Trump Administration,” Ferguson said, according to a press release. “Why are you allowing dangerous criminals easy access to weapons? These downloadable guns are unregistered and very difficult to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history. If the Trump Administration won’t keep us safe, we will.”

The decision to allow the blueprints to be released came as the result of a lengthy legal battle between the Department of State and Cody Wilson, co-founder of Defense Distributed. Wilson posted blueprints for 3-D printed guns online in 2013. The State Department ordered him to remove the online plans, but he resisted, saying that posting the plans online amounted to free speech and was therefore protected. Wilson won his legal battle in late June when the State Department settled its case with him and decided to allow him to release his blueprints online at the end of July.

Firearms industry experts said that allowing people to download the blueprints will not likely result in a spike in gun violence, as it is already possible to self-make guns without serial numbers at home and the methods used to 3-D print guns are costly.

“It costs thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to acquire a printer and the files and the knowhow to do this. They don’t work worth a damn. Criminals can obviously go out and steal guns or even manufacture quote-unquote real guns, not 3D printed,” said Larry Keane, executive director of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, according to The Washington Post.

“If you’re a gang banger in L.A., are you going to go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy a printer to print a gun that doesn’t work very well or are you just going to steal one?” he added.

Wilson meanwhile has fired back at those who have filed lawsuits against him for deciding to publish the blueprints.

Wilson also filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer for legal threats against Defense Distributed, saying “we will not be silenced.”

Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, Maryland and New Jersey also joined in the lawsuit against the Trump administration.

 

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